Explorer–Navigator–Trailblazer: Product packages with a story

You are casually browsing through the CarbonCloud website, you find some interesting stuff and you decide the check the Product packages page. Or, you are already talking to one of our lovely Salespeople and you are discussing subscriptions. And you see the product packages… And the names. What on Earth do they mean?

With a dash of self-awareness, the names themselves can help you make the right choice – not just in CarbonCloud but in climate strategy overall. Also, our product package names have a rich backstory we’d love to share.

The cradle-to-shelf part

Moving around every corner of the food industry, we have encountered all kinds of attitudes around climate performance, in every combination imaginable: 2-year-old companies with a climate strategy fit to be copied by giants; Massive retailers with a well-formulated climate roadmap and the mandate to engage their suppliers but lacking the tools; conglomerates who swear by offsetting; maturing brands on the certification hunt.

In this setting, going from one meeting to another felt like traveling through time. We had to highlight and formulate the patterns, not just to support each producer in the best possible way but also to provide a balanced offer for them – not too basic, not overwhelming.

Think of it like this: It can be tempting to get yourself a supercomputer with a customized OS just because you can, but it won’t automatically make you a super user – especially if your user needs are best covered by any web browser. You can start with a web browser instead, learn as you go, and your needs will develop alongside your knowledge. Then it’s time to move on to a tool that covers your expanding needs. As another example, you could give your most passionate and capable 6th-grade student the textbook on quantum mechanics but if they have no knowledge of classic mechanics, it would be either of no use or a very long and inefficient learning process.

With the aim of solving this problem, we applied our collective knowledge of the food industry, climate science, and behavioral economics and mapped out the maturity levels of the food industry on The 8 Tracks to Win the Race to Net-Zero. Now we can’t stress this enough: No maturity level is “better” than the other. In fact, the “best” level is the most representative of your organization, because it enables you to start walking the path of reducing emissions in the quickest and most efficient way.

Essentially, packaging our offer is a solution to the same challenge: At what maturity stage are our prospects and what is the appropriate combo of functions they need to learn, apply and scale? The names of the product packages had to reflect that.

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    What's in a name?

    Our explorers have their intentions straight. They have all the motivation to get started with a climate strategy. They know they need to do this, but they don’t know how. So at this stage, Explorers get the tailored map of their emissions – or Automated Modeling: Climate performance data for every product, for every stage of the supply chain, in real-time. This map also indicates the areas of improvement, the portfolio hotspots, so they can expand the exploration and derive where they need to go. When they get the feel of orientation, they can start increasing the resolution of their map throughout the supply chain. This button is called Navigator.

    Navigators are familiar with the climate surroundings in their portfolio and ready to start lowering emissions. This package familiarizes the Navigator with the hands-on, operational process of reducing emissions and how that can translate to day-to-day actions. The Navigator knows not just where they need to go but exactly how to get there. For this, they get an additional, critical function via two features in interplay:

    •  Product supply chain hotspots: Or in other words, looking under the hood and into the emissions of a product. The Navigator can view climate performance data throughout every node of the supply chain and see the exact heavy-emitting spots. They can then engage relevant suppliers in a targeted manner.

    • Supplier connections: Navigators can get their suppliers on CarbonCloud, start increasing their data resolution and get all the lines and curves of every product’s supply chain emissions. Per the computer example above, the increased level of detail here should be actionable.

      Say, for example, that a food producer has pinpointed in Explorer that their highest emitting ingredient is cocoa from Indonesia – but the supplier is working actively with emissions and they want this work reflected in their climate footprint. Increasing data resolution in these cases where the foundation is solid is critical in advancing a food producer’s climate strategy and taking the next steps.

    Trailblazers know the map so well that they can recreate it from memory. If this was an actual map, you could say that Trailblazers own part of the land, modify it and carve new paths, and document them for every map reader to use.

    Trailblazers have a solid basis, advanced knowledge and familiarity with climate work and are incorporating climate performance into their core business. As agents who are already doing everything in their control, they are the ones with the higher demands from their food network. That’s why trailblazers can set goals for their suppliers and check the progress in real-time, use the auditability feature to follow up on internal accountability with access logs and event tracking, integrate with other information systems and automate in more detail.

    Trailblazers get the full definition because they can act on every node and data point. They can zoom in and out in a utilitarian way, make sense of the details, and have streamlined accountability and target follow-up process. They have worked on their map enough to have a need for a live Street View and know how to navigate it.

    And what’s behind the name?

    Now for the fun facts: There is another dimension to the names of our packages. As we fancy ourselves a bit of tech nerds, we picked an underlying concept from the history of technology.

    Remember Internet Explorer

    Internet Explorer was the now -discontinued default browser in any Windows computer and a popular internet meme: The most common use case of Internet Explorer was to download other browsers.

    The analogy of CarbonCloud's Explorer package with Internet Explorer

    You can joke about it but the fact remains: Without Internet Explorer, Windows users would not be able to navigate the internet in a more sophisticated way – if a more sophisticated way is what they were after. Sometimes you just need to go from A to B and whoever judges that is an elitist – Yes, we said it.

    So Explorer pays our respects and gives a nod to this legacy browser and its vastly underappreciated launchpad contribution to users globally.

    Credit where credit is due – Netscape Navigator

    The second name nods to another underdog legacy browser: Netscape Navigator – a beacon for the Internet’s early majority. The first at-scale use of the internet took place in Netscape Navigator. The browser was so successful that in 1996, the era of giving up your landline to go online, had an 80% market share and became a landmark of internet user behavior and experience.

    Netscape Navigator showed the industry that internet browsing is a potentially profitable playfield. Its impact was so large that it was post-mortem recognized as the best tech product of all time by PC World in 2007. In a more recent reference, it was also used as the basis of a cutting-edge, popular browser of today: Mozilla Firefox.

    The Trailblazers redefining the business world

    Finally, the last name, Trailblazer, tips off the hat to a contemporary digital community redefining business: Trailblazers, the SalesForce community innovating the product and digitally transforming their business operations with Salesforce as a basis.

    People have feelings about SalesForce so an explanation is in order. Salesforce today is more than a digital tool. It is an information hub for commercial teams worldwide and bookmark for digital change agents – to such a magnitude that companies employ specialist super users focusing full-time on the tool and having prominent voices in commercial teams. Does it ring a climate performance bell?

    Another relevant Salesforce attribute is that it is so scalable and built on such a high-level architecture, that it can be applied to and customized for anything. Is it a steep learning curve? For sure. Does it take a lot of manual labor to customize? So we have heard. These last two points are the ones we avoid by appointing Trailblazer as the most mature package – when everything has been automated already in Explorer and Navigator, and when resources are seasoned and have climbed the learning curve to require immensely potent functionality.

    Now you know everything: A not-so-sneak much-more-than-a-peek inside the CarbonCloud head and creative processes! After all, we can’t raise the flag of transparency without being transparent ourselves. In full transparency, we in turn feel more connected to you when we share some of our stories with you.

    Want to see the product packages in action? Check our Packages page to see the story of the names in use!