Get ready to vote

Looks like the NBFAA is moving forward with a potential name change to the Electronic Security Association, or ESA, according to a letter emailed out today by NBFAA president Mike Miller. Here are the details (many of which you know from earlier blog entries):
We're at an exciting time in the security industry. Our capabilities are expanding rapidly with new product announcements and daily advancements in technology. Video surveillance, access control and integrated systems are fast-growing categories of our industry and we are energized about what our future holds. Because of our industry's remarkable progress, NBFAA Strategic Planning and Executive Committees and its Board of Directors realize that the words "burglar and fire alarm" describe only a portion of the products and services our members, and the industry as a whole, provide. The words "burglar and fire alarm" limit our association's ability to increase membership among integration and supplier companies and, as a result, we are falling behind the trends of our industry. We need to address this issue now.
I would agree with this. Burglar is just an antiquated word in general. All I can think of is the Hamburglar, really, although I think McDonald's decided he was a bad idea a while ago. And, really, the idea of a burglar, like that guy dressed all in black in the Broadview commercials, is sort of an antiquated one. I don't think the methheads that are robbing your house bother with the all-black stuff anymore. They're not quite that coherent.
After many hours of discussion and reflection, the NBFAA Strategic Planning and Executive Committees and its Board of Directors voted unanimously to recommend an update of the association brand name. Strategically, we feel that a name change will strengthen our association and allow us to connect with a broader membership demographic.
Again, I mostly agree with this, but, on some level, what's in a name? There's been a lot of talk in the offices here about branding, considering Broadview's new name, Niscayah, TAC moving to Schneider, and now the NBFAA potentially making a switch. What do you lose in brand equity that you gain in a new message, etc.? In the cases of Broadview and Niscayah, they didn't really have a choice, and with TAC, it's not like that's a 20-year-old brand. But look at ASIS. Doesn't anybody think of them as the American Society for Industrial Security anymore (and did I even get that right? They don't even have the acronym spelled out on the Web site anymore)? I don't think so. Why couldn't the NBFAA just be the NBFAA and not worry so much what the letters stand for anymore? That way, they don't have to spend a bunch of money and effort on the rebrand, and the people they've been working for and lobbying to over past decades won't be confused. Just a thought.
We have produced an audio presentation regarding the name change which you can view at Should you have any comments or concerns, please email us at [email protected] by July 22. A vote of the general membership will be conducted (via mail) within the next 60 days.
They couldn't have just put that up on YouTube? Then I could have embedded it...
Our association is looking forward to a future of growth. I urge you, along with all of the members of the Strategic Planning and Executive Committees and NBFAA Board, to back this recommended update. Please support us in this endeavor as we work to strengthen the future of your association.
It's worth remembering that this vote could go awry. The last time they tried this, people rebelled. I'll keep you posted.


One comment on the quote from Mike Miller:

"The words “burglar and fire alarm” limit our association’s ability to increase membership among integration and supplier companies and, as a result, we are falling behind the trends of our industry."

If they want to attract more integrators and suppliers, I am not sure changing the name to "Electronic Security Association" is that helpful. The reality is most people are now looking at IP as the future so naming your association to be about "Electronics" makes the organization seem antiquated.

For what it's worth, originally I called my site "CCTV Market Info" but changed it because of concerns that the term CCTV appeared antiquated to many. The negative side effect of naming the site "IP Video Market Info" is that people think I am universally pro-IP. However, it's probably better than people thinking I am an outdated CCTV person.

Anyway, I think it's tricky and I am not sure there is a right solution.