FutureBrand develops identity for steel industry giant

FutureBrand is developing a bespoke brand identity for steel group Arcelor Mittal, which is being formed in the proposed £26.9bn merger between Arcelor and Mittal Steel.

FutureBrand was appointed to the six-figure project in September following a four- way pitch against Wolff Olins, Landor Associates and Enterprise IG.

The consultancy is currently in the ‘discovery’ phase of the branding project and is in the throes of conducting industry-wide interviews with more than 100 individuals ranging from staff to clients and analysts, according to Claire Koryczan, account manager at FutureBrand. The plan is to assess and develop the newly formed company’s brand positioning and then work up the creative concepts, says Koryczan. The identity is expected to launch in spring 2007.

‘Both companies are different in terms of culture, so the challenge is to take the positive aspects of both of the companies and merge them into one,’ explains Koryczan.

A brand identity made from the two existing Arcelor and Mittal Steel identities is being used as an interim brand. FutureBrand designed the corporate identity for Mittal Steel two years ago following the merger of US International Steel Group with LNM Holdings and ISPAT International (DW 11 November 2004).

Lakshmi Mittal, the British-based steel tycoon, was appointed chief executive of Arcelor Mittal this month. He was formerly president of the company. Mittal Steel won a five-month long battle to take over Arcelor this summer when it received the necessary backing and Severstal, the Russian rival, bowed out from the take-over battle, though a question mark remains as to how it will meet US competition authority requirements.

Arcelor Mittal has 320 000 employees in more than 60 countries. It is looking to develop its stronghold in the high-growth Chinese and Indian markets, according to reports.

Arcelor Mittal:

• The company will be incorporated in 2007 following the successful tender offer

• For the first six months of 2006, Arcelor Mittal claims combined revenues of $43.3bn (£22.8bn)

• It reports to have an annual steel production capacity of 130 million tonnes

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