C3 Process

 
 
 

Seek.

Seek /ˈsēk/ (verb): attempt or desire to obtain or achieve (something). The Research Stage (Why):  We have all likely had an "Aha" moment. That point in which you think you are ready to march forward with an idea. The first stage of being merchant minded is to vet the idea by comparing it against the needs of the market, identify why the world needs this idea, see how others are serving this need today, and determine how you will deliver the solution, and at what cost.

Seek /ˈsēk/ (verb): attempt or desire to obtain or achieve (something). The Research Stage (Why): We have all likely had an "Aha" moment. That point in which you think you are ready to march forward with an idea. The first stage of being merchant minded is to vet the idea by comparing it against the needs of the market, identify why the world needs this idea, see how others are serving this need today, and determine how you will deliver the solution, and at what cost.

Collaborate.

Col·lab·o·rate /kəˈlabəˌrāt/ ( verb):  work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something. The Brainstorming Stage (Who):  You know why you are doing it. Now you need to know who you will include in the process. Picking the right partners is key. Very few ideas today can be built and delivered in a closed environment. You need to have those around you that you can trust. Who you choose in this stage could possibly be the key to success or the driver of failure.

Col·lab·o·rate /kəˈlabəˌrāt/ (verb): work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something. The Brainstorming Stage (Who): You know why you are doing it. Now you need to know who you will include in the process. Picking the right partners is key. Very few ideas today can be built and delivered in a closed environment. You need to have those around you that you can trust. Who you choose in this stage could possibly be the key to success or the driver of failure.

Design.

De·sign /dəˈzīn/ (verb):do or plan (something) with a specific purpose or intention in mind. The Creative Stage (What):  The why is solid and the who is clear, now what are you going to do. You need to take the information and resources available and design the what. Product and/or Service is only a piece of the puzzle. You must design strategy, processes, procedures, supply chain, marketing plan, etc. Focusing too heavily on the widget is a common mistake.

De·sign /dəˈzīn/ (verb):do or plan (something) with a specific purpose or intention in mind. The Creative Stage (What): The why is solid and the who is clear, now what are you going to do. You need to take the information and resources available and design the what. Product and/or Service is only a piece of the puzzle. You must design strategy, processes, procedures, supply chain, marketing plan, etc. Focusing too heavily on the widget is a common mistake.

 
 

Execute.

Ex·e·cute /ˈeksəˌkyo͞ot/ (verb): carry out or put into effect (a plan, order, or course of action). The Serve Stage (How & When):  This is it! You are ready to go to market. The merchant process is ready to be validated. You have customers at every "transaction" in the delivery of goods and services. How you interact with them will determine how they see the good or service. It is not a time to "sell", if done correctly there should be little need to do this. By giving them a better than expected experience the end result will be adoption and a more memorable transaction.

Ex·e·cute /ˈeksəˌkyo͞ot/ (verb): carry out or put into effect (a plan, order, or course of action). The Serve Stage (How & When): This is it! You are ready to go to market. The merchant process is ready to be validated. You have customers at every "transaction" in the delivery of goods and services. How you interact with them will determine how they see the good or service. It is not a time to "sell", if done correctly there should be little need to do this. By giving them a better than expected experience the end result will be adoption and a more memorable transaction.

Accelerate.

Ac·cel·er·ate /əkˈseləˌrāt/ (verb): increase in amount or extent. The Operations Stage (Here & Now):  The ball is rolling, business is underway. So often this is where the problems of poor planning creep in. Everyone has been so focused on the widget that little thought went in to what's next. Higher and lower than expected sales will both be amplified in this stage. This is the stage that will determine whether the idea is a "flash in the pan" or on its way to becoming a staple. The merchant mindset means you spend time diligently thinking through the potential scenarios the market may deliver and how you will cope with realtime scenarios.

Ac·cel·er·ate /əkˈseləˌrāt/ (verb): increase in amount or extent. The Operations Stage (Here & Now): The ball is rolling, business is underway. So often this is where the problems of poor planning creep in. Everyone has been so focused on the widget that little thought went in to what's next. Higher and lower than expected sales will both be amplified in this stage. This is the stage that will determine whether the idea is a "flash in the pan" or on its way to becoming a staple. The merchant mindset means you spend time diligently thinking through the potential scenarios the market may deliver and how you will cope with realtime scenarios.

Refuel.

Re·fu·el /rēˈfyo͞o(ə)l/ (verb): supply with more fuel. The Loyalty Creation Stage (Dependability):  As consumers we all have our favs, our go to brands. Why? Is it because they have a cool logo? Low prices? Good Quality? Consistency? ...or all of the above (plus many more). YES!!! To develop loyalty you must be consistent and dependable. You must set an expectation and at the very least meet it. Listen to the market, anticipate needs or meet new needs in a timely way. You can do this through product improvement or new product development. For centuries this is how merchants survived. They had to be visionaries, anticipating and meeting needs before the consumer even knew they existed.

Re·fu·el /rēˈfyo͞o(ə)l/ (verb): supply with more fuel. The Loyalty Creation Stage (Dependability): As consumers we all have our favs, our go to brands. Why? Is it because they have a cool logo? Low prices? Good Quality? Consistency? ...or all of the above (plus many more). YES!!! To develop loyalty you must be consistent and dependable. You must set an expectation and at the very least meet it. Listen to the market, anticipate needs or meet new needs in a timely way. You can do this through product improvement or new product development. For centuries this is how merchants survived. They had to be visionaries, anticipating and meeting needs before the consumer even knew they existed.

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We will share our T-Shirt.

We aren't stingy. If we know it, we think you should too. By taking successes and in some cases failures, we move away from the philosophical to real world scenarios. We have all heard the saying "Been there, done that, and have the t-shirt to prove it. C3 doesn't have all of them but between our team and clients we have quite a few t-shirt experiences, the remarkable and the frustrating. While every day may bring issues and opportunities, another way to say problems, they aren't usually unique. With a library of previous work we can provide you will real examples, paths chosen, and the results that ensued. Check our blog as we will randomly post some cases we find interesting.

Business is simple we are the ones that are complicated.

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Don't Be Like Mike

While attending a conference, I heard an executive, let's call him Mike, share his struggle to find success. Mike's life was in shambles. His wife had left him, his children had dropped out of school, and his mom and dad disowned him. Ironically, his business was growing like wildfire, he traveled in a private jet, had any material item he had ever wanted. He had always heard how smart he was, how talented he was, and how his work ethic was beyond compare. These skills ensured he would climb the corporate ladder, and he did, many of them. His next statement was chilling, "I did it, I climbed the ladder, I got to the top, I was higher than anyone else, I could see the world, I felt I could rule the world. It was then I realized that while I climbed the ladder, it was leaning against the wrong building." 

You must know what you are trying to achieve, but more importantly what you are not willing to sacrifice.  

 
 

What Does it Mean to be Merchant Minded?

Business today undervalues the concept of the merchant. A merchant is part psychologist, part scientist, part listener, and part visionary. Being a merchant, most importantly, is an art. The historical merchant mindset birthed a merchant economy, where consumer needs and desires were clear, and where products and services aligned with market demand.  

Today, business is metric-driven, revenue-focused, and dominated by talking instead of listening. Businesses have replaced serving markets with selling to markets. We have more listening tools available today than ever, but sadly many use this platform as a megaphone and not a listening aid.

Additionally, today's market exhibits many different forms of capital, and each consumer spending decision can have its own decision criteria. It isn't unusual for social capital to have a greater value, and to be more guarded, than physical currency. 

At Cannon Clay, our focus is on the art of the merchant. We help companies become merchant minded; to understand the entire economy. Every product, good or service, starts with science: concept, production, supply chain, consumer, engagement, transaction, and, finally, voice. Then repeat the process. The art lies in interactions, fulfilling experiences, transactions, and ultimately, loyalty. To be merchant minded is to Seek. Collaborate. Design. Execute. Accelerate. Refuel.

Serve: to be a servant, to be worthy of reliance or trust, to prove adequate or satisfactory, to be a servant to, to give the service and respect due, to furnish or supply with something needed or desired, to answer the needs of, to be enough for, to contribute or conduce to, to provide services that benefit or help 

Sell: to deliver or give up in violation of duty, trust, or loyalty and especially for personal gain, to give up (goods) to another for something of value (such as money), to offer for sale, to give up in return for something else especially foolishly or dishonorably, to exact a price for, to give into the power of another, to deliver the personal services of for money, to dispose of or manage for profit instead of in accordance with conscience, justice, or duty, to persuade or influence to a course of action or to the acceptance of something, to impose on, to cause or promote the sale of, to influence or induce to make a purchase, to dispose of something by sale, to have a specified price

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