Why We Created Fringe


Since begin­ning our com­pa­ny, we’ve often got­ten the ques­tion, Why did you start Fringe?”

The short answer? We built Fringe because some­body had to. 

I’ve worked as a finan­cial advi­sor for the bet­ter part of a decade, and I can’t count how many let me explain your ben­e­fits to you” con­ver­sa­tions I’ve had with clients. Is it because I had unin­tel­li­gent clients? I doubt it. I was explain­ing ben­e­fits” to my clients because, at an aver­age age of 35, they were hav­ing a hard time wrap­ping their heads around the fact that they need to be sick, dis­abled, dead, or 65 years old to ben­e­fit from their benefits! 

This got me thinking…and yes, it took many years to rumi­nate. I arrived at this premise: 

Employees, particularly millennials, want benefits that meet needs now and can change as life changes … rapidly.

So, as you might expect, we start­ed doing some research to see if this hypoth­e­sis had mer­it. One thing was crys­tal clear from the jump – mil­len­ni­als want more non-tra­di­tion­al benefits. 


These are the kinds of sta­tis­tics that leave you won­der­ing, but why”? Often, I’ll hear don’t peo­ple real­ize that if they make more mon­ey, they can just BUY them­selves the kinds of ser­vices Fringe offers?” Again, I don’t think it’s a mat­ter of intelligence. 

The point is, it’s not about the money! It’s about what the money means. 

More salary means we val­ue you”, we need you”, we can’t afford to lose you”, or it comes with more respon­si­bil­i­ty”. Greater and more diverse ben­e­fits mean we care about you”. In the end, it seems, this is what it’s all about. It shouldn’t come as a shock that human beings want to feel loved and cared about. Will Fringe ben­e­fits alone com­mu­ni­cate this mes­sage? Of course not. A company’s cul­ture, its core val­ues, and its lead­er­ship always have and always will be the great­est deter­min­er of success. 

Actually caring about your people is the thing that brings in top talent and makes them stay. 

If you’re an HR head or a CEO read­ing this and you’re hop­ing Fringe will be the cat­a­lyst to turn your cul­ture around and improve those unsight­ly Glass­door reviews, sor­ry, you’ve got deep­er prob­lems to address first. If you’re a deci­sion mak­er in a com­pa­ny that already cares about your peo­ple, Fringe is a per­fect way to show that care to each indi­vid­ual in a way that makes them feel unique­ly pro­vid­ed for. 

We built Fringe because the cafe­te­ria mod­el” need­ed to become the Star­bucks mod­el. If an employ­ee wants a tall coconut-milk caramel lat­te ben­e­fits pack­age, com­pa­nies need­ed a way to give her just that. Half-caf? Done. Extra Whip? Not a prob­lem. Like it or not a new gen­er­a­tion is tak­ing over the work­place. A gen­er­a­tion that knows noth­ing else but per­son­al­iza­tion, cus­tomiza­tion, and cel­e­brat­ing indi­vid­u­al­ism. The com­pa­nies who embrace this change instead of resist­ing it will be the com­pa­nies that thrive in the next 30 years and beyond. Those that don’t sim­ply will not recruit, will not retain, and will not exist. 

Fringe ben­e­fits that are per­son­al­ized, holis­tic, and meet imme­di­ate needs in employ­ees’ lives – these are the future. Ben­e­fits should not just pro­tect the fam­i­ly from finan­cial hard­ship. Ben­e­fits should spark joy, reduce stress, give time back, and impact the fam­i­ly. We built Fringe to do exact­ly that. 

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