Like a house guest that couldn’t take the hint to leave, the Nortek brand name has finally been shown the door by the custom electronics industry. Nice S.p.A., the global manufacturer of smart home, security, and building automation solutions that acquired Nortek Control one year ago, has announced it is sunsetting the Nortek Control brand name to Nice North America.
As part of the transition, the company is sunsetting Nortek Control and announcing the convergence of several brands for the CI channel. Over the next year, the residentially focused brand names of ELAN, SpeakerCraft, and Panamax will also dissolve to become Nice North America.
On the commercial and security integration side of the portfolio, the company will retain the brand names of 2GIG, Proficient, Panamax, Furman, Gefen, Abode and HySecurity. The moves will enable the company to progressively leverage its full portfolio of solutions for home and building management. This transition will take place over the next year.
The new name represents a milestone for Nice as it looks to strengthen the Nice global brand name and solidify its position in North America. Partners, including dealers, integrators, builders, and distributors, will benefit from its broad portfolio for residential, commercial, and industrial solutions, deeper partner programs, and expanded training and certification for the field.
“This name change is an important milestone for the development of our organization in North America. With a combined experience of 90 years of innovation and a talented and diverse team, we are well positioned to bring passion and innovation in the market,” says Luca Longhin, Deputy CEO of Nice North America. “We’re committed to developing new solutions, focused on design and the highest and easiest experience for partners and end users.”
“Brand convergence has been a key pillar driving our actions since the acquisition,” says Mark Owen Burson, CMO of Nice North America. “To simplify everyday movements, as our mission states, we must start by streamlining the experience for partners and creating more value for customers. With today’s announcement, Nice embarks on a journey from a house of brands to a branded house, offering the most complete, integrated product ecosystem in the industry for residential, commercial, and industrial applications.”
Moving on From Nortek Legacy
The legacy of the Nortek brand name has been convoluted over the past six years. Back in 2016, Nortek, which was then a public company traded on the Nasdaq exchange, sold to Melrose Industries. That iteration of Nortek was a widely diverse company with a Nortek Air Division (that included the brands of Broan and NuTone), an HVAC division and a medical device division, among others. The low-voltage side of the business included a portfolio of security-based brands (2GIG, Linear, GoControl) that was grouped under the Nortek Security & Control umbrella, along another umbrella group under the Core Brands portfolio (Elan, SpeakerCraft, Xantech, Panamax, Proficient and Gefen) company to Melrose Industries.
Melrose subsequently in 2017 dissolved the Core Brands group and folded all the brands into the Nortek Security & Control (NSC) umbrella. In April 2021, Melrose sold off Broan and NuTone, then in September 2021 Melrose sold the Nortek Security & Control brands to Nice for $285 million.
Nice History of Diverse Acquisitions
Nice was founded in 1993 and now has 3,000 employees across 22 countries, with 14 factories and 15 technology centers around the world. Back in 2005, it was listed on the Italian stock exchange but reverted back to a privately owned company in 2019, with founder Lauro Buoro as the major owner. Indeed, Nice S.p.A. is no stranger to the smart home space. The company was founded in the founder’s garage making automation equipment. The Oderzo-based company acquired Abode in 2018, one of the leading DIY home security system providers, and later in 2018 acquired Fibaro for $73 million, makers of Z-Wave sensors.
Nice North America: Smart Home & Building Automation is the new official name. Its 600 employees will be based in Carlsbad, Calif., where the company just completed a new experience center that showcases its broad array of products that includes garage door openers, shading systems, controls, audio, security, access control, gate operators and PERS. (A video tour by CE Pro will be forthcoming.)
“it’s a new chapter,” says Nice North America CEO Edoardo Malfè speaking with CE Pro. “It was meant to be. When we decided to be a key player in the smart home space, we could not stay out of the U.S.”
Longhin says all the Nice’s acquisitions over the years have been made to enrich knowledge, culture, competence, diversity and technology for the company, not necessarily to gain market share. He says the new consolidated Nice brand name will allow the company to better leverage the mixing boundaries of the security, residential and commercial markets. The new website is www.niceforyou.com.
For integrators who have built some of the local presence around brands like Elan and SpeakerCraft, Nice will be assisting them to transition their marketing materials and vehicle designs. The company is also emphasizing the continued development of its Nice U training programs built for continuing education, development of new dealers, and for integrators looking to expand into new markets such as commercial. The education will be “gamified” with recognition, swag and free products for technicians.
In terms of the future, chief product officer Paul Williams says MDUs, health and wellness, smart energy, and AI will be the key trends driving the development of new products. He also says Nice will focus on being a design-centric company.