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More than just chat, smarter than a messenger

Flock’s all-in-one productivity software aims to change the way small businesses and remote teams work together

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Looking back at 2019, Flock’s global marketing team accomplished a lot. We opened a Boston office and expanded our functional teams across organic, performance, content, design, lifecycle, operations, and sales. But one of the challenges we face as a company in 2020 is managing our brand identity alongside positioning our product at the top of a category that continues to expand and evolve. 

When we began making inroads into the US last year, there was a natural ambition to scale with the market because when you take a realistic look at the landscape, there are only two major players in the space right now: Slack and Microsoft Teams. I know Flock is in a real position to become the third pillar to the stool.

 

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Part of why I feel so strongly about that is because we understand the needs of small businesses and remote teams better than most—because we’re both. Flock is the textbook definition of a globally dispersed team with offices in Boston, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, and we consistently improve our product to better align with the needs of small businesses, remote teams, and the digital workplace at large. Flock isn’t just a smarter way to communicate and collaborate company-wide, it offers a more efficient way to work cross-functionally and connect with teams across the globe. 

But therein lies the challenge: How do we brand Flock as an all-in-one messaging tool when it’s so much more than just messaging? How do we better align ourselves with productivity and performance when Flock is all the smart tools small businesses and remote teams need—group and 1:1 messaging, video conferencing, secure file-sharing, shared note-taking, task management, process automation, and much more—all wrapped into one?
 

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Not only are chat tools extremely limited in functionality, but they're social apps by nature, not productivity tools by design.

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There’s something truly magical about this software. At Flock, we say it all the time: when teams talk, teamwork thrives. As a messenger, Flock naturally encourages teams to start new conversations or add context to existing ones. But as a productivity tool, it elevates collaboration on projects which leads to the exchange of new ideas that can ignite innovation in ways I’ve never seen before. 

Still, many businesses think they can accomplish this kind of omnipresent teamwork by using consumer-based basic chat apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Hangouts Chat—but they can’t. Not only are chat tools extremely limited in functionality, but they’re social apps by nature, not business productivity tools by design.

Something I hear all the time from regular chat users is: “My business doesn’t need Flock, we’re doing okay with XYZ.” And that’s fine—part of finding the right tool is knowing what works best for your business. But I’m a staunch believer that the vast majority of small businesses with more than 10 employees will need a smarter, more professional communication tool in 2020 that works for everyone in the organization, not just a few employees. 

Our multiple sets of use cases showcase how Flock has been adopted across all the levels of an organization from sales to human resources to engineering to marketing. Different teams use Flock every day for project management and collaboration without ever having to leave their workspace or be in the office at all. Functionality wise, all your favorite features are there to empower your team to work together from anywhere at any time. 


Sipping our own champagne

I’m not just the head of our global marketing team, I’m also a user. Since I started working here, I’ve witnessed firsthand how Flock has dramatically transformed the way our entire organization operates. I think I speak for everyone here that Flock has 100% enabled us to hit our goals faster by accelerating the rate at which we communicate and collaborate. Why do I say that? 

  1. Having an all-in-one communication tool has dramatically reduced the noise and the clutter that fills up our inbox, thus reducing the time we spend responding to emails in general
  2. It has also increased transparency within our organization—from top to bottom—enabling our open communication culture to thrive
  3. It consistently prevents people from suffering in silence as part of a group channel because someone’s always there to help solve a problem or answer a question in real-time

We like to say we eat our own dog food or sip our own champagne because we use Flock every day and are proud of the collective, team-centric culture it has instilled. Without the tool itself, I’m not sure we’d have the flexibility to build the kind of team we have here today.  

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“We continue to improve and develop our software far more efficiently than many of counterparts in Tokyo or San Francisco because frankly, we’re able to do it with a remote team and avoid the cutthroat chaos of those markets—that’s just a very honest answer.”

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When you look at it strictly from a workplace talent perspective, globally dispersed teams have a massive advantage. Those shortsighted small businesses and startups who aren’t willing to transition to some aspect of remote work won’t be able to compete from a recruitment standpoint much longer—it’s just not sustainable. 

If you’re only going to recruit folks in Tokyo or San Francisco because that’s where you’re based, you’re really selling yourself short by limiting your talent pool. You may have candidates or potential contractors who check all the boxes but you can’t hire them because they live in another state or maybe even another country. This cripples your ability to add the kind of value, versatility, or diversity your teams might be lacking and therefore need.

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Flock is the perfect antidote. Case in point, we continue to improve and develop our software far more efficiently than many of our counterparts in Tokyo or San Francisco because frankly, we’re able to do it with a remote team and avoid the cutthroat chaos of those employment markets—that’s just a very honest answer. I’ll also video chat our head of product or engineering who are both based in India and ask why we don’t have a certain feature, that we need this, that or the other to work better and we’ll put it into the pipeline. As a business leader, I constantly advocate for new features and innovation of our software because I’m a passionate power-user, not some makeshift marketeer. 

The bottom line is that no single all-in-one productivity tool is powerful enough to convince you to take an all-or-nothing approach. In fact, I’d argue that much of Flock’s muscle comes from the built-in deep app integrations of other tools like Asana, Google Drive, or Dropbox, for example. Using Flock together with your favorite stack streamlines the overall experience to better visualize, organize, and prioritize all of the projects on your plate like a pro. 

Go out and get yourself a team messenger in 2020 or try Flock for free today. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

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