The Rebranding of Arrow Lock Company
Arrow started manufacturing locks in Brooklyn, NY. It was one of the first lock companies purchased by ASSA ABLOY. By 2008 most of their manufacturing was taking place at sister companies and the warehouse had been relocated to Hicksville, NY. When I came onboard in 2009, they were in the process of laying off 98% of their workforce and walking away from their biggest market segment, the contract hardware channel.
I was positioned as the brand manager and was left with three other employees who were trying to keep the brand afloat. Talking with Distributors, they felt it was only a matter of time until the brand went away.
We had one small window of opportunity, the locksmith channel. While Arrow had sold their in the past, it had always been a secondary channel. Within a few days of taking over, we developed a strategy, one that hadn’t been done in this channel before. Even though our parent company had a lot of muscle, we didn’t. Our competitor was a behemoth in the DIY market and most locksmiths “had” to carry their products to remain relevent.
We had two key initiatives to our strategy. The first was to spend and to spend loudly. One way to change the impression that your giving up and going out of business is to make it appear as if the investment to keep the brand alive is unlimited. The second goal is to focus not on what we sell, who we are or why you should care. Instead send a strong message to to the Locksmith that Arrow cares about this channel and will support it anyway possible.
We ran cover ad’s in the primary industry publications for 2 years straight. All with the same message, we care and if you register online as an Arrow dealer, we will send you leads, merchandise, and business tools. Some of which had more to do with how to grow their business than it did ours.
It took about 12 months to right the ship and from that point forward we were able to add a new matrix to our strategy, Innovation. This came in the form of the Arrow Revolution, one of the first talking touchscreen locks that used iPhone technology at the core of it’s interface.