The coming New Year will be rife with change, including a new name for one long-standing point of sale company. Effective January 2022, APG Cash Drawer will officially drop “Cash Drawer” from its name and introduce a new tagline to become apg® – trust at every point.
This name change is just one part of apg’s overall strategy to emphasize the strength of its capabilities, growth, innovation, and commitment to helping customers around the world. But one thing isn’t going to change: apg® will continue to strive and work hard to make it easier for its customers to do business. Paul Griffiths, apg® President and CEO, took time recently to discuss the logic behind the rebrand, what it took to make it happen, what customers can expect, and more.
Q: Why did you decide to rebrand?
Griffiths: For over 40 years, APG Cash Drawer has served the retail market by focusing on cash drawers. Over the last seven years, we have been moving from exclusively cash drawers to designing hardware and software products around cash management in retail. Though cash drawers remain one of our focuses it is no longer our exclusive focus and our rebrand is our way of showing the industry just that – we’re so much more than we were a decade ago.
Q: What were the factors driving this rebranding effort?
Griffiths: Our old name and logo served us well, but markets are changing and we need to change to meet the new market needs. For instance, the market’s acceptance of Tablet POS in part drove our decision to offer three distinct tiers of product, all with best-in-class performance. We also expanded our cash management offering and felt the brand could do with a refresh that will help let the market know we’re expanding our offerings.
Q: What problems will this rebrand solve?
Griffiths: We wanted to be more approachable to the new market entrants. We felt that the APG Cash Drawer brand was staid and stoic. We were the “Install It and Forget” company. Honestly, this was not a bad way to be thought of but we’ve grown beyond that.
Q: Rebranding could be a risky move. What all did you consider during the decision-making process?
Griffiths: Our rebrand process took close to a year to complete and was led by a cross-functional team composed of 18 global employees with a variety of tenures with the company. We agreed that the only untouchable part of our past was the word “APG” – everything else including the cash drawer logo could go. We kept APG, now apg®, because there was significant brand equity in it. But we took a hard look at everything else including competitive brands, partner brands, global industry brands, our employees, and customers … it was a painstaking process.
Q: Did you do this thinking and planning all by yourself?
Griffiths: We did hire an outside firm to help guide us through the process and allowed them to challenge us along the way if they felt we were going too far afield. We also ran our ideas by a couple of industry “trusted advisers” and ran some of our thinking past three or four of our customers at a couple of junction points to make sure we were on track.
Q: What are the significant features of your rebrand?
Griffiths: Our “mark” will be the most noticeable. Removed are both the words and the icon of the cash drawer because we are no longer just a cash drawer company. We are now so much more than that. For example, our SMARTtill Solution suite has taken us into the world of cash management and our newly launched Architect has us developing a cable management tool for tablet-based POS. We continue to lead the industry with the widest selection of connectivity solutions, Ethernet, HID-USB, Serial Emulation, and RJ-45 printer interface. Our messaging at trade shows and advertising will be less about products (feeds and speeds) and more about solving the needs of our customers.
Q: Tell me what the newly designed logo represents?
Griffiths: The mark has purposefully been changed as we believe that the cash drawer reference was limiting. By going lower case and changing the fonts we are now more contemporary and a bit more approachable. The color palette has also changed to be more modern and contemporary. By keeping “apg” we continue to pay homage to our original brand and its legacy.
Q: You mention trust several times when announcing the rebrand – why did you decide to place so much emphasis on trust being part of apg’s new direction?
Griffiths: Trust at every point is part of our new mark. Trust plays an important role for both our internal customers (aka our employees) and our external customers. Our external customers can trust that our product is best in class and performs to the highest standards, regardless of class. You can trust that our 24/7 tech support is just that and the answers you receive are direct and accurate. We always have been customer-centric and our word is our bond. Internally, our employees know they can trust our leaders to have the company’s best interests in mind and that they are developing plans for a long and stable future. For instance, during the recent pandemic, we went to great lengths to protect not only our employees but their families as well.
Q: Does the rebrand apply only to the name, or will it also affect day-to-day operations?
Griffiths: The rebrand is focused on our global positioning as a company. Our customer relationships won’t change. Our day-to-day operations won’t change either.
Q: Does the rebrand come with any new technologies, either for apg®or your customers?
Griffiths: Our product mix will continue to morph and progress, and we will continue to expand our product suites. We have expanded our cash management back-office software CurrentSee, allowing retailers to get an exact cash position in a single lane or across the entire enterprise. This position can then be used to make both operational and security/loss prevention decisions on the spot. Our cash management programs now include existing Haas and XaaS payment models and are available in a Cash Management as a Service model, too. We were very purposeful in making sure that the rebrand would not disrupt the products and services that people have grown to trust over the last 40 years.
Q: What’s next for apg®?
Griffiths: Our future is bright. We have a strong legacy to build from. We have a global leadership team that will drive growth while protecting our future.
Q: The name change is one part of your overall strategy to emphasize the strength of your capabilities, growth, innovation, and commitment to helping your customers. What are the other strategies you’re employing to help apg®live up to its mission statement?
Griffiths: Part of the rebrand included looking at our company culture, mission, and vision. For the last seven years, apg® has aspired to live by 33 fundamentals. Though they created a great culture, 33 fundamentals were hard to remember at a given point in time and many were on the cusp of being redundant. Today we live by our Values Compass. We have eight values, with customer-centric being our guiding North Star. We strive to be collaborative both internally and externally, we empower our people, we are proud of the work we do, we are principled, which bring trust into the equation, accountable holding us true to our word, innovative by empowering our people. Finally, we are bold – allowing us to build off our dreams.
Q: What advice do you have for companies considering a rebrand?
Griffiths: Have a plan and follow a documented process. Don’t just wing it. Know why you want to make the change. Have the buy-in from leadership. Don’t be bashful, be brave and forthright. Be believable and honest.