Samsung Techwin America on Friday announced that the company will officially be changing its name in North America to Hanwha Techwin America effective April 1, 2016. The move comes less than two years after South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group purchased a controlling stake in the company from its former parent Samsung Electronics.
“While our name is changing, the innovation, quality and reliability of our products will remain the same,” said Soon Hong Ahn, president, Hanwha Techwin America. “The same is true for our factories, sales companies and channel partners which remain unchanged – Hanwha Techwin America will continue to offer the best in value and performance to the professional surveillance and security industry.”
Tom Cook, the company’s vice president of sales for North America, said in a press conference Friday that while the company name will change over, its products, at least for now, will retain the Samsung brand.
“We are co-owners of the Samsung brand. At this point… all of our products are branded as Samsung and that will continue,” said Cook. “As we look to the future, it will be our decision going forward whether or not we keep the Samsung brand on our products or we decide to change it to something else.”
Cook conceded, however, that eventually they do want to make products under their own brand. “The Samsung brand does carry some weight in the consumer mentality when you talk to end-users and consultants. When we went through this transaction, we negotiated that it is up to us (when we will transition),” said Cook. “As you go through transitions like this, you want to make sure you don’t hurt your company from a standpoint of sales and momentum. It will be our decision when to do that and when it’s the right time.”
Cook said the reason the company decided to announce the rebrand now instead of waiting closer to the official date was to make sure all of their dealers were aware of the change heading into its dealer summit over weekend, as well to have some time to promote it in advance of this year’s ISC West show. From an organizational perspective, however, Cook said everything will pretty much be business as usual.
“Basically, everything else stays the same; our R&D, manufacturing, facilities, and sales and marketing structuring overseas and in America. We feel it’s a very exciting time for us as we move into the Hanwha Corporation and we want to promote that going forward,” added Cook.
Cook doesn’t believe the name change will lead to any confusion within the marketplace because the Samsung brand remains in place on the products for now and also because people equate the company with being one of the standard-bearers of innovation and quality in the industry.
“We’ve grown our business significantly over the last four or five years. We’ve done that through our technology, our innovation, our WiseNet III chipset and our R&D semiconductor, not just finished goods. We’ve also done that with our marketing and our sales efforts. We’ve built up a tremendous sales force that people rely on,” explained Cook. “We need good products, we need good services and a good sales channel management program, but it is also about the people you work with. Although there may be a very small minority that may be concerned, we believe getting this message out, having a consistent product line and the quality that we have, we’ll continue to grow and our momentum will continue.”
Despite the inherent benefits of being able to leverage a brand like Samsung, Cook believes there are several misconceptions in the market about the role the tech giant truly played in the day-to-day operations of Samsung Techwin.
“Samsung Techwin, going back, was a separate public company doing $2.5 billion (in annual revenue). It had its’ own R&D, manufacturing and sales force. Even though we were under Samsung Holdings, Samsung Corporation, we didn’t get our optics from Samsung mobile company or Samsung consumer company, we were and are an independent company,” said Cook. “When Hanwha Group acquired us, all of that R&D, manufacturing and everything else came over. Samsung Techwin, now Hanwha Techwin, has 1,950 employees right now. This is our organization. We don’t share this with Samsung at all — we never did. I think people saw the Samsung brand and said, ‘Oh, they make a camera from the cellphone division and they share technology and all of that.’ We’ve never done that at all.”