Alarm industry markets itself as more than alarms

Nashville, Tenn. -- The Electronic Security Association (ESA) wants to help its membership lead the charge in terms of marketing security and home connection services. Facing competition from new providers marketing the sales of intrusion alarm systems along with features such as remote home systems control, the ESA revealed today the launch of its SECURE+ initiative, which is designed "to showcase the range of services ESA member companies have been providing for quite some time."

The program was developed hand-in-hand with monitoring firms, alarm dealers and product manufacturers, and was introduced by Interlogix's residential business leader Kirk MacDowell to the crowd at ESA's annual membership meeting and luncheon during the ESX tradeshow in Nashville, Tenn.

The program is designed around a shield-like SECURE+ logo that the ESA is encouraging members to display on their website and on their service vehicles and any other location where they conduct their marketing. The shield logo markets the full-feature of technology services as "connect, protect and control." The logo is designed to be a seal of acceptance from the Electronic Security Association that the company is capable of providing the full suite of home technology services asked for by today's buyers.

MacDowell said that the SECURE+ marketing program "brings manufacturers, service providers and dealers together for the first time for an industry marketing program." The message, he continued, is that consumers can find "security, life safety and lifestyle all from the same service provider they already trust."

In an interview with, MacDowell said that besides having members display the SECURE+ branding prominently, the association will have to market the brand to consumers directly to make it most effective. He said that two-pronged approach -- dealers using the brand and direct consumer marketing of the brand -- is what will lead to success. He added that ESA is in a uniquie position to effect the strategy because its website can help link residential security and control technology buyers with ESA's member dealers.

Others in the industry said that while the program makes business sense, time will tell if the industry will put the support behind the program to make it effective, or whether it will be a program like the well-intentioned "IQ Installation Quality" program, which is largely only known in the industry, and which unfortunately hasn't been recognized by consumers. "If they want to make this like a 'Got Milk?' type of industry marketing program, they will have to put a national marketing budget behind it, maybe 10 cents from the sale of every alarm panel," said one industry insider who asked to remain anonymous. Most persons spoke with about the program said that the program was needed lest the security industry be perceived as only delivering burglar and fire alarm systems.

ESA is already out of the gate with financial pledges for support of the program from companies such as Interlogix,, Telguard, AE Ventures, Moon Security and Smoky Mountain Systems.

In addition to the marketing, the program features an awards program that will present a life safety award for innovative use of interactive services in a life safety situation; a "peace of mind" award for interactive services that connect family members, a "protect and connect" award for interactive services related to burglar and intrusion, a "sustainable lifestyle" award for installations that reduce energy consumption, and an "I love my pet" award for protecting family pets.