Repositioning a legacy steel company as a leader in sustainability

$600 and a dream. That’s how John H. McConnell started his small steel processing business in 1955. After harnessing the power of steel for seven decades as Worthington Industries, and after growth and acquisitions, Worthington approached the team at Hanson looking for a strategic marketing partner to assist in the planned separation of businesses. The newly-named Worthington Enterprises would pursue continued growth in diverse markets while enabling the steel business—now back to the original name of Worthington Steel—to redefine itself.

Brand Strategy

Steel is often seen as traditional manufacturing, but Worthington Steel challenges that outlook, viewing it as a tool that helps us transition to a more sustainable world. As part of our discovery work, we interviewed leaders across the business about what makes Worthington Steel the steel processing partner of the future.

The answer was clear: through their customer partnerships, Worthington Steel produces solutions that are more sustainable (like electric vehicles) or are part of sustainable infrastructure (like solar arrays).

That led us to define new brand positioning: to be the most trusted, most innovative, and most value-added metals processing partner in the industry.

Brand Identity

To create a visual identity for Worthington Steel, we turned to a striking heritage logo for inspiration, punching up the “Worthington blue” for a fresh take on a classic. Modern typefaces and geometric designs were chosen to soften the often technical appearance of steel, contrasting Worthington’s traditional competitors in the steel industry.

From the logo to photography style, Worthington Steel’s new identity expresses the company’s dependable, bold, relational, and forward-thinking personality. With the new tagline “Driving steel forward,” Worthington Steel continues John McConnell’s original mission of innovation in steel processing.

Brand Activation

To announce the revitalized brand, we took to social media with updated icons, backgrounds, and page bios to tell the new story. We showcased our inspiration for the brand refresh, rooted in history, but focused on the future.

Since the beginning, the company has remained dedicated to the belief that people are their most valuable asset. Every action an employee takes adds up to a larger goal, driving steel forward. We focused on that sentiment, choosing “Momentum” as the employee value proposition to inspire the team at Worthington Steel.

We supplied the team at Worthington Steel with foundational brand materials like powerpoint templates to establish the new design at internal meetings and sales presentations, as well as recruiting campaign assets to support the new EVP. Updated photography standards centered a bold, relational style, with natural lighting to showcase the people behind steel processing.

Starting from the Worthington Industries site, our team completely redesigned the Sitefinity site. Updated content and visual elements showcasing the bold Worthington blue help the company stand out within the often muted metals processing industry.

With that new visual direction, we created a new brand video that fearlessly stated the culmination of the company’s new vision: “We are driving steel forward, creating processes and products that build a better, stronger, more sustainable future.”


Worthington Steel’s reputation as one of the most trusted metals processors in North America continues, now with an updated and ownable brand that allows their accomplishments to shine. These include being named John Deere “Partner-level Supplier” for the 12th consecutive year in 2024, and a 2023 Supplier of the Year by General Motors for the third year.