A new chapter for Front

Anthony Kennada

Anthony Kennada,

CMO at Front

28 July 20200 min read

We need a new way to frame our relationship with work. One that rises above the productivity obsessed conversation by focusing on work’s true purpose.

Front is a beloved product used by over 6,000 companies today to power their communication with customers. We’ve introduced the world to the first true innovation in business email since the launch of Gmail in 2004 — transforming a ubiquitous business process from a siloed, single-player construct to a collaborative experience that improves how work actually gets done.

We’ve spent the last 5 years sharing our product with the world. But we’ve never shared our raison d’etre as a company until now.

Today, we are revealing Front’s new brand position and identity, a new vision for the future of work that reframes our relationship with our jobs to be less about the what (productivity) and more about the why — impact.

2020 is the year that work forever changed.

At their best, businesses can be an incredible force for good in the world.

From startups to generational family businesses and micro-entrepreneurs to mega-corporations, business is woven into the fabric of our society. These businesses feed our families, support our livelihood and keep us all moving forward together.

But as businesses grow, things get complicated. There are countless “solutions” promising shiny new ways to grow, expand, and compete. More tools. More technology. More talk about doing more, faster.

Unfortunately these solutions have created a new problem. In an attempt to maximize our productivity, all this new technology has begun to shift our attention. We’ve begun to focus too much on what and how much we are working - and not enough on why we are working.

This affects what we do:

  • Meetings are getting in the way of objectives

  • Emails are getting in the way of communication

  • Tickets are getting in the way of customer service

  • Technology is getting in the way of humanity

  • Productivity is getting in the way of purpose

  • Tools are getting in the way of progress

And how well we do it:

  • Employees are wasting time, energy, and sanity

  • Teams are out of sync, stepping on each other’s toes, and letting things slip through the cracks

  • Businesses are burning out their employees, missing opportunities, and commoditizing the customers that got them to where they are

This was our reality well before the pandemic took the world by storm in early 2020.

Suddenly, professionals across the globe were sheltered in their homes, adjusting to a new normal that called for business performance amidst public health and economic uncertainty. Working parents continue to struggle with balancing their careers and their children, as trade-offs are inevitably made.

It’s widely understood by now that there’s no going back to normal.

We need a new way to frame our relationship with work. One that rises above the productivity obsessed conversation by focusing on work’s true purpose. One that unleashes the full power of human collaboration by closing the gap between how teams work today, and what they’re truly capable of achieving.

The real future of work is about impact.

Earlier in 2020, Front conducted an ethnographic research initiative to explore the human relationship with work. When we listened to how people want to feel at work, they weren’t talking about doing more or checking off their to-do lists. They were talking about making a difference, about spending time working on what matters. They were talking about having an impact.

Having an impact at work means:

  • More capability without code switching

  • More collaboration without confusion

  • More quality work without employee burnout

  • More customers served without losing the human touch

Looking at work through an impact lens reframes what is possible and shapes how our teams think:

  • Sales: Faster response times become more customers served

  • Support: Accelerating resolution time becomes improving CSAT

  • Customer Success: Higher touch customer engagements become creating customers for life

At Front, we believe that impact is best experienced at the intersection of our teams and our customers — a sacred space that we are calling the “heart of business.” Our teammates want to see their contribution to customer outcomes, and as a result, to business performance. Customers, in return, want to engage with a company as they do with another person, and not through some automated or analog experience.

Traditionally, businesses have thought of these two constituencies separately: that HR or IT would be responsible for improving employee engagement while Sales, Support, and Success would own the customer experience.

By approaching these two initiatives separately, ensuring that the experience between our teams and customers is coordinated becomes increasingly difficult as trade-offs are inevitably made for one group in exchange for the other.

As an example, implementing a ticket-based help desk can make a lot of sense for offering your team scale, but in exchange, your customers are left feeling more like ticket numbers than actual humans with a problem to solve.

If the future of work is about impact, then every company will need to get their teams closer to the customer — whether they’re working from HQ or from home — or risk going out of business. It’s become an existential threat.

At scale, every employee — from the office coordinator to the CEO — becomes customer-facing, and a culture of impact is created for all stakeholders of your brand.

Front makes missions possible by powering the heart of business.

Why does any of this matter? Why can’t the future of work just be about more work, or faster productivity?

When we look at the world of business, we see millions of missions-in-progress. Of course we know that great companies have a mission, but it’s clear that mission can mean so much more: employees have personal missions that are enabled by their impact at work (buying a home, giving back to their communities, or providing a life for their families), while teams too can have their own missions (hitting the number, closing a big renewal, or hosting a conference).

By bringing impact to individual employees, teams, and customers, we can unlock the collective potential of business which means more teams can actually achieve what they set out to do.

Inspired by this mission, we’ve updated our purpose as a company: Front is making missions possible by powering the heart of business.

Our purpose is audacious — and that’s by design. Because unlocking our collective potential and ambition is how we will solve really big problems in the future of work. We intend to see what the business world can really do. We want to show that improved interactions and relationships between teams and customers will lead to amazing results.

Over 6,000 customers today use Front’s customer communication platform to power the heart of their business. Front transforms work into impact by meaningfully connecting your teams and customers.

Watch on YouTube: What is a customer communication hub, anyway?

A new, fresh coat of paint.

You might have also noticed that things look a bit different around here. To help activate Front’s new brand position, we are launching today our new visual identity — an elegant brand refresh that illustrates not just what the Front product can do, but more importantly, why we do it.

Here’s a quick overview into what’s new:

The Front Logo

We’ve updated the Front logo and word mark to reflect our new vision. The new Front logotype embraces a custom typographic treatment. Our signature “Front Red” continues to be at the forefront of the brand.

The dark blue shape symbolizes a supportive and robust foundation, essential to growth and development. The red circle represents the dynamic and adaptable nature of Front, empowering teams of all shapes and sizes to achieve their missions.

Impact Hero Orbs

In order to visualize the idea of impact, we’re introducing a radial gradient into our brand system — a powerful force leading with heart and purpose. These orbs are constantly in movement towards each other, representing the employee and customer constituencies that we serve.

When they overlap, the connection and energy between them becomes clear. They power each other, pushing and pulling, merging and separating. This overlap represents the heart of business we introduced earlier, the center of gravity for impact in the future of work.

New Website

We’ve brought our new brand positioning and visual identity system to life on our website with a better articulation of how Front’s customer communication platform can transform work into impact for customer-facing teams across the globe.

Starting the impact movement.

We didn’t start this effort just to build the Front brand. We are starting a movement. Transforming work into impact requires challenging deeply ingrained norms. To create cultural impact and see our own mission made possible, we need you as our community to help co-create and amplify the narrative with your own voices and stories.

We’d love for you to join us on our journey. We’re hosting a special virtual event where you’ll be able to hear directly from our CEO and Co-founder Mathilde Collin on what’s next for Front and our mission. Sign up to attend here.

Written by Anthony Kennada

Originally Published: 28 July 2020

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