For weeks, more than 1,200 of Progressive’s largest independent agents and brokers have speculated about why the company invited them to meet in Las Vegas. Their questions were finally answered as the Progressive group of insurance companies—the country’s largest writer of auto insurance through independent agencies—announced the launch of a new brand developed expressly for independent agents and brokers: Drive Insurance from Progressive.
“Drive will send a clear message to consumers: Independent agents and brokers offer expert advice and personal service, choice, low rates and superior claims service provided by Progressive,” the Mayfield Village, Ohio-based vehicle insurer said in a statement.
Progressive companies not offering the Drive brand will continue to sell directly to consumers, by phone and online, through the Progressive Direct brand.
The Drive brand is intended to help agencies grow their business through:
—A distinctive new name combined with the existing Progressive name and logo.
—A bold new marketing campaign highlighting the expert advice, choice and service agents deliver. The campaign will include national television and print advertising and a new consumer Web site devoted to the Drive brand.
—Opportunities for agents and brokers to participate on a local level in a way that complements their current marketing efforts. These opportunities will include consumer referrals and online “find an agent” listings on the Drive Web site.
“Since we began advertising in the early 90s, agents have told us they value our brand building activities, but they’ve wanted to participate more actively in them,” said Bob Williams, agency group president. “Drive Insurance from Progressive is designed expressly for our independent agents and brokers. It leverages Progressive’s brand equity while highlighting the value that independent agents and brokers provide.”
The Drive brand is supposed to reflect Progressive’s agency business fundamentals: A broad and competitive product line, innovative technology and superior claims service. While current agency customers will notice the new name and logo on their policy documents, little else will change for them, the company said. The launch of Drive will not affect their policy, and they will still call Progressive for the same 24/7 claims service they’ve counted on for years.
The company plans to spread the word to its remaining 30,000 agencies in coming weeks through regional meetings.
“The introduction of Drive Insurance from Progressive is intended to help our independent agents and brokers sell and retain more business. We feel the local agency market is huge and holds untapped potential,” Williams said.
The scheduled official launch date of Drive Insurance from Progressive is Dec. 10, 2004. Progressive will launch a new Web site and begin to print the Drive logo on agency and customer correspondence and other materials. National television advertising is scheduled to begin in January 2005, with additional marketing initiatives rolling out throughout the year. Full conversion is expected to take 12 to 18 months, as agency signs, Yellow Pages listings and other collateral materials are replaced.