Goodbye Brink's, hello Broadview Security

How did Brink's announce the brand; what do people think?
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Thursday, July 9, 2009

NEW YORK—Long known and admired for its methodic and conservative approach to business and customer service, Brink’s Home Security showed characteristic discipline in a carefully choreographed announcement June 30 of its new name, Broadview Security.

Brink’s Home Security spun off from its former parent, The Brink's Company, on October 31, 2008. As part of the spin-off, Brink’s Home Security was required to change its name within three years.

Before the new name was made public on June 30, only a handful of people knew the name. And they were tight lipped. “We had to use a code name around the office,” said Shawn Lucht, Broadview senior vice president, strategy and corporate development. Yet on the morning of June 30, a new Broadview Security Web site was up and running, “celebration kits” with banners, balloons and marketing materials arrived at the doorsteps of 215 dealers and 69 branch offices across the country. Tents were set up outside the Irving headquarters and the Knoxville, Tenn., monitoring station, and employees were greeted with a surprise party and unveiling of the new logo and name.

“It was very organized,” said Steve Yevich, Broadview Security CFO. “We flipped to the new Web site just after midnight, [and made sure all of the packages arrived at the dealers first thing in the morning].”

Over the next 24 months, Broadview will spend between $70 million and $120 million on marketing the new brand. Brink’s ordinarily spends about $40 million annually on marketing, said Broadview CEO Bob Allen. The bulk of the funds will be spent on direct response television advertising; a new ad campaign began July 6 on 40 cable television stations.

The roll out included “a conference call with all branch offices and dealers that [went] through a presentation and gave an overview of branding plans,” Allen said.

Dealers have a special Web site where they can go to find out extensive information about the new brand and marketing guidelines. There’s a customer Web site as well, for information. Customers had been notified about the pending name change and received a letter July 1 or 2, announcing the new brand and logo, Allen said.

The afternoon of June 30, Broadview executives and eight select Broadview employees flew to New York City to celebrate the new name by ringing the opening bell July 1 at the New York Stock Exchange.

On July 1, a large Broadview Security banner stretched across the entrance to the Exchange, where Broadview employees, representatives from Ketchum, the outside marketing group, and two representatives from Landor Associates, the branding company, gathered outside the Exchange at 7:30 a.m.

Bob Allen told Security Systems News that losing the word “home” from the name was no accident: “The name, Broadview Security, really does represent the wide range of services we offer and brings to mind the active protection we deliver to homes as well as businesses.” Over the past three years, Brink’s Home Security has quietly expanded its commercial business. Expect that expansion into commercial security and new services to continue, Allen said.

Allen said he expects business to pick up as a result of the brand roll out and marketing efforts and announced that Broadview is in the process of hiring 100 new salespeople and technicians across the country.

Currently, commercial accounts for about five percent of Broadview’s revenues, but 10 percent of its new installations. He declined to specify what percentage of the business he would like to see be commercial, and said the company will be “building out” its current capabilities.

Dennis Stricklin, co-owner of Best Security, a Broadview dealer in Little Rock, Ark., was among the Broadview employees chosen to attend the bell-ringing. He was initially concerned about losing the Brink’s name, but has changed his tune over the past year and now plans to expand his commercial business under the new brand.

Is a commercial acquisition in Broadview’s future? One insider who has followed Brink’s noted, laughing, that Brink’s “has been acquisition-free since 1983.”

That may change, but only under specific conditions, said Bob Allen. It will have to be the right fit, he said: the right company, technical capabilities, geographic footprint, and most important, “the right price.” 

As far as the residential business, Lucht said to look for Broadview to introduce interactive services, with the capability for homeowners to do things like remotely access their home alarm systems, and receive alerts when doors are opened. The roll out is “anticipated before the end of the year,” he said.

Broadview is taking a good hard look at video for the home, said Gary Samberson, vice president, treasury and investor relations. The technology is improving and prices are coming down, he said, but Broadview, characteristically, is conservative and taking its time. It will offer home video when mass adoption makes sense. “We’ll get there, but we’re not there yet.”

 

Look for continuing coverage from www.securitysystemsnews.com, including interviews with long-time industry analyst Jeff Kessler of Imperial Capital, and Peter Michel, former CEO of Brink’s Home Security, on their opinions of the Brink’s/Broadview transition.