The security industry is a-changing, and those who have been around for a while are starting to change with it. Electric Guard Dog, which offers surveillance services and is best known for its electric security fences, is changing its name to AMAROK after carrying the Electric Guard Dog name since 1991.
To learn more about the rename, and the other ways in which Electric Guard Dog is changing, SDM spoke with CEO Mark Wesley and Vice President of Sales and Marketing Mike Dorrington.
SDM: What are the origins of Electric Guard Dog?
VP of Sales and Marketing Mike Dorrington: We started off about 30 years ago as an actual guard dog business. We were the largest guard dog company in the eastern United States, and the interesting thing is that this business model, the RMR, is the model we still use. But our evolution is really a great story. After being successful in the guard dog business, we kept getting broken into time and time again. They would take all kinds of things — even damage the animals. Our owner at the time, Bill Mullis, was a bit of an engineer, and he created an electric security fence to put around his property. After he realized that worked and his problems went away, his neighbors started calling and asking what he did. Bill decided we were getting out of the guard dog business and going into the electric guard dog business. After successfully running that business for years, Bill went through a modernization and we evolved into a company that not only provides electric security fencing — and one of the best in the world at it — but we also evolved into some other areas and modernized our business, and that’s the evolution that we are in today.
SDM: Can you go into detail about how you’ve evolved since then?
CEO Mark Wesley: Bill stepped down from the business eight or nine years ago, so a couple of private equity firms have owned us, and we’ve seen extensive growth since. The fences we had 20 years ago are a lot different from the ones we put up today; we have more of an ability to communicate, collect data and understand how to keep property safe, not just put up a physical barrier. We've really grown and evolved since then. Our ability to keep our customers safe has never been a question, but the technology that we use to help them stay safe and keep on top of their property has definitely evolved and changed over the years.
SDM: How has the perimeter security market evolved over the years?
MW: I think the evolution of Electric Guard Dog, along with the perimeter security market, has proved the importance of innovating and coming up with new technologies to help customers combat crime. We still view our solutions as the only solution that truly stops criminals from getting on our customers’ property, so we still feel like we’re greatly differentiated from the rest of the market. We aren’t just there to film who’s coming on your property, or detect who’s coming on your property and sound an alarm. Our purpose is to stop criminals, and prevent them from ever getting on our customers’ property.
SDM: Can you talk about the rebrand?
MW: We are changing the name of the company from Electric Guard Dog to AMAROK. We had heard a lot of feedback informally from our sales force, employees and customers that our name is confusing to some people. Especially for people that had never heard of our company, when you told them the name, a lot thought of invisible dog fences for residential purposes, electric robots, even robot dogs — it just caused a lot of confusion and we felt like we needed a name that wasn’t confusing to people, and gave them the wrong idea of what we did. We also wanted a name that communicated we were more than just the electric fence. We have electric fences and other security products, all designed to keep criminals off property, but we are now providing cameras, lighting, sirens and other products. I think that some people perceived our old name as being slightly gimmicky, and we wanted to eliminate that and be perceived as more progressive and innovative. We are changing our name but we aren’t changing who we are. We’ll still position ourselves as the company that stops criminals from getting on our customers’ property and that will not change, and the electric fence will remain as our core product. In fact we’re keeping the name as the name of our electric fence product — we aren’t changing that.
SDM: Will you be rolling out a new marketing campaign along with this rebrand?
MD: We will refresh our marketing efforts to be more appealing to a broader geographic target, but also new industries that we have started to penetrate, like distribution, construction, oil and gas.
SDM: Will the company be expanding as well?
MW: We have been expanding our team over the years as we continue to grow rapidly. Overall our business is growing and we’re adding resources to our core team. We just added a director of product management because as we continue to offer a broader suite of services and products to our customers, we felt the need to add someone to oversee the management of those different products.
MD: We’re also for the first time investing in a director of product marketing to tell our broader story, so we’ve made a lot of inroads with those two additions.
MW: The other area we’re investing heavily in is our national council organization. We are selling more to bigger and more sophisticated companies and putting together national account programs that cut across all their locations.
SDM: What can we expect from AMAROK in the future?
MW: Our big goal is to be the ultimate perimeter security company in North America. When people think of perimeter security, we want them to think of AMAROK, and that nothing and nobody protects their property like AMAROK does. That’s going to be done with the electric fence remaining as our core, but also offering other enhancements to make it an even stronger solution.
SDM: What sort of enhancements?
MD: We offer, outside of the Electric Guard Dog, a series of perimeter protection products that can both stand alone and enhance that product, things like perimeter detection systems that have more of a sensor capability. We also have access control services where we go into the building instead of just the perimeter, and then we also have access control at the gates that allow entry and exits based on remote monitoring. In addition, we offer a full suite of video surveillance products and a group of services that will light the perimeter for greater visibility.
SDM: Will AMAROK be at ISC West this year?
MW: Yes we’re actually going to co-exhibit with Asylon, a drone company, at booth #3109. We are in an informal partnership with them at a customer site, and see a lot of synergies in the way we are protecting the perimeter. We see this as a good way to tell that story to a broader market.
Learn more about AMAROK at www.amarok.com.