Safeco Ignite

Sparking the relationship channel


Safeco Insurance, a leading national insurer, discovered through an in-depth analysis of their business that they needed to change the way they reward and incentivize the independent agents they rely on to sell their insurance. Northbound helped transform this challenge into an opportunity, creating a brand name and identity that sparks excitement, and a campaign program that enrolls agents.


Develop an industry-leading loyalty program that changes the ways Safeco interacts with their most important customers—their independent agents.


  • Positioning
  • Naming strategy and naming
  • Program identity
  • Visual identity
  • Brand guidelines
  • Campaign design
  • Launch kits

Old-school insurance company enters a new era

Safeco Insurance has thrived for decades by creating close relationships with independent insurance agents around the country. Through those relationships, Safeco grew its business by leaps and bounds.

After being acquired by Liberty Mutual, business analysis revealed Safeco needed to radically rethink how they prioritize their relationships with the independent insurance agents they depend on. The risk was high: How could Safeco launch a business initiative focused on streamlining costs and achieving growth goals into a means of reigniting their base? When they chose Northbound to help them name this new program, they quickly learned there was far more to consider than just a name or brand identity. There was an opportunity to form an entirely new relationship with their most important customers.


Building a bridge to a bright new future

Northbound helped Safeco recognize that this opportunity could be much more than a new way to segment insurance agents. Northbound researched how insurance agents think, what their worldview looks like, and what motivates them to choose an insurance carrier like Safeco.

Armed with that knowledge, Northbound named this new program Safeco Ignite and created a brand identity that heralded a new era. Northbound recommended the name Ignite because it suggests a sense of limitless possibility – and Safeco Ignite was born. A conservative brand by nature, Ignite was created as a new take on the true-blue, more conservative Safeco brand. The Ignite identity leverages elements from the Safeco brand, and reinvents them in a fresh new way.

Northbound went on to create positioning and messaging for the program to help it land in the right way with agents, and to message how agents fit into their new tiers. The program, name, identity, and messaging were tested in a pilot in the marketplace, and proved to be highly successful.

Brand style guide


Recognizing the unsung heroes of the industry

Northbound then designed a loyalty campaign that speaks to the hard work, dedication, and pride of independent insurance agents across the country. Tapping into their sense of pride, the campaign celebrated agents at the highest levels while providing enticing on-ramps for agents just getting started with Safeco—and offering something for everyone in-between. Designed to drive agents to an online portal, the program highlighted the opportunities and results agents can expect by partnering with Safeco.


Welcome Kits


Reinvigorating a brand by bending the rules

The Safeco Ignite program took a strict set of established brand guidelines and colored just outside the lines. While maintaining a powerful connection to the master brand, Safeco Ignite inspires insurance agents with its simplicity, directness, and sense of possibility. A distinct graphic style makes communications, welcome kits, and celebratory plaques stand out from the crowd.

The response from insurance agents has been enthusiastic. Traffic to the online Ignite portal has spiked, and the sales team has reported a positive impact on Safeco policy consideration across the board. After a successful launch, Northbound is helping develop an expanded program that recognizes other front-line employees—the underwriters and customer service representatives who help insurance agencies thrive. “Ignite has been the cornerstone of our outreach to independent insurance agents,” says Jeri Goldberg, Safeco Director, Digital Marketing and Engagement Strategy. “It’s helped keep us top of mind in an increasingly crowded market.”



  • Highly visible touchpoint for customer engagement
  • Independent agents are increasing their consideration for Safeco policies
“Northbound’s thoughtful consideration of the implications of naming helped us turn Safeco Ignite into far more than just a loyalty program.”
Jeri Goldberg
Director, Digital Marketing & Engagement Strategy

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