Impact of direct channels in the insurance industry

  1. Insurance products are services.  Describe Progressive Insurance’s products in terms of the four characteristics of services.  How does Progressive deliver value to its customers?   In what stage of the product lifecycle are Progressive’s products and why?


  1. What are the advantages to customers to have either an insurance agent (indirect channel) or an online transaction (direct channel)?  What are the disadvantages?  How does each add value to the customer?


  1. The Progressive video mentioned that prices might be different depending on whether the customer uses the agent or the online service.  Based on the pricing considerations discussed in your text, does this pricing strategy appear to be customer focused?  Why or why not?


  1. Progressive and its two primary competitors, All State and State Farm, have all developed ‘characters’ to communicate with the target market   Flo, Mayhem, and Jessica are becoming the face of the companies.  Using the humorous approach is one way companies hope to differentiate themselves from their competitors.   Based on the ads for Progressive, All State and State Farm, can you differentiate each of the companies?  Why or why not?  Do you think the humorous approach works?  Why or why not?


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