SimpliSafe wants to keep building on its reputation for innovative and effective home security, introducing a new offer that represents an industry first.
While SimpliSafe and other systems, including rival ADT, notify local police when a break-in is detected, SimpliSafe's new plan goes one better. In addition to alerting the authorities, its agents monitor footage that indicates a breach and can call out to would-be burglars before they can steal anything.
This launch has been something of a brand challenge, says Scott Braun, chief marketing officer, since it involves two new products. First, the new Smart Alarm indoor camera is "a powerful wireless camera, with plenty of great bells and whistles."
That's then combined with Live Guard Protection, a 24/7 monitoring service. "During an alarm event, the cameras turn on, and our agents can see what's happening in the home and speak to the intruder through this camera. The magic here is the combination of the hardware and the people on the back end."
He says this is a first for the industry. "You no longer just have to wait for the police to arrive. We can stop crime in real time."
He acknowledges that to some, the idea sounds more creepy than comforting. So SimpliSafe is bending over backward to make sure consumers understand the cameras have a mechanical shutter that is in the off position until activated by an alarm.
"We're not just in the home protection business," he says. "We're also protecting people's privacy. And even once the shutter is open and our agents can see in, it's a live feed accessible only to a small chain of people."
Spots promoting the launch are scheduled to run on broadcast, cable and many digital channels. And rather than target any particular demographic, "we're aiming for the psychographic that considers home security as something they need to have, rather than want to have."
Ads continue to build on the "In Here" campaign the company launched last October, replacing its long-running "Robbert" campaign. That effort emphasized how affordable SimpliSafe is and how easy it is to install. But now ads focus on the alarm's superior performance.
"We went from positioning ourselves as cheap and easy to a company that provides serious security with advanced technology," Braun says.
He tells Marketing Daily the company has been thrilled with the metrics since that switch, noting thaat it's been roughly 10% more effective in sales than the previous campaign. “In Here” has also performed better in raising brand awareness and increasing market share. "And we think we're getting a slightly better, more effective short-term sales response from our TV ads," he says.
Historically, customers have been adding home security systems at the rate for four to five million households a year. "That's been fairly consistent, so this category is relatively mature. So we stay in the mode of looking for growth by adding new customers and also stealing share from others," he says.
SimpliSafe estimates that one in five U.S. households have a professionally monitored home security system, and that figure is even greater when looking at households with any form of home security, professionally monitored or not. Braun sees the company's main competitors as ADT and Ring, owned by Amazon.