A connector strut between steel girders

Introducing ‘INNOVILT’, POSCO’s premium construction material brand

Steel is the main material used for construction. As this material is used in every aspect of our daily lives, quality becomes the most important factor. However, in the case of structural materials, quality is not easily noticeable to the users, and it is hard to discern whether they have been produced by low-grade materials or high quality ones just by looking at them.

These days, consumers carefully consider various criteria, for example, environmental standards, even when purchasing household items like furniture and decorative items. The same is true for construction materials – stricter standards need to be applied. This is why POSCO came up with ‘INNOVILT’, a premium brand of steel products made of POSCO steel that is used in the construction industry. It’s a brand for everyone, from construction workers to end-users.

Why did POSCO launch a construction material brand?

Since POSCO produces steel products mainly in the form of flat steel, its presence does not stand out in the construction market, which mostly consists of rebar and section steel. So instead, POSCO worked with its client companies to create solutions for premium steel products used in the construction sector. As a result, lighter, stronger, aesthetically appealing and cost-efficient products were developed. With the usage of ‘high-end’ steel no longer limited to only automobiles and home appliances, POSCO’s world-class technology has begun to stand out in the construction field as well. However, since most businesses are conducted in B2B (business to business) form, it was hard for POSCO to deliver these solutions directly to end-users.

At the same time, new changes were identified in Korea’s construction market. As higher value was placed on safety and eco-friendliness, the opinion of end-users as well as direct business parties (e.g. builders, contractors and etc.) had a greater impact on material selection to use. Noticing this change, POSCO concluded that a B2B strategy was no longer viable in the domestic construction market. As such, to make better construction steel products vis-à-vis other competing materials such as RC (reinforced concrete), wood, stone, and nonferrous metals (e.g. aluminum), changing the communication strategy was crucial. The new strategy would be B2B2C (Business to Business + Business to Customer), which actively engages the general public as well as specialists in the field.

Taking all of these developments into account, POSCO launched ‘INNOVILT’, a premium steel products brand in the construction industry. POSCO intends to increase customer value by expanding the premium technology and expertise that has been accumulated from other industries to the construction market. The public, who were unable to access information on construction material can now easily understand the value and reliability of the products by recognising the brand.

‘INNOVILT’ Let’s bring the value of steel into construction

‘INNOVILT’ brand concept
‘INNOVILT’ brand concept

‘INNOVILT’ combines ‘innovation,’ ‘value,’ and ‘built’ and is a brand name that aims to pursue innovation by bolstering the value of construction with POSCO Premium Steel. The brand slogan is “Builf the next, Let’s INNOVILT” with four core values—hi-tech, creativity, sustainability, and partnership.

It is a known fact that POSCO’s high-grade steel is used as a premium material in automobiles, home appliances, and mobile phones—consumer goods made of materials that end-users can easily judge and distinguish. For example, when someone says that a refrigerator made of black stainless steel is more expensive but significantly better in terms of quality than other products, most people would agree.

Let’s think about it. There are hundreds of steel products produced by POSCO, and POSCO did not develop this cutting-edge steel technology to be applied to the automotive and home appliance industry alone. With the company’s technology and know-how accumulated over the past 52 years, POSCO’s construction steel products are also evolving with its innovation. Now, the time has come to apply these products to our residential space. “Build your home by embracing the enhanced values of steel with INNOVILT” is the message POSCO aims to deliver with this premium brand.

‘INNOVILT’— 100% made with POSCO steel

Then does this mean all POSCO steel products become INNOVILT products? The answer is no. To become an INNOVILT product, the manufacturer of the steel products for construction, which is mainly POSCO’s client company, must submit an application to POSCO to undergo a review process by an INNOVILT committee composed of internal and external experts. Considerations given in the selection criteria include the product’s technological aspects as well as the financial stability and management ability of the client company. Above all, INNOVILT must be made with 100% POSCO Steel. If the client company passes the evaluation, the company is given the right to use the brand name, and the product can be sold under the INNOVILT name.

It is unusual for a steel company to assign a brand to client companies’ products and manage it, rather than its own steel products. Also, customers who make steel construction materials from POSCO steel or who need a strategic partnership with POSCO will interact with each other as members of the INNOVILT Alliance.

‘INNOVILT’ brand system
‘INNOVILT’ brand system

About 50 INNOVILT products have been selected and registered in the first half of 2020. But it didn’t come to an end there. POSCO will hold a brand committee every quarter and manage the INNOVILT brand on a regular basis. The committee will monitor whether the INNOVILT products are causing any quality issues that harm the brand reputation and whether the client companies continue to use 100% POSCO steel. POSCO will also hold meetings where solutions, applied technology, and co-marketing methods are discussed so that INNOVILT products— just like its name—stay innovative. To live up to its name, POSCO is determined to nurture INNOVILT into a brand that gains the trust of end-users.

End-users: Experience says it all

How can the INNOVILT brand be applied in the real world? The following is an example of showing how it works with ‘Steel Curtain Wall’.

End-users, as well as business parties, can opt for the ‘INNOVILT’ brand
End-users, as well as business parties, can opt for the ‘INNOVILT’ brand

Let’s say POSCO produces PosMAC* and supplies it to company N, an INNOVILT Alliance member. Company N then produces steel curtain walls and afterwards, promotes and sells the products under the INNOVILT brand. When selecting materials for curtain walls, architectural designers and construction companies might be able to compare general steel, aluminum, and INNOVILT. Eventually, the premium INNOVILT material is chosen and applied. In some cases, end-users could express their preference for INNOVILT, knowing that INNOVILT products are competitive in terms of price and demonstrate their superior quality to other products.

But the consumer benefits of using INNOVILT are most important. End-users can now discern, select, and take advantage of the materials at their own discretion. In the past, consumers used to be passive, presuming steel curtain walls would just be made from aluminum but this will change in the future. INNOVILT will enable end-users to be more informed and information that has not been traditionally disclosed to customers (e.g. durability and insulation of the material) is now at the consumer’s disposal.

As seen here, INNOVILT buildings and infrastructures will naturally become a safer, more sustainable, and cost-efficient space. If the concept of INNOVILT as a premium construction material is firmly established, end-users can request to set out an INNOVILT-applied specification for the interior and exterior of an apartment and say, “my house is built of INNOVILT.”

“My house is built of INNOVILT”

With INNOVILT, users can now explore values they have never experienced before in their lives as follows:

“An INNOVILT ‘PosMAC Barrier’ has an excellent corrosion-resistant and rainwater storage function, enabling the roadside trees to grow in an eco-friendly way.” “Our apartment building used INNOVILT ‘Stone-like Panel’ instead of cheap stone materials.” “It’s safer and there is no need to be concerned about harmful substances.” These are some examples of INNOVILT that consumers can experience in their daily lives.

INNOVILT will continue to evolve with innovation to embrace all the values in construction that cannot be compromised—economic feasibility, stability, and sustainability. In recent years, especially, sustainability has become the core value across all industries. Steel is infinitely recyclable as it is made from natural raw materials. Accordingly, utilising INNOVILT means choosing the best technology and material that ensures economic feasibility and sustainability.

In terms of industrial ecology, the credibility of POSCO steel can be increased across the value chain to enhance the credibility of client companies, resulting in creating greater business value. POSCO also created the INNOVILT Smart Platform (link in Korean) where steel products for construction including INNOVILT are introduced. 3D planning and designing is workable on this platform using BIM (Building Information Modeling). POSCO plans to fully support various promotion and marketing activities for INNOVILT to play a significant role in expanding the sales of its client companies.

Construction is one of the closest business sectors to our daily lives, but it is difficult to understand in detail. Now, POSCO presents a new paradigm so that users can trust and use construction materials under the name of INNOVILT.

The ‘construction’ area is a familiar yet difficult concept for us to comprehend. This is why POSCO presents a new paradigm with INNOVILT—a brand name that users can solely rely on when choosing construction material. Build the Next. Let’s INNOVILT!

* PosMAC (POSCO Magnesium Aluminum alloy Coating product) is a ternary alloy coated steel(Zn- 3%Mg- 2.5%Al) with high corrosion resistance developed with POSCO’s own technology.