The Progressive Voice
While our voice, writing style, and word choice vary per audience and business area, there are universal Progressive voice guidelines to follow.
We always consider the customer’s point of view (empathy) and show them how our tools, products, and service benefit them. Avoid adjectives—highlight real differences without overembellishing. By putting the customer first, we build trust and help them make informed decisions with confidence. The focus is on the customer, not us.
Write for humans, not robots
We use clear, approachable language that our audience can easily understand and relate to. Use a conversational tone. Avoid jargon, slang, clichés, and business speak (contractions are OK!). Speak in a way noninsurance folks can understand.
6th – 7th grade reading level
At Progressive, our goal is to use language with the customer that has a reading ease score between 60 – 75 and a 7th grade level target. This will ensure that messages to our customers are clear and easy to understand. Use the Flesch-Kincaid* tool in Word to test your readability. These tips will help:
- Shorten your sentences
- Keep paragraphs short (around five sentences)
- Break up paragraphs using subheads and bullets
- Use words with as few syllables as possible
- Use active voice instead of passive
- Include dialogue (natural conversation tends to be short and direct)
*To tap into the Flesch-Kincaid tool, run the typical “Spelling & Grammar” check from your toolbar. Then click the “Options” button at the bottom of your screen and check the box that says “Show readability statistics.” This will give you all of the stats you need to boost your readability score, including sentences per paragraph, words per sentence, and characters per word. It will also give you your passive sentence percentage and both your Flesch reading ease and Flesch-Kincaid grade level scores.