Building the communications foundations of a construction technology company

Did you know that buildings and the construction industry together are the largest contributor of CO2 emissions globally at 39 percent? Or that, if the cement industry was a country, it would rank third on a list of the world’s top emitters (behind China and the USA)? 

While air travel, fast fashion, shipping and meat production rightly are spotlighted as industries that contribute significantly to our climate crisis, the environmental impact of the construction sector has more-or-less slipped under the radar. Added to this, the construction industry continues to lag behind other sectors in terms of real innovation to address its high carbon footprint. 

To prevent climate change topping the 1.5 degree “safe” increase temperature level, the construction industry needs to innovate… and fast. 

Nexii – a green construction technology company – is one such company that is taking the industry’s climate pollution problem seriously. With a mission to create sustainable, durable, cost-efficient and disaster-resilient buildings, Nexii aims to tackle both the industry’s environmental and housing crises head-on.

THE CHALLENGE

One of the early challenges that Yulu needed to tackle was refining and honing Nexii’s messaging to clearly define what the company is, and what it does. 

Nexii has developed a proprietary material, Nexiite, which can be used as a sustainable alternative to concrete for certain building applications. Added to that, the development of Nexiite means that Nexii can manufacture buildings and retrofitting products off-site – and then assemble these on-site – faster and more efficiently than conventional construction methods. Nexii’s unique approach to construction also results in increased cost efficiencies and reduces construction waste to near-zero. 

This presented Yulu with a challenge: how do you communicate a company’s unique selling point, when it’s pushing many new boundaries, and helping to address many pressing issues? And how do you make a construction company (no matter how pioneering) relevant to the mass market? 

THE STRATEGY

Getting the messaging right was the answer. During Yulu’s strategic process, we worked to refine Nexii’s language, as well as researching and benchmarking similar companies with complex product propositions (think Apple) to help us understand how to talk about Nexii both internally (to staff) and externally (to media, and potential customers, partners, and investors). Quarterly reviews of Nexii’s messaging will be core to Nexii’s communications strategy moving forward to ensure Yulu continues to best communicate the business as the company grows into new markets, and reaches new audiences. 

Yulu also prepared Nexii and its senior leadership team for a public launch – developing an integrated media relations strategy and providing media training. Yulu analyzed and researched the environmental implications of the construction sector, finding ways to spotlight national attention on these environmental impacts to bring Nexii into the national conversation.

RESULTS & IMPACT

Within our first five months of kickstarting Nexii’s media relations campaign, Yulu secured 49 pieces of coverage, including key national and regional outlets such as Globe & Mail, National Post, CBC Vancouver, Vancouver Sun, Business in Vancouver, Daily Hive, Global News, News 1130, Disruption Magazine and Corporate Knights, reaching a readership of over 115 million.