Reaching the Pinnacle of Brand Messaging

Winners of the 16th annual SAMMY Awards reaffirm how creative and cost-effective sales and marketing techniques power business success. Learn who won in each category and pick up great ideas for your own company.

[IMAGE]12148[/IMAGE]Amherst Alarm
Best Sales Brochure
Sponsored by Tri-Ed/Northern Video

Telling the Whole Story Behind a Company Name

 For potential customers in Western New York who may not be familiar with Amherst Alarm, there is much more to the company than its name can ever suggest. Thus the sales brochure plays an important role in helping spread the Buffalo-based company’s message about its diverse portfolio.

SAMMY judges selected Amherst’s eight-page, full-color residential sales brochure, in part, for its neatly organized images of homeowners and family members interacting with technologies and services offered by the company. Among them were home theater, computer networking, security, telecommunications, home automation, lighting control and more.

“Our sales brochure helps convey to the customer all of the different things that we have the capability of doing for them,” says Tim Creenan, owner and founder of the company. “Sometimes people look at our name — Amherst Alarm — and they might not think we can do things beyond a basic security system. So we try to use the brochure as an example of the different types of systems we do and to try to show a little bit of the quality that we do with them.”

Amherst works with a graphics designer to produce its sales brochures; however, the concept remains simple and straightforward. The images of upper-scale residences do most of the “talking” while an emphasis is placed on word economy. 

“We don’t want to be writing an encyclopedia. It will be the very rare customer who would go into all that,” Creenan says. “We are about visual images and hot buttons we think people are going to be interested in, and getting the concepts down, not the specifics.”

Along with being used as a helpful tool on sales calls, Amerherst distributes its sales brochures at various home and garden shows, business networking events, as well as chamber of commerce programs.

Amherst doesn’t spend a lot time hashing out budgets and allocations where its sales brochure and other marketing collateral is concerned. Instead, Creenan takes a highly black-and-white approach to it all.

“The real answer is we are a zero budget company. If it make sense and it looks good to us, and we think it can make money for us, then we will do it,” he says. “That is the way we operate.”

[IMAGE]12149[/IMAGE]Protection 1
Best Company Logo Design
Sponsored by ISC Expo

The No. ‘1’ Rule of Rebranding

As it revamps its image, Romeoville, Ill.-based Protection 1 has made a tiny, but significant, difference to its name. (Hint: “1” replaces “One”). So, what prompted the change?

“When the new management team came onboard June 4, 2010, we wanted to take a fresh look at Protection 1,” says the company’s chief marketing and customer experience officer, Jamie Haenggi. “We decided that using ‘1’ in our name would be important because it will guide everything that we do.”

With the slight name change, it was necessary for the company to create a new logo, which helped Protection 1 earn the Best Company Logo Design SAMMY Award.

Before designing the new logo, Protection 1 executives sent 8-foot X 8-foot boards to all of its 65 branches and asked its more than 2,500 employees to illustrate what they believed the company represented. After three weeks, the management team reviewed the feedback and began talks with its advertising agency, Z Graphics, to develop a new design.

Haenggi says there was some mixed feedback from employees about changing the name to Protection 1. However, once executives explained that using the “1” would help drive new initiatives, employees jumped onboard.

One of the new initiatives includes one-day service, which means the Protection 1 team will arrive at a customer’s establishment on the same day the client calls for service. The “one ring, live person” program eliminates the use of an automated attendant; instead a customer call will be answered on the first ring by a live call center employee. Lastly, the company has launched a “one-touch” center to service all its national accounts.

The logo redesign has also prompted the company to revamp its sales support materials and Web site.

“We changed the URL to our site and gave it a facelift,” says Haenggi. “In doing that, we had to make sure we had our 301 redirects in place, kind of like our forwarding address.”

As it rolls out, customers are pleased with the new look, although Haenggi points out that most of the positive feedback is a result of Protection 1’s service. “As great as our new logo is, a logo has never sold anything. It’s all about the brand and the experience that our employees create.”

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