Winner of the Excellence in communications Steelie Award 2022

How the century-old Gerdau transformed its image and became the steel company with the highest global engagement

Gerdau, the largest Brazilian steel producer, has always been one of the most traditional companies in the Americas. In 2021, when it turned 120, it faced an image and reputation dilemma, similar to that of the main global steel companies, despite having one of the models with the lowest environmental impact in the world. Another challenge was the association with mining, which already had a reputation as a sector that devastates the environment and which was enhanced by recent tragedies with Brazilian dams. To top it off, this scenario had an impact on attracting new talent.

For this reason, Gerdau turned its 120th anniversary into a starting point for a new cycle of brand positioning and reputation, with intensive communication planning, digital vision and a 360º communication strategy.


  • Communicate the celebration, contextualising the story and repositioning the brand (focus: modernity, innovation, diversity and inclusion);
  • Make digital communication platforms a great lever for engagement and image change;
  • To be the most admired industry in Brazil;
  • Connect the legacy to the future and the purpose of empowering the people who build it;
  • Expand connection with audiences.

With a disruptive strategy, changing historical behaviour from a low-profile industry in communication to a high-profile one, especially in digital communications. The strategy was based on priority audiences and their profiles, with an important investment in performance, content and the reach of communication channels.

Gerdau also started to have digital channels on all the main platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify and TikTok (first steel company in the world in this network).

Gerdau built a new identity (an innovative concept based on data), which connects history and its projection of the future. It chose the metaphor of a tree (endemic to the region where Gerdau was born), which alludes to a strong origin with solid roots and which continues to produce prosperous fruits.