“Econiq™ is the world’s first net-zero carbon steel at scale, introduced to offer steel consumers emissions-free steel products to help meet their sustainability goals.”
Building the world’s most sustainable steel brand
How do you position a brand as a leader in sustainability, when the industry it lives in is considered the very opposite?
From wind turbines to electric vehicles, steel is critical to the green economy. But traditional methods of manufacturing steel release almost eight percent of the world’s total CO2 emissions. One brand, Nucor, could be the secret to solving this paradox. In fact, if the whole world made steel the way Nucor makes steel, it would be the equivalent to grounding the entire global airline industry. Twice.
For over 50 years, Nucor has pioneered sustainable steel, emitting 70 percent less carbon dioxide per ton of steel than the global average. While an incredible feat, there was just one issue: customers, investors and policymakers didn’t understand the Nucor difference. Especially because competitors were announcing ambitious commitments with less substance; announcements that were nevertheless dominating the airwaves.
Nucor worked with Lippincott to create a powerful narrative around the Nucor difference. To succeed, we knew we would have to change its frame of reference. While competitors were focusing on long-term commitments and hypothetical technologies, Nucor had to tell a story about today. Together, we crafted a practical narrative and messaging which did just that.
From the beginning, we knew that just telling a story wouldn’t be enough to make the impact needed. So, we helped Nucor launch the world’s first net-zero carbon emissions steel, because in a space crowded with promises about the future, the best way to gain recognition would be to lead with what Nucor does best—make top of the line steel, and make a difference today.
We helped Nucor define, name, and launch this innovative product: Econiq. The name—a play on Eco, iconic and IQ—was designed to be ownable and descriptive, so it can become industry short-hand for net-zero steel. It acts as an endorsement brand across existing product ranges, enabling it to be applied to any grade of steel over time.
Econiq went from idea to launch (in October 2021) within two months – capped by a high-profile announcement of General Motors as the first Econiq customer. Moving forward, there is no doubt when it comes to the Nucor difference—it’s clear they are all in on making an impact where it matters.
We continue to work with Nucor to spearhead the sustainable revolution in steel, working towards a shared ambition for net-zero steel at scale.