Now, when you say "Progressive Insurance," I can't help but smile. Why? Because a vivid picture of Flo comes to mind. I can hear her voice reciting some of my favorite lines from the TV commercials.
When I think of Progressive, I think of Flo. And that's a good thing. Because I have an emotional connection with Flo I could never have with a nameless faceless insurance company. And it appears I'm not alone.
Progressive moves up the insurance brand rankings
Here are the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Index rankings for Insurance
brands for 2010
Brand 2010 Ranking
- State Farm
Brand 2009 Ranking
- State Farm
Progressive brand ranked 5th in our Brand Keys' 2009 Customer Loyalty
and Engagement Index. It held the #2 spot in January 2010 –a dramatic
year-to-year shift that was mirrored in both their stock price and
market success of the brand.
So, where did this leap come from? Well, it certainly wasn't from
increased awareness of the brand, as it was already well-known before
consumers were calling it their own. One need only do a quick search on
You Tube to see not only the number of hits for their commercials, but
the spontaneous quotes that accompany the ads–almost always about Flo,
the cheery but deceptively sharp spokesperson in Progressive's ad campaign.
When looking at spokespeople for insurance brands, Dennis Haysbert for
Allstate and the gecko for Geico barely edge Flo out, and she is
breathing down their necks. More importantly, she showed an increase of
nearly 20 points in our study of strongest brand spokespeople for 2010–
an indicator that she has tapped into an emotional crevice that many
consumers are simply crazy about.
Flo appeals to me for so many reasons. First, she is a woman. Which sets her apart from Allstate, Geico, and pretty much every other insurance company spokesperson. Second, she is smart, friendly, caring, and witty as all get out.
Flo is the perfect example of how marketing to women can also be very effective for men. Most of the insurance buyers in the commercials are men. (It's the one thing I'd change about the campaign if I could). But even if the buyers are men, women can relate to Flo.
When customers think of your brand, do they draw a blank? Or do they have a clear picture of someone who makes them smile and feel connected?
BTW – you can now even dress like flo. Check it out.