MONI CEO Jeff Gardner Discusses Rebrand to BRINKS
On December 26, 2017, MONI, ranked No. 4 on the SDM 100, announced it would be completely rebranding its MONI Smart Security and LiveWatch brands to BRINKS Home Security.
Since then, SDM spoke with MONI’s President and CEO Jeff Gardner about the coming change.
SDM: Tell me a little bit about BRINKS history in home security.
Gardner: BRINKS used to be in home security in a very big way. They were the No. 2 provider of home security in the U.S., and BRINKS is a company that has been around for 150 years, so they have a lot of tradition.
They sold their business to ADT in 2010, but they retained the rights to the brand and they were prohibited from using the brand name for a five year period, so from 2011 to 2016 because of their arrangement with ADT they were unable to use the brand in the home security space. That expired at the end of ’16, and they were looking for opportunities — what should they do with this brand that they still owned — and that’s how we came together.
SDM: What does the BRINKS brand mean to the industry today?
Gardner: Testing is pretty strong. We did a lot of research on their brand; they came to us and said, ‘We’re still the No. 2 brand in the space; our consumer awareness is 80 percent.’ This category is getting more and more crowded with Amazon, Nest, SimpliSafe, Vivint and others, to name a few, and then this is without a question, the No. 2 brand in the space with very high brand awareness.
We’re going to market today with MONI, and we were building a nice direct-to-consumer business, but that was with only 4 percent brand awareness. So we’re going to be much more successful with the BRINKS brand.
SDM: What are some synergies the MONI and BRINKS have and how will the move benefit MONI?
Gardner: It is a partnership. We’re going to work together to maximize growth. We define success by MONI, now BRINKS, growing a lot faster. So to the extent we grow faster, BRINKS makes more money.
BRINKS does business with other businesses. They are a B2B player, and our business is B2C, or business to consumer. So it’s a good match, plus the imagery you think about when you think about a BRINKS armored car with guards is not unhelpful to us in the security business — it makes sense that we are going in on this together.
SDM: How extensive will the rebrand be?
Gardner: Today we have two brands within MONI; we have MONI, our professional install brand, and then we have the DIY business called LifeWatch. We’re going to rebrand both those businesses to BRINKS, and you’ll never hear us talking about MONI or LiveWatch further; it will be 100 percent BRINKS.
SDM: When can we expect this to take place?
Gardner: We’re going to [switch the branding to BRINKS] in the second quarter. I can’t be precise because we’re still working on it, but definitely in the second quarter.
SDM: Who initiated the partnership?
Gardner: We were interested in the BRINKS brand, but the first meeting, I think, they actually called us, and we met here at the MONI headquarters with their CEO.
SDM: Does this move signal any major changes in MONI’s operational strategy?
Gardner: It’s much more than a name change for us; we’re going to take this opportunity to really look at how we go to market. I think we already do a great job for our customers responding to alarms faster than anyone in the industry, and I think that plays well with the BRINKS brand.
We’re going to try to really simplify our offering — to make it very simple, regardless if you buy it in our dealer channel or a do-it-yourself channel. We’re going to give customers the choice as to whether they want a professional installation or if they want to install it themselves, and we’re going to even go further in terms of making BRINKS easy to do business with.
SDM: You spoke earlier about maximizing growth. How will the BRINKS brand help grow your company?
Gardner: We’re trying to grow our dealer channel; this brand [BRINKS] in the dealer network is very powerful, and I think we have the best dealer program in the industry. So it takes away one of the big objections to moving over to our company in a direct way.
Dealers from BRINKS will be able to get leads from us directly, something they can’t from other people in the industry, and we think that the lead generation capability from BRINKS is going to be important.
So it’s really going to allow us to grow our business much faster.
The dealers are going to get leads, and if you think about our dealers going directly to customers’ homes, if they’re a part of BRINKS as opposed to a part of MONI — MONI is a great company, but we have 4 or 5 percent brand awareness; BRINKS has 80 percent brand awareness.
SDM: Was the goal to make this announcement before ISC West?
Gardner: We really wanted to get this done ahead of ISC; that’s our No. 1 recruiting opportunity for new dealers, and I think we can really make some noise with this new brand.
In fact, all our dealers are in Dallas this week for our annual convention called MONI|X, so we’re going to be able to have face-to-face meetings regarding our strategy with BRINKS directly with our dealers this week.