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Key Branding Lessons from Security Companies

It’s no secret that home security isn’t the sexiest industry in the world. Homeowners who are in the market for home security are looking for protection, safety and peace of mind. And because home security is founded in the concept of stability, it does not lend itself so well to trendy, eye-catching advertisements.

In fact, the true image of a successful home security system is almost inherently boring: a family living their normal lives, carrying out their daily activities without drama or conflict. And while this might be the most realistic image of a successful home security system, it’s not a particularly thrilling one.

So how do home security companies advertise their products in a way that still draws attention from potential customers? Here are a couple key ways home security marketing campaigns take a seemingly vanilla product and engage consumers anyway.

• Emotions matter. Eliciting emotions to create compelling advertisements is a long-standing and powerful tactic. While some home security companies used to rely on scare tactics (imagine a commercial depicting a woman home alone when her security system stops a threatening intruder), many providers have moved away from fear to focus more on eliciting positive emotions instead. Although the purchase of a home security system isn’t likely to generate ecstatic joy or elation, it can still summon one important and persuasive feeling: empowerment. Home security companies use advertisements to emphasize the notion that purchasing a security system can be a proactive step, not just a reactive one. By portraying confident, comfortable, empowered homeowners, security companies are able to engage consumers without creating grim scenarios.

• It’s OK to focus on secondary features. The central foundation of home security is protection, but home security companies have recently used secondary features to grab the attention of consumers. Security systems are no longer simple bread-and-butter alarms; they include high-tech features like remote monitoring, home automation, and more. Even though the core of home security systems is still safety, security companies have proven that it is sometimes beneficial to focus on a product’s bells and whistles, especially when consumers are already very familiar with the product’s primary purpose. Since most homeowners already know what a security system does, it is beneficial to captivate their interest by displaying exciting new features that they may not have already known about.

• …but still stay true to the product. Even though the consumer perspective on home security may be growing more sophisticated, it is important for advertisers to still remain loyal to their company’s overall brand image. At the end of the day, consumers looking for home security want a product they can trust, not just one that will turn heads.

Michelle Smith is a marketing guru and freelance writer. She can be found writing in her home in sunny Boca Raton, Florida. Michelle encourages your feedback via email.

“ASAP” Means Absolutely Nothing

ASAP Image

“Can you send me that thing ASAP?”

I’ve been asked that before. I’ve also asked it myself. It sounds silly in writing, but it’s a common request in the workplace. While “ASAP” may seem important, it’s a key component to an empty request. “As Soon As Possible” may mean you want it delivered within the hour but to your coworker it may mean you want it within the week. You have no concrete proof that this person will actually deliver on what you are asking within a certain timeframe. Nor that it will be done correctly.

Still skeptical?

I sat in a team workshop (what I often refer to as “a warm and fuzzy”) called “Conversation for Action” and was skeptical too. Were we really about to spend an hour learning how to ask a request? But I will be the first to admit that the impact was very real.

Since the workshop I’ve reshaped my every request and have since then seen three tangible deadlines met—photos taken for an eblast, an edited brand platform, and a designed brand architecture—in only three days of putting this new practice to the test. Previously these requests had a 50 percent chance of being fulfilled, and felt like pulling teeth.

So how do you make a request that actually sticks? And on the flip side, how do you build trust with your coworkers to ensure that requests are met? Start here.

1. Request with purpose.
Ask like this: “I request that you ________ BY ___________.” This makes it very clear that you need something by a specific time. Create a shared concern, give context around your request, share details that may seem obvious to you but may not be obvious to your coworker. Ask in person versus email if possible. Then ensure a confirmation.

2. Honor your word.
If you say yes to the request, then meet the request or the moment something interferes, communicate it.

3. Treat your requester like a client.
You always want a satisfied client. When you complete the request, follow up to ensure satisfaction.

Give it a shot and while you experience the results, I request that you “Like” this blog by end of the week.

Conversation for Action Workshop

Pathos in advertising

Proctor & Gamble’s 2014 Sochi Olympics ‘Thank You, Mom’ Commercial nails it on the head with an appeal to the audience emotions. I would say it’s the first tear jerker in 2014 for sure. Frankly, I didn’t think it would get any better than the the Apple “Misunderstood” holiday ad that came at us full force starting in early December 2013 (also below). Both Weiden + Kennedy (P&G) and TBWA Worldwide (Apple) deserve a hat’s off and a hardy handshake for making us remember the importance of family, as well as doing a fantastic job of enhancing brand equity for both products lines in such a subtle, yet elegant and emotional way.

Proctor and Gamble Ad

Apple Ad

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