In February 2016, Diebold Security, one of the largest security providers in North America, became part of Securitas AB, an $8 billion plus global provider of guarding and other security services and solutions. The result was the formation of Securitas Electronic Security Inc., a North American electronic security organization within the Securitas family of businesses. Bringing these two prominent brands together provided a significant opportunity for the business and its customers and took a well-thought-out and executed marketing plan for a brand transition.
From early on, the Securitas Electronic Security (SES) team sprang into action to begin crafting a thoroughly comprehensive plan to stand up the business and rebrand the organization. The Securitas transaction was quite unique: Instead of a cost synergy model where the primary goal is to reduce operating costs through office closures, layoffs and other cost reductions, the Securitas model was based on commercial synergies by growing the business — building out infrastructure and talent, and making additional investments.
With a bright future, an exciting transition for customers and associates, and a new day for the security industry, SES set out to blaze a new trail. SES would not only be able to leverage its competencies in electronic security integration with coast-to-coast monitoring capabilities, but now, its customers would benefit from the added breadth of highly developed core Securitas offerings including on-site, remote and mobile guarding, fire and safety, and corporate risk management.
“We knew this was going to be something special for customers and transformative for the industry, a truly holistic approach to protective services,” said Tony Byerly, president, Securitas Electronic Security. “We tasked our strategy and marketing team to implement a brand transition plan that would be built on strong communication and the seamless transition of the company to Securitas from Diebold.”
Brand Philosophy and Implementation
Securitas is an iconic name in the security industry. It is one of the largest, most recognizable security brands in the world. Globally, it’s known for its comprehensive protective services. With the formation of Securitas Electronic Security Inc., Securitas solidified its electronic security capabilities in North America. It was a strategic and logical decision to move forward with the legal entity of Securitas Electronic Security, bringing together the strength of the Securitas reputation with the expertise of one of the largest commercial electronic security companies in North America.
“Customers have been delighted to continue working with the same great people, customer service and personal attention they had before the transition to Securitas. It has also been very reassuring to them that Securitas has been committed to a smooth and seamless transition during the rebranding of the company,” Byerly said.
A new brand transition is a significant undertaking and requires a tremendous amount of coordination and actions, much like a large-scale enterprise security project. SES has long embraced a centralized, programmatic approach to project delivery. The process relies on well-orchestrated planning, consistency, cross-functional communication and an overall focus on delivering project excellence to customers.
This methodology has produced countless successful results for SES and was the approach the marketing team used for rebranding the entire business to Securitas — including the initial step of developing a transition logo, the relaunch of the company’s digital presence and marketing collateral, and the implementation of a new branded vehicle fleet and company uniforms.
The brand implementation was planned as a 12-month process to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for SES customers and associates. The marketing team, led by Terrie Ipson, director, marketing and Mindi McCracken, manager, marketing & communications, worked with the Securitas Integration Management Office (IMO) team that is responsible for the separation from Diebold and integration into Securitas, including members of the Securitas North America leadership team.
“The IMO team led the process to ensure that the separation and integration was successful for all customer-facing and back office implementation activities,” said Felix Gonzales, senior vice president, strategy & business development, Securitas Electronic Security. “These integration activities were focused on our five customer touchpoints: account management, installation, service, monitoring and billing.”
With the rebranding plan in place, a carefully coordinated roll-out plan was devised. Scheduled in phases, the plan introduced new customer-facing elements throughout the 12-month transition timeline. The rebranding to Securitas was approached as a marathon, not a sprint. With the rare opportunity to build out the brand transition from the ground up, SES relied on two fundamental elements to achieve success — strategy and time.
The strategy centered on creating an overarching timeline establishing what should be accomplished quickly and what should be done over time. On day one, a new transition Securitas Electronic Security logo was launched, the SecuritasES.com website was in place, and new email signature blocks and voicemail recordings greeted customers as “Securitas Electronic Security, formerly Diebold Security.”
Beyond day one activities, larger scale rebranding exercises followed over the next several months including rebranding of the company’s fleet, company uniforms, ID badges, business cards, signage, billing statements, tradeshow properties, marketing collateral and more. The implementation of new standalone back office systems and IT infrastructure was also happening during this time to transition off Diebold’s systems and support. The marketing team supported this effort by rebranding hundreds of electronic pages and reports within these systems.
Customer communication on the brand transformation was critically important to provide the details, process and timing of changes taking place at SES. Branding messages crafted by the marketing team were delivered personally from the sales account teams, as well as via email and direct mail from SES senior leadership. In addition, public relations and advertising plans were also developed to support the phased brand transition.
A “dual-to-single” brand strategy was employed. This approach ensured that customers understood that the same great company would continue to provide their security services and that the transition would take place over time and be seamless to them. Dual branding, leveraging both iconic Diebold Security and Securitas brands, continued for several months followed by a gradual phase to the Securitas brand culminating with the 2016 ASIS International Seminar & Exhibits in Orlando, Fla.
The marketing team coordinated internal rebranding communication by providing frequent notices, detailed instructions and updates to SES associates. This process allowed associates to ask questions, provide feedback and keep everyone informed and comfortable with the pace of the rebranding. SES associates are ambassadors of the brand and needed to be knowledgeable and comfortable with the process to support messaging to customers.
With the strong entry into electronic security in North America, Securitas needed to balance an already well-known name with new electronic security expertise, technology competencies, and coast-to-coast delivery capabilities. Thus, Securitas Electronic Security Inc. was born. With a thoughtful and strategic dual-to-single brand plan, a successful transition from one iconic brand to another has been achieved.