Views on the Broadview brand

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

IRVING, Texas—Will the name Broadview Security be as sweet for the business as the Brink’s Home Security name? Two people who know Brink’s Home Security very well, Jeff Kessler of Imperial Capital, who has followed the company for 20 years, and Peter Michel, former CEO of Brink’s Home Security, say, chances are, the answer is yes.

As part of its spin-off last fall, Brink’s Home Security was required to change its name by November of 2011. It’s chosen to make the name change earlier rather than later, a smart move, said Kessler.

“Now they can start the dual-logo marketing approach as soon as possible [Broadview Security: The Next Generation of Brink’s Home Security] so by the time the agreement with The Brink’s Company runs out [in 2011], Broadview will have gotten rid of the Brink’s Home Security [tagline].”

Kessler called Broadview a “straightforward and not wildly salient” name that was typical of the company’s conservative approach to business.

Kessler pointed out that “with the exception of ADT, Brink’s has the highest unaided brand awareness in the security industry.” Kessler said that the company will not have to worry about existing customers, “who will have the hell marketed out of them with every monthly statement” and “be bludgeoned by the new name with every customer contact.” Instead, they’ll need to be concerned about new customers, who need to become familiar and comfortable with the Broadview name.

Broadview is very good at traditional direct marketing, he said, and this campaign should use “enhanced marketing methods that they’ve begun to develop in the alarm monitoring business over the last several years … around the Internet and around various types of social and online branding and user profiling. All of these new, enhanced marketing features have to come into play to get a name like Broadview to achieve the same high unaided brand awareness that Brink’s had.”

He believes the company will have to spend the $120 million it has projected in marketing over the next 24 months, “to make Broadview into Brink’s,” but notes that from an investor’s standpoint, “investors have already compartmentalized this cost as one that will go away.”

Kessler is optimistic about Broadview’s capabilities: “I would suspect that the company’s learned since 1983 how to make their marketing effective enough so that they’ll be able to completely do away with the Brink’s name by the beginning, rather than the end, of 2011.”

Peter Michel, who served as CEO of Brink’s Home Security from 1990 to 2002, was equally optimistic. “What makes this company unique in the marketplace is not the name, it’s all the other things,” he said. “It’s the focus on customers, professionalism, its first class management team.” The company has been in business since 1983, so it’s “big enough now, that a name change is not going to hurt them.” Plus, they’re making the change “very strategically and thoroughly so they’re not going to make any mistakes.”

Dennis Stricklin, co-owner of Best Security, a Broadview dealer in Little Rock, Ark., noted that “the first time people heard the name Google, they probably didn’t think it was a great name … Now of course, it’s a name that’s respected for what it is: a super successful company.”