Progressive Offers Agents Reassurance After Brand Changes
(Feb. 22, 2007) — The head of Progressive’s agency channel told IIABNY today that its commitment to its independent agents has not changed despite dropping the Drive® Insurance from Progressive brand program. John Barbagallo, Agency Group President, said the insurer is not cutting its marketing budget devoted to independent agents, is actively developing new advertising and marketing materials and will continue its support of the Trusted Choice brand as a company partner. Barbagallo explained that the company’s research found consumers identified with the Progressive name and “not so much” with Drive Insurance.
“It was just not working,” Barbagallo said. “We needed to have our brand building dollars work harder for us and our agents.”
Progressive is moving the company’s name first in all the products (primarily private passenger and commercial auto) it sells in what it is calling a one-brand strategy. Beginning in the summer, the insurer will swap-out the faces of nearly 15,000 existing Drive Insurance interior and exterior signs for its agents. The new signs will simply say “Progressive.” Additionally, Progressive will spend more of its marketing dollars on local promotions, such as co-branded print, radio and direct mail advertising. Barbagallo called it a significant shift.
“I think you’re going to see a lot more advertising from Progressive that speaks to the benefits of being a Progressive policyholder, independent of whether you purchase directly or from an agent,” Barbagallo explained. “I think you going to see more advertising around the unique benefits of our claims service and how we deliver that in our claims service centers…you’ll also see content that refers to independent agents and their value.”
Progressive offers its so-called “concierge” service at 53 service centers around the nation. Two are located in New York, in metropolitan Buffalo and Albany. According to the company, its agents can offer the service, which it says reduces the claims/repair process to 15 minutes, to their insureds.
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