The company’s sweeping rebrand focuses on providing the protection and security customers deserve.
In September 2021, Protective Life Corporation (Protective) began showcasing its new visual identity and updated voice, forging a stronger connection to its purpose and audiences. This new brand recognizes “the protector in all of us” and exemplifies the company’s 114-year commitment to putting people first, delivering on promises and striving to do more for its customers, employees, business partners and communities.
Rich Bielen, Protective president and chief executive officer, shares his insights on the new chapter of Protective’s impactful story, which includes a clear purpose, refined values, defined commitments, and a bold visual identity that is uniquely Protective.
Is there a story behind Protective’s rebranding?
The new brand leverages Protective’s name and amplifies its purpose — “because we’re all protectors.” It allows its many audiences to see themselves as part of the Protective story. According to our research, the people who know us know us well and understand what we stand for. But we realized there was a great opportunity to build more awareness.
We always pride ourselves on our strong financial foundation and being a reliable partner for our customers — and our rebranding journey is helping us elevate our story and tell it more broadly. Using our new brand as a launching pad, we’re excited to capitalize on our strengths, enable continued growth and serve more people. And as Protective continues to grow, we look forward to our partners and communities growing with us.
Did the rebranding change Protective’s values?
We kept our core values and added “aspire for better.” Whether it’s customer experience, organizational effectiveness, product innovation or how we treat people, we always want to be able to do better for our people. Since our founding, making a meaningful impact with our customers, colleagues and communities has been a priority, but it has not been explicitly stated.
“Aspire for better” reflects our aspiration, with a focus on the future. It encourages us to be curious, stay open to different perspectives, search for better solutions, learn continuously and keep growing. Our values are core to who we are, and “aspire for better” describes how we act and strongly complements our other values: “do the right thing, serve people, and build trust.”
How is Protective pursuing these aspirations right now?
In light of the pandemic, there has been a heightened awareness of our industry’s products and the need for planning and financial protection. At Protective, we’ve seen tremendous momentum in our retail divisions and have made it a priority to better meet the needs of customers in this new climate. To address the increased interest in our products and to continue raising awareness of their importance, we’ve teamed up with several industry partners and initiatives.
In addition to collaborating with industry peers to continue raising awareness about the value of life insurance and retirement solutions, we also want to help more people achieve a sense of protection and security and make the process as easy as possible. We’re making sure they can do business with us whenever and however they want, which is often through digital experiences.
More and more, consumers are turning to digital tools to learn, shop and engage, so we’re using tailored platforms to meet their expectations while simplifying and accelerating the process.
Lastly, we’re focused on our virtuous cycle, which is driven by both organic growth in our retail lines and acquisitions to periodically enhance earnings growth and create scale. This continues to serve as a strong business model for us, and we’re looking forward to leveraging upcoming opportunities in the market.
What can your partners expect of Protective?
We’re focused on serving them and making their lives easier. Together, we’ll help more people achieve the protection and security they deserve. We’ll do that by putting people first and delivering on our promises.
To serve with care and help our partners reach their goals, we’ll keep aspiring for better. We’ll work together for better protection and simpler solutions for our partners and their customers.
This includes the effective adoption of virtual technologies. It’s about making everything as seamless as we can with all the parties we deal with. Our goal is to strengthen the way we build and establish lifelong customer relationships.
Is listening an important part of interacting with your partners?
Building trust is a long-standing core value for Protective. What that means is to listen and understand what people need. You have to listen to your customers; you have to listen to your partners and the people you’re doing business with because that feedback will help you better serve them. Then, in turn, you can strengthen the overall relationship because it is based on trust and a willingness to improve.
For example, I’ve shared how we are striving to optimize digital tools, but we also know that some customers want to call us and talk to a live representative. For those who prefer to deal with us online, through text and other methods, we’re collecting feedback and providing the communication channels and options they are requesting.
Often when we listen to our partners, we’re hearing what’s needed so they can better serve customers. At the end of the day, that’s why we’re here — to serve customers. Our life insurance, retirement solutions and asset protection offerings meet people where they are. By listening, we’re able to find better ways to meet needs — today and tomorrow.
How does the idea of being a protector influence Protective’s culture?
Since I joined Protective in 1991, I observed an overriding spirit of ownership and service within the organization. As CEO, I am here to serve our 3,600 employees and our 12.4 million customers, and I take ownership in that. At the same time, I recognize that our people embrace that same sense of ownership and servant’s heart for our customers. They always have. That’s why our purpose of being protectors is so reflective of who we are and who we have always been.
In addition to our protective spirit, our culture of determination is something that has built our reputation as a valuable partner, specifically in acquisitions. This has led large companies to entrust their customers to us, to supply them with insurance, pay their claims and administer the business. They’re selecting us because they trust in our protecting nature. We assume these customers as our own and protect them, because their original companies are responsible for making sure they put their customers into a caring company that stays true to their word. It’s an important part of our business that we plan to uphold.
How do you stay true to Protective’s 114-year history while looking to the future?
When I think about Protective’s legacy, I reflect on the fact that I am only the seventh CEO in this company’s history. Since 1907, we’ve withstood many challenges and maintained our solid foundation with a focused continuity. We’ve laid the groundwork for the strength and stability that allows us to grow and look to the future at the same time. A prime example was our ability to navigate the circumstances of COVID-19. Right away, we determined we must first manage.
Then we quickly shifted gears to continue building for our future and imagining the possibilities on the other side of the pandemic. We are continuing to manage through the pandemic, and we’re using what we’ve learned to prepare for our future.
Our business is one that evolves. It’s a long-term business. We’re not selling a pair of shoes that will be discarded in three or six months. We’re selling a policy that might be with the customer for decades. So that’s what we keep in mind. We must keep thinking about how we emerge and imagine what’s possible for us as we look to the future.
Do Protective’s solid financials play a role in how the organization has weathered the pandemic?
Our solid financials allow us to keep our focus on serving our customers. We maintain high ratings, we’ve had a very strong financial base and we remain financially sound, even with the effects of COVID-19. Our policyholders shouldn’t be worried about whether we’ll be here to pay the claim at one of the most challenging points of their lives. We continue to be very strong financially and will be there for customers decades into the future.
A mission to become America’s most protective insurance company
Protective’s rebranding renews its commitment to putting people first and continuing to make financial protection and security more accessible — helping more people achieve a level of protection that makes a real impact on their lives. Its employees strive to live this mission every day through their actions, supporting a values-driven and financially strong and disciplined company.
Protective’s growth and success can be largely attributed to an ongoing commitment to serving people and doing the right thing — for its employees, distributors and customers. To learn more, visit protective.com/protectors.
The Protective trademarks, logos and service marks are property of Protective Life Corporation and are protected by copyright, trademark, and/or other proprietary rights and laws. Protective and Protective Life refers to Protective Life Insurance Company (PLICO), founded in 1907 and located in Nashville, TN, and its affiliates, including Protective Life & Annuity Insurance Company (PLAIC), located in Birmingham, AL. Insurance and annuities are issued by PLICO in all states except New York, and in New York by PLAIC. Product availability and features may vary by state. Each company is solely responsible for the financial obligations accruing under the products it issues. Product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company. Insurance and Annuities are: Not a Deposit | Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency | Have No Bank or Credit Union Guarantee | Not FDIC/NCUA Insured | May Lose Value