MONI rebrands to BRINKS – how it happened
Even though the purchasing of intruder alarm systems and smart security systems is increasingly a lifestyle-related choice, rather than based purely on the security and safety needs of the end user, the majority of customers purchasing intruder alarms are usually approached by a security provider or dealer when they move to a new area or through direct home advertising. This requires significant investment in targeted marketing activities which can quickly eat into company profits. MONI has traditionally relied on the dealer channel to reach their customers, which often meant that the end user didn’t know it was MONI who provided them with the products and services. This prevented MONI from capitalising on its access to existing customers, and restricted the potential growth.
If we look back at Monitronics activities over the past several years, we will notice a continuing effort to generate more sales and improve their presence in the market, through a variety of means. In 2013 it acquired a Florida-based monitoring services provider SecureWorks, which had 225 dealers and 195,000 accounts at the time. Then in 2015 the company acquired LiveWatch, a provider of DIY interactive and home automation services, with over 32,000 accounts across the USA. Then in 2016 the company rebranded from Monitronics to MyMoni in an attempt to establish itself as a user-friendly, household brand that puts customers at the centre of their business focus. However, to achieve that, MONI had to invest significant resources into running commercials in the media in order to get in front of their potential future customers. ADT’s large marketing budget and nation-wide presence is not easy to compete with, which poses difficulties in penetrating the market, let alone trying to convert ADT customers to MONI’s products. Soon after, in September 2016 the company announced it has started selling directly to end users. As recently as November 2017 it announced that it is able to offer professional monitoring to Google Nest Secure line of products, which is going to significantly improve awareness of MONI’s brand among Google Customers. BRINKS licensing deal will have further benefits for raising MONI’s public image, while requiring relatively small financial investment.
The household brand
Brink Security, since its establishment in 1983 managed to become over the next 25 years a household name, capable of competing with ADT. In 2010 it had around 1.3 million subscribers which put it at a similar level to where MONI is now. When it was acquired by ADT in 2010, it helped solidify ADT’s number one position on the American home security and monitoring market. Even though BRINKS Security was then rebranded to Broadview, the sentiment of a familiar household brand still lingered on. If the profit and growth plans expected from the licensing agreement realise, MONI will be able to compete with ADT on a better level. This may lead to price competition, which could improve overall residential market penetration in monitoring services. However, MONI finds itself increasingly competing against non-traditional entrants to the home security market such as Comcast, Time Warner and AT&T whose exposure to potential customers is enormous, and will present challenges of its own.
When Monitronics rebranded to MONI they wanted to create a brand that would resonate with the end user better, would be more modern, and better reflect the product and service types offered by Monitronics. The purchasing patterns for security systems have changed in recent years, and more and more customers are now doing their research into available providers before reaching out for quotes. MONI was considered a name that is much more capable at catching end users attention when promoting smart home and other connected technology products. The company also focused significantly on building good relationships with their customers, leading to them winning Customer Excellence Award twice in 2016 and 2017. However, the American public is very familiar with the ADT family of products which makes further market penetration difficult, without massive media and direct marketing efforts, which can be very expensive. Rebranding to BRINKS can be seen as a practical decision that will allow MONI to capitalise on end users familiarity with BRINKS products and services, while allowing to continue their business’ positive results. In 2017 MONI reported to have reduced their attrition rates for the second consecutive year.