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Protecting Your Brand

In the previous blog post regarding copper theft, we pointed out that breaches in security could irrevocably damage a company’s brand.

At Viewpoint, we understand brand protection. Security professionals may face lots of challenges related to the loss of assets, but the ramifications of a damaged brand are often far more severe. Our experience has revealed an eye-opening truth: The only way to truly protect your brand is with a proactive security strategy.

We’ve heard the horror stories firsthand from dozens of clients.

One told us how several pallets of cookies had been stolen from a loading dock, resulting in illegal distribution and empty, unstocked grocery store shelves. A similar story came from a beverage distributor, whose trailer full of soda was taken and never recovered. An auto salvage yard had nearly 500 catalytic converters stolen in one night — many of them from vehicles that had already been sold and were scheduled for delivery. A big-box retailer had hundreds of iPhones ripped off, again resulting in a product shortage, and this time just before Black Friday.

Regardless of the business or industry, the common thread with these stories is that the harm done went far beyond the actual value of the lost assets. That, by definition, is brand damage. And that’s why all of our clients come to us to prevent these things from happening.

Another Viewpoint customer, a major North American telecommunications provider, met with us when we began working with them and told us they were seeking to protect several storage compounds, some of them in very isolated areas. These compounds had experienced more than 100 break-ins and thefts between 2008 and 2011.

In addition to the loss of copper, tools and other materials, several vehicles were burglarized or vandalized, resulting in them being taken out of commission. The fallout was that customers who had service calls set up were often told that their appointment needed to be rescheduled. As anyone who’s waited “between 12 and 4 p.m.” for a service tech to show up will tell you, nothing is more annoying than taking an afternoon or morning off to meet a technician who never shows up, or who notifies you last-minute that he or she won’t be there. Usually you end up as an ex-customer of that company. One stolen tool can easily result in onelost customer.

Monitoring for this client began with two test sites. Within the following year at these locations, the client saw an 85 percent reduction in loss of assets at one site, and the other eliminated the loss of assets with zero incidents of theft. Later, additional sites deployed Viewpoint’s monitoring services, and the client realized more than $100,000 in savings per location each year, when compared to their previous security solutions.

Stories like this one have taught us, through experience, that the best way to keep your brand spotless in the eyes of your customers is to prevent any incidents of theft or vandalism from occurring at all. Catching a criminal in the act may seem exciting and like a great outcome, but often, by the time police arrive, the damage is already done. Maybe a thief stripped wire from a substation, resulting in a huge service outage for a large number of customers. Or maybe someone took a truckload of product and illegally distributed it, meaning that customers had to go to a competitor to find a high-demand item at Christmastime.

When something happens to harm your brand, sometimes it’s not even possible to quantify the damage. How many customers’ opinions changed because of a disruption of service? How many of these customers switched to another provider or company? How many customers shopped elsewhere for that high-demand item that a store didn’t have in stock because of a theft, and never went back tothat store?

As any security professional will tell you, even one is too many.

By blending human intelligence with the latest technologies, Viewpoint uses proactive prevention to help our clients protect their brands. In many ways, that’s our own brand — our promise to help you deliver on yours.

Learn more about protecting your brand, and how you can implement a more effective perimeter protection strategy, by reading our white paper.