MONI to Rebrand as Brink’s Home Security
Less than two years after rebranding, MONI has entered an exclusive trademark licensing agreement with The Brink’s Co.
Under terms of the agreement, the subsidiary of Ascent Capital Group (NASDAQ: ASCMA) will have exclusive use of all Brink’s trademarks related to the residential smart home and home security categories in the U.S and Canada, and Brink’s will receive minimum and growth-based royalties that will increase over time as the Brink’s Home Security brand is reintroduced.
Brink’s President and CEO Doug Pertz says, “For over 150 years, the Brink’s name has been synonymous with trust, safety and security. This agreement represents an exciting milestone that provides a foundation for us to further leverage an already powerful brand. With approximately one million subscribers, MONI is one of the largest and most reputable home security companies in the U.S. We look forward to helping them accelerate their growth as the new Brink’s Home Security. Our shareholders will benefit from the reintroduction of the Brink’s brand into this segment through increased brand equity and recurring royalty income.”
First-year royalties are expected to total approximately $5 million and could more than double if the business grows as planned. The agreement provides for an initial term of seven years and allows for subsequent renewal periods, subject to certain performance metrics, that extend the agreement beyond 20 years. The rollout of the Brink’s Home Security brand, which will result in a complete rebranding of MONI, is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018, according to an announcement.
Jeff Gardner, MONI’s president and CEO says, “A strong brand is critical in the new era of the smart home. Through this agreement with Brink’s, we will go to market with the number two nationally recognized home security brand that symbolizes strength, security and most importantly, trust. The Brink’s name provides us with a more dynamic growth profile and strengthens MONI’s position as a leader in the growing smart home security market. This is truly an exciting opportunity for our employees, customers, dealers and investors.”
SSI reached out to monitoring expert and SSI Columnist Peter Giacalone to get his reaction to the announcement. Giacalone says he was surprised but believes it could be beneficial for MONI due to the recognition of the Brink’s name. “It’s a brand that resonated well when they were in the business. I believe it will open up some significant opportunities for MONI from a marketing and sales perspective. May even become a strong tie in for their DIY business.”
When asked why Monitronics pulled the plug on MONI so fast, he says, “I would think it was more of moving on an opportunity. The MONI brand really had no great impact or history. It was a good thought at the time, but pales in comparison to resurrecting the Brink’s brand. I am a strong advocate of branding. I was both a licensee of Smith and Wesson and later in years a consultant for Smith and Wesson when we brought the brand back to security. This I believe is even a better use of a license arrangement.”
During a Q2 earnings call last year, Gardner said the company was on track to end 2017 with the highest percent of customers under an extended contract in the last three years. However, the company had to contend with a rising attrition rate.
It said it wanted to create “stickier” customers with new interactive services. For example, customers who subscribe to the company’s HomeTouch smart home services are proving to be more engaged and exhibit better attrition characteristics. It will be interesting to see how or if MONI’s offerings will change after the rebrand.
In 2008, Brink’s spun-off its home security division into what would eventually become Broadview Security. That was then acquired by Tyco Int’l for $2 billion in 2010 and then folded into ADT’s operations.
Anna Sliwon, research analyst at IHS Markit, tells SSI how the return of Brink’s may affect the market:
Brink’s Security, since its establishment in 1983 managed to become over the next 25 years a household name, capable of competing with ADT. In 2010 it had around 1.3 million subscribers which put it at a similar level to where MONI is now. When it was acquired by ADT in 2010, it helped solidify ADT’s number one position on the American home security and monitoring market. Even though Brink’s Security was then rebranded to Broadview, the sentiment of a familiar household brand still lingered on.
If the profit and growth plans expected from the licensing agreement realise, MONI will be able to compete with ADT on a better level. This may lead to price competition, which could improve overall residential market penetration in monitoring services. However, MONI finds itself increasingly competing against non-traditional entrants to the home security market such as Comcast, Time Warner and AT&T whose exposure to potential customers is enormous, and will present challenges of its own.
Sliwon also points out that the rebrand can essentially be seen as a less expensive form of marketing.
“The American public is very familiar with the ADT family of products which makes further market penetration difficult, without massive media and direct marketing efforts, which can be very expensive,” she says. “Rebranding to Brink’s can be seen as a practical decision that will allow MONI to capitalize on end users’ familiarity with Brink’s products and services, while allowing to continue their business’ positive results.”
SSI Senior Editor Rodney Bosch recently spoke to MONI’s president and CEO Jeff Gardner about how the deal went down. You can read all about it here.
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