So I’m watching the NFL Network, my go-to channel during football season, and up pops a commercial with former QB great Dan Marino. I don’t pay much attention because I figure it’s another one of the spots he has done for some time for NutriSystem where he talks about how he has slimmed down, yada, yada, yada. However, this was different ... it was for a security system. It was for a new company called LifeShield Security, which as it turns out is directed by the former CEO of NutriSystem, Michael Hagen. Strange bedfellows indeed.
“Formerly called InGrid Home Security, LifeShield is also the first national, professional grade and professionally monitored wireless security system that is easy to set up through a simple ‘plug and protect’ process. LifeShield also boasts superior protection as well as being the best value in home security,” reads a press release from the company, which recently raised $11 million in investment capital. The release also states: “LifeShield offers all of the services of the major national home security brands, in an industry-first wireless platform, and at half the price.” It also quotes Hagan as saying, “There is a huge opportunity to deliver cost savings back to consumers who have been getting slammed by national security companies for years, simply because there was no affordable, trustworthy option.”
Wow, them’s fighting words! The company’s brazen approach includes a promotion on the home page of its Web site that reads: “Don’t be fooled by ADT! Pay less ... get more!” It offers $199 and $299 residential DIY kits with free shipping and monitoring priced at $29.99 per month that can be easily ordered via online, and requires no annual contract. In an intriguing alliance, Pittsburgh-based Guardian Protection Services provides the monitoring services.
In the TV commercial, Marino says how with LifeShield there is “No pushy salesperson and no technican in your home.” Hmm, didn’t like him much as a Miami Dolphin and this ain’t helping. He claims to be a LifeShield customer and maybe he is, but do you really think a celebrity with his kind of money foregoes enlisting a true security specialist to ensure the protection of his wealth and loved ones? Kind of doubt it. Plus it’s one thing as a former athlete to pitch weight loss and fitness products but security? Please. If you are going to go the celebrity route it would surely make more sense to use one associated in some way with security or safety. It’s called credibility.
As an industry professional, does LifeShield Security or its approach scare you? Is it a legitimate threat? Could this be the wave of the future in the residential marketplace? Do the company’s tactics irritate you?
In my opinion, campaigns like this can be flipped on their ears in that they can be beneficial to the entire industry by creating heightened awareness about security among consumers nationwide in a way beyond the reach of most professional providers. The main way to combat a go-to-market strategy such as this is to deliver superior customer service and custom-tailored solutions. Stress value, responsiveness and expertise while charging a fair price and you should do just fine. I also have a hunch that professionally installed systems tend to have fewer false alarms than DIY systems.
If you play your cards right, at the end of the day this situation could be anagolous to Marino being intercepted and having the ball taken back the other way for a touchdown. Take a look at the video and let me know what you think and where you stand.