Monitronics, a subsidiary of Ascent Capital Group Inc. and ranked No. 4 on the SDM 100, unveiled its new name — “MONI,” and will enhance its dealer model by selling directly to consumers.
Monitronics has been around since 1994, and until now has consciously chosen to be the brand behind the scenes. Bruce Mungiguerra, senior vice president of operations at MONI, described the company as being the “secret sauce” behind the company’s network of about 600 or so independent alarm dealers that are handling the sales, marketing and installation for the customers it acquires. The dealers also help with routine service for those customers down the road.
The purpose behind that model, said Mungiguerra, was to let the independent brands and the regional brands take center stage and be that local provider in the community that people still want to do business with. “And that will still be a big part of our strategy going forward too,” Mungiguerra said. But he emphasized that although MONI has rebranded, it isn’t really a model change so much as a model enhancement. “We’re just now going to flavor some of that in with some direct-to-consumer sales and marketing, which will drive leads and additional accounts for our dealers, as the majority of what we generate, we will still pass on to our dealers.”
Mungiguerra explained the company’s decision to make the change in branding and methods was the result of the company’s commitment to be cutting edge and relevant. “The idea started by us thinking about our [former] model of being 100 percent focused on the dealer network, and thinking, ‘What else can we do in addition to continuing to grow and recruit new dealers into our program? What else can we do to attract new customers into our program?’ And we started talking a lot about partnership programs; we started talking about direct-to-consumer marketing, and as we started down that path, we said, ‘Well, is now the time to think about who we are and what our name is?’ We want to be the new technology smart home security company, and that’s where the decision was made to change the name and put all our efforts around the new brand.”
Mungiguerra said MONI will focus on evolving as rapidly as possible to service dealers and customers better. “In addition to the new brand, our association with the new brand will be ‘MONI Smart Security.’ In the new era of smart home security, we want to make sure we are ahead of that and our customers and future prospects are well aware of that.”
MONI intends to accomplish these goals by developing a stronger reputation, offering better products and services, creating stronger package offerings for its dealers to sell, and establishing strong regeneration partnership programs. MONI has begun creating these partnership programs with its recently announced national partnership with AARP and an upcoming 11-state regional partnership with AAA. Mungiguerra said these partnerships will bring more awareness to MONI and will build more leads for partners and dealers. “We want people to think of MONI when they think of security and see us as a provider of smart security products that takes safety as a priority and has a focus on the connected home.”
In addition to bringing more leads for dealers, Mungiguerra explained MONI will provide home security solutions that can be delivered to the customers and are simple, personalized to their needs and immediately useable. “We want to make sure our backend platforms are easily adaptable to new products and services,” he said, “and with the rebrand, the emphasis is really going to be around the end consumer. To get there, we have to provide the right support through our dealers.”
Mungiguerra said when customers see MONI as the trusted security technology advisor, “that will help our network of dealers and help support them in their regional efforts to provide consumer education on home security solutions backed up by their brand and the MONI brand.”