Go big red
HAMILTON, Bermuda--As a company with more than 100 years of history, Ingersoll Rand has a brand that is recognizable and trusted. Now, the company will attempt to better trade on that brand in the security space, focusing around Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies as its integration face and Schlage as its hardware face to the market.
Over the course of February and March, Ingersoll Rand revamped its integration market image, taking North American properties such as integrator Electronic Technologies Corp., Integrated Access Systems, FX Technologies and Security One Systems and rebranding them all as Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, including everything from repainting the trucks to issuing new uniforms.
"It's going to play a big role in regard to our image in the marketplace," said Dave Sylvester, president of security technology for the Americas at Ingersoll Rand, "particularly the Fortune 500 clientele, the education market and the government. There's going to be much more reassurance that they're really dealing with Ingersoll Rand."
Tom Quigley, vice president of global marketing for the security technology sector at Ingersoll Rand, said the initiative is part of a company-wide effort to emphasize that Ingersoll Rand is more than what "has typically been described as being in the industrial sector ... which is oftentimes more cyclical, more prone to downturns due to inflation and commodity prices. Yet, when you look at the portfolio of Ingersoll Rand, we're very much a diversified industrial."
This effort began four years ago, said Quigley, with IR organizing into five "unified sectors"--climate control technologies, compact vehicle technologies (Bobcat) industrial technologies, construction technologies and security technologies.
"We have a history of a lot of acquisitions over the course of this sector's origins over last 15 years," said Quigley of the security sector. "With those came brands, cultures, identities, mission statements. What we found was that we need to create more value and an affiliation within that security group."
Jack Mallon, an analyst and managing director of the New York-based Mallon Associates, said this rebranding emphasizes Ingersoll Rand's status in the integration market as "one of the bigger players." But, he emphasized, "they're one of the bigger players globally." He noted their recent acquisitions of Dolphin in India and Shenzen Bocom in China, companies Sylvester said may soon also be rebranded. Mallon said Ingersoll Rand, "an $8 to $10 billion operation in sales and market cap, has a global focus ... so they're taking security systems integration worldwide."
"The other powerhouse brand already in the marketplace is Schlage," said Sylvester. In security manufacturing, Ingersoll Rand will look to focus on Schlage and "really eliminate other brands." Quigley estimated that what is now roughly 35 market-facing brands will be compressed down to four or five over the next few years.
He used Locknetics as an example. Ingersoll Rand purchased the access control company in 1999. "It used to be Locknetics Security Engineering," noted Quigley, "then we started to say Locknetics by Schlage. Now we'll be moving to Schlage Locknetics, then finally migrate to Schlage in the next 12 months." He said this will be introduced with a letter to customers, communicated through the price book and appearances at trade shows, and drilled home through simple things like a move to a Schlage email address and Schlage collateral.
"The Schlage name has an obvious recognition," said Mallon. "The trend toward consolidating and simplifying is a good step."
Brand consolidation is an industry trend, Mallon said, noting that $8 billion pure-play security company Securitas consolidated Pinkerton and Burns under the Securitas brand. "It was a dramatic case of taking two icons and submerging them under one global brand. Although there was some push back, they thought it was the move to make."
For Ingersoll Rand, Sylvestor said it's "critical in getting the entire organization to rally around standard procedures and align ourselves as one company, rather than the series of integration companies that we acquire. There's already a big buzz in the company."