Congratulations! You have managed to look just like every other security company.
After three years in the security industry, we are still amazed about how often security companies ask us for our opinion about their logo, advertisement or marketing campaign, which looks no different from their competitors’. As we learn more about their story — how they began and what makes them different — it rarely comes across in their marketing.
We get it. Within this great industry that we have come to love, we understand there is tradition and a certain way things have been done for years, and we respect that. But in a world where the 800-pound gorillas are beginning to dominate and in an era where your potential customers have been programmed to tune out more than 90 percent of any marketing effort put in front of them, don’t you think it’s about time to start doing things differently? Maybe think outside the octagon?
If playing it safe and wanting to look like every other security company is OK with you, then go ahead and turn this page; you’ve succeeded! On the other hand, if standing out from your competitors and gaining an edge on them is what you seek, then continue on, young Padawan.
First, let’s begin with your logo. If the ‘80s are calling and want their logo back, then it may be time to consider a rebrand. But we have so much equity in our logo is probably the first thing that comes to mind, right? Your logo is one of the first introductions to an end user researching your security company.
Second, why not create a brand that is different? We convinced one of our clients to take a new approach with their red-and-black logo by recreating it in hot pink. That’s right. When was the last time you saw a pink van driving down the street? Probably never — and that’s the whole point. Forever will those who laid eyes on that pink van remember their brand, talk about it to others over coffee, and guess what? Who do you think will be top-of-mind when that person looks into purchasing a home alarm system? Be different; believe in the purple cow.
If you do not think redesigning your logo is ever going to happen, then at least think outside the octagon when it comes to your messaging. Visit any website and read the taglines. More than likely you will see the same ones: Over 15 years experience! Best customer support! We care about our clients! Do you think any of these headlines stand out from the competition?
We have helped clients penetrate verticals with direct mail — not by using typical headlines, but with a thought-provoking question about their biggest challenges. For example, recently a client tasked us with penetrating the education industry so we created a campaign with headlines that included, “An emergency is about to happen on your campus! Are you prepared to protect what matters most? What is your strategy?” The creative was a campus in black and white with different students in color, letting them stand out. This campaign worked well for the security company. Being different by posing the right question to the target audience generated more response than any other direct mail campaign they have ever done.
In another example, a security dealer was contracted by a homebuilder to pre-install alarm systems in new construction homes. Their problem was they had a very low percentage monitoring-activation rate even though the builder allowed the security company to put a sticker on the panel. After meeting with our creative team, we came up with a bright red rack card that was mounted behind the actual panel that was not easy to remove. The message said “Warning! This alarm system is not being monitored. In the event of an emergency the authorities will not be notified.” Within just the first month they gained an additional eight new clients — a nearly 40 percent increase from the prior month. With just a little bit of the purple cow beliefs, they were generating more RMR. (See www.SDMmag.com/articles/89936-marketing-madmen-and-our-big-fat-purple-cow-beliefs.)
If “new” scares you, then try changing your message in smaller increments. Instead of 5,000 direct mail pieces, try only 500 with an out-of-the-octagon idea. Just be different from your competitors!
David Morgan and Alex Chavez are co-founders of Security Dealer Marketing, a full-service marketing agency for the security industry, servicing dealers, integrators, manufacturers and other industry professionals. Visit Security Dealer Marketing at www.sdmktg.com.