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Getting Started with Jobs to Be Done

When you encounter popular products or services that are well positioned in the market, unique offerings that are resistant to emulation and competition, their elevated status in the hearts and minds of customers can rarely be attributed to their physical attributes or features. Rather the product or service fulfils a specific need or solves a specific problem that those customers are facing and trying to overcome.

By aligning your business with Jobs to Be Done theory you can stimulate innovation and drive insights into the ‘jobs’ that your customers need done, allowing you to differentiate your offerings in ways that are difficult for your competitors to emulate – or even comprehend – creating a distinct competitive advantage.

In this context, a ‘job’ is shorthand for what a customer is really trying to achieve or accomplish in a given set of circumstances. They are looking for a solution that addresses their specific problem and does their ‘job’. …and there are a multitude of options out there for them to choose from but they will only ‘hire’ the one that they feel does their job best.

 

help-wanted-1

 

Customer-centric innovation enables you to help your customers complete their jobs and progress. Innovation is not the pursuit of new products… it is the pursuit of new solutions, creating something new and filling an important need for your customers. True innovation solves problems that have no solutions, or only severely inadequate ones, and facilitates the customer’s journey by addressing their Jobs to Be Done and improving the quality of their lives.

 

"An innovation will get traction only if it helps people get something that they're already doing in their lives done better."
— Clayton M. Christensen

 

By addressing your customers’ specific jobs to be done, you will gain a better understanding of their needs and uncover insights into the behaviours and motivations that drive them to purchase, repurchase, and promote your products or services.

Customer jobs can be complex and multi-faceted and, at first glance, uncovering them can feel a bit overwhelming, if not outright daunting. However, there are some definite things that you can do that will help you get started on the path to gaining a better understanding of your customers and the needs, wants, and motivations that underlie their jobs to be done.

Chasing Jobs: The Don'ts

Becoming a ‘Jobs’ Sleuth: Common Approaches that Can Mislead

In today’s world, we have an ingrained tendency to rely on the underlying principles and methodology taught to us by modern science when we begin searching for information. This mindset often pushes us to take a systematic linear approach to problem-solving, which can lead us to follow ‘in the box’ thinking, limiting our search for ‘why’ and keeping us from truly seeing the big picture.

This can lead to a kind of myopia, where we are looking at information bereft of context, preventing us from diving deep and truly understanding our customers’ jobs to be done. Instead, we need to constantly be asking ‘why’, and to continue asking it until we get to the very foundations that form our customers’ worldview, creating the all-important context needed to properly assess their jobs to be done.

 

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it) but 'That's funny...'"
— Isaac Asimov

 

Just like scientific endeavour, ferreting out Jobs to Be Done should be driven by perpetual curiosity…. observation alone will not lead to true understanding. Don’t limit your search. Constantly question.

 

Recognise assumptions and biases

As individuals, we are all prone to our own set of predispositions and biases that colour our thinking and perspectives relating to the world we live in. Businesses are no different and carry their own preconceived ideas and notions, not only about their products but also about customer behaviours and decision-making.

It is easy to look at customer jobs through the lens of what a product is or does, instead of what job a customer is actually hiring it to do, and make assumptions that can be misleading. You can easily muddy the waters if you give these assumptions free reign, skewing your conclusions.

It is all too easy to apply logic that is rooted in assumptions about your product or how your customers use it…. or to frame any question within the context of your own values and experiences, even when you are not part of the target market.

Product-focussed assumptions can keep you zeroed in on what already exists, instead of looking at opportunities that are revealed by starting on the customer side of the equation. It also contributes to the flawed practice of pulling together solutions to fit your existing product instead of finding new solutions that fill customer needs and create new value.

Therefore, in order to get to the root of your customers’ jobs, it is critical to be objective, to approach the investigation with a ‘beginners mind’ in order to get a fresh look at their needs, values, and drivers towards purchase. Don’t fall into the trap of subjective thinking that encourages you to embrace solutions and conclusions that confirm your own biases. Otherwise, you run the risk of missing opportunities to uncover the real job to be done and grow your business. Keep asking ‘why’.

 

Don’t rely on data alone

Turning to customer data for insights has legitimate value and is a valid pathway to gain understanding but there are hidden pitfalls that can lead to inaccurate conclusions if data is not considered objectively and within the appropriate context.

As statisticians are prone to point out, correlation isn’t causality. Looking at the correlation between data points without insights into ‘why’ is destined to lead to inaccurate conclusions. Data in and of itself – demographics, profiles, and correlations between segments - does not capture the reasoning behind purchase, or explain who is most likely to buy.

Gender, age, income, height, shoe size, choice in automobile… All of these are individual characteristics and attributes but none of them caused someone to go out and buy a newspaper today. There might be a correlation between these traits and the predilection of customers to buy the paper, but they are not why they chose to do so.

 

Spurious-correlations

 

It is easy to look at apparent, but not necessarily valid, correlations similar to the above and make assumptions about cause. However, these correlations don’t explain ‘why’. For instance, if you jump out of a plane there is a correlation between the speed of your fall and the distance you cover as you descend. However, that correlation doesn’t explain why you jumped in the first place… for the excitement? To overcome a fear of heights? To exert your autonomy because your parents told you not to?

Focussing on data in isolation can lead us into taking a one-size-fits-all approach to customer jobs. Data tends to look at averages and not outliers or points of difference… at static personas, and not customer individuality and variations in their lives. It doesn’t look at the underlying drivers, occasions, or circumstances that caused a purchase. Context matters.

 

One-size-does-not-fit-all

 

Also, data can only address things that have already happened. By its very nature it shifts our perspective backwards, leading us to look at the past instead of forward to ascertain future customer behaviour. Just because customers were looking to hire for a specific job yesterday, doesn’t mean that tomorrow’s customer jobs or reasons for hire will be the same.

This removes our frame of reference and gives rise to a tendency to look at only the initial point of purchase, the ‘big-hire’, instead of the consumption by the customer, the ‘little hire’… the ongoing value delivered by the use of the product beyond the initial purchase. We look at a single point in time as a metric of success instead of observing whether the customer continues to hire that product over and over to complete their jobs. How is success measured?

While the point of purchase is an important piece of information to your business it doesn’t show what happens next. The product could be returned… or used once and then shelved because it doesn’t adequately fulfil the objectives of the customers’ job, the ‘little hires’ your customers made. This could instil a sense of false confidence and mislead you about the true jobs your product or service is performing and the value being delivered.

 

"Data and data sets are not objective; they are creations of human design. We give numbers their voice, draw inferences from them, and define their meaning through our interpretations."
— Kate Crawford, Microsoft Research

 

All in all, data doesn’t take into account that not every piece of information has equal importance, nor does every job. It doesn’t look at the difference between the small jobs and big jobs that a customer is trying to hire something to do. This can lead you to solve for the wrong job. Find the jobs that your customers need to have done the most and deem most important, then provide solutions to fulfil their needs and complete these ‘North Star’ jobsKey jobs that are important yet unsatisfied in the eyes of the customer and that act as a North Star to guide your decisions..

Data can obscure as well as reveal; it can fool us into thinking that we have all the answers, leading us to become ‘masters of description but failures at prediction’. Ultimately, it is up to us to look at the big picture and determine which pieces are needed, how they relate, and how they can be used to create better solutions for our customers.

Remember… data is only one piece of the puzzle.

 

Avoid focussing solely on function and features

Focussing on your great idea for a new feature to the exclusion of all else can blind you to what your customers really value, the ‘why’ of their jobs to be done. If you start with an assumption about the perceived value of your existing product then you are not truly innovating to meet customer needs, but are instead altering what you have already created to support your own vision… not the jobs of your customers.

The shiny allure of new technology and the sparkle of rich features can distract you and lead you to chase that ‘latest and greatest’ innovation in order to be first to market with features that customers may not want or need. While being ahead of your time might earn you a place in the history books, if you aren’t correctly centred around your customers’ jobs to be done you are unlikely to receive a return on that investment.

For example, in 1993 Apple launched the Newton, a personal digital assistant, an early precursor to today’s iPhone and iPad. The goal was to revolutionise personal computing by offering a tablet computer at a similar price point to the desktop computers of the day, opening up a new market geared toward personal devices.

However, Apple failed to look at their customer jobs to be done. One of their original use cases was the “Architect Scenario” where they imagined a use where architects used the device with a client in order to work quickly to sketch and modify a two-dimensional house plan. While this is a conceivable benefit to architects, it wasn’t truly doing a job that they were looking to hire for at the time and the device was too expensive and was plagued with other issues. Apple had focussed on the features they deemed important, opting to ignore their customers’ needs - despite having conducted important market research - instead pushing ahead to beat the competitors to launch.

The Apple Newton flopped… partially because it was ahead of its time, anticipating needs that did not yet exist, but also because even though the technology was forward-thinking, it did not meet identified customer needs and fulfil their jobs to be done.

It’s not always about being first. Your customers’ circumstances are more important than their characteristics or your product’s attributes and understanding their context is more essential than incorporating the latest technologies or trends.

When investigating Jobs to Be Done, you need to approach your search with an open mind and look at the big picture. Look at the niche you are filling and the job you are helping your customers to do. If you sell cars are you in the car business? Or are you in the transportation business?

Not taking an honest and wide view of where your product or service fits can lead you to not only focus on the wrong things, but can lead you astray, causing you to miss the full scope of everything else that is competing for your customers’ jobs. Are you looking only at other cars? What about buses, bicycles, trains… walking?

 

"I went in thinking we were in the business of new-home construction, but I realized we were in the business of moving lives."
— Bob Moesta

 

Jobs are not just about function, they have powerful social and emotional dimensions that are often overlooked. Realistically, no definitive set of features has been valued so much that it has sparked a buying decision on its own.

While social and emotional jobs can be hard to quantify, asking the right questions and delving into the context that surrounds your customer’s motivations and the resulting decisions is a necessary step in the process. Adding features onto your product in the hopes of appealing to your customers doesn’t address these emotional and social elements. It doesn’t look at ‘why’, at not only what you have failed to offer, but at the jobs your product isn’t addressing or at what the customer is giving up and the anxiety that such loss can cause.

Focussing on functional features without looking at context – at customers’ social and emotional pains, gains, and jobs – can lead you into a vicious cycle where you are constantly spending time and energy amending your offerings without any hope of actually addressing customers’ jobs to be done and ultimately attracting their business.

 

Don’t take what customers say at face value

When looking for insights into customer jobs we often turn to questioning our customers in order to open a window into their behaviours and motivations. Surveys, questionnaires, and focus groups are organised and the results are analysed and dissected.

While this is a sound idea in theory, in practice we often limit our inquiry to asking customers what they want instead of why they want it. We ask leading questions that are framed within the context of our existing product or service… or based around the new features we think customers will be interested in. Would you like more options? More colours? Cheaper? Smaller?

Even when you do dig deeper and ask your customers the right questions, those that expose the circumstances and personal drivers that motivate them, customer motivations are complex and what they say doesn’t always match what they do.

If you ask someone if they want to eat healthy, wholesome foods they are likely to say that they do. Yet, if you actually looked, their contents of their cupboards might tell a different story. This disparity between what customers say they value and reality can usually be traced back to the trade-offs they are willing to make in a specific set of circumstances.

For example, even though I may truly value my health, ultimately, I am going to weigh the option of eating an apple vs a bag of chips based on a slew of criteria… many of which revolve around my specific circumstances and emotional or social needs.

How much time am I going to have to eat? Where am I going to eat? Do I need something that is easily transported? That I can eat with one hand? How does it make me feel? Is it a comfort food? Does it make me feel good? Do I have fond memories that relate to it? Would I feel different depending on where I ate it? On who observed me doing so? Will I feel guilty?

Words do not always equate to actions and often our questions overlook the context that informs our customers’ decisions. They fail to address our obstacles, our tendency to inertia and inaction, or the trade-offs that we are willing to make.

They don’t take into account that people don’t always know how to articulate what they want or need, or that this can change depending on the circumstances. We don’t define the context, or better yet let the customer define it, in order to uncover the true basis of cause. For instance, unpredictable jobs are likely to have different requirements and trade-offs than regular jobs. They are likely to change depending on whether someone needs that job done sometime next month, or within the next hour.

For example, if you have a severe leak in your plumbing that is threatening to flood your house you are much more likely to trade off the requirements that you would normally place a higher value on in exchange for speedy service. Whereas, if you just want to get a drippy faucet fixed you might pay more attention to the elements that are related to reputation, quality, and price.

That’s why when turning to your customers in the search for ‘why’, you need to pay attention to their circumstances and the social and emotional dimensions of their customers’ struggle. Ferret out the true motivations and drivers behind cause, identify obstacles to their progress, and continue to ask ‘why’ until you get to the very root of their jobs to be done.

 

"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said."
— Peter Drucker

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Chasing Jobs: The Do's

Where to Look: Opportunities for Insight

Don’t worry, all is not lost!

Though there are many factors that can lead us astray in our quest for our customers’ jobs to be done, taking a considered and conscientious approach as we investigate will help to limit these potential pitfalls.

Though the route might seem circuitous and convoluted, there are paths through the wilderness that can help you understand your customers… their hopes, fears, values, and motivations… and ultimately their jobs to be done.

 

Personal experience

Looking close to home can be a useful tool that can help you uncover your customers’ jobs to be done. By understanding the unresolved jobs in your own life, the obstacles that you face, and the pains and gains that you encounter in order to progress, you can gain valuable insights into the needs of your customers and the values that might inform their journey.

After all, if it matters to you it likely matters to others and you are in a unique position to evaluate gaps that can be filled, obstacles that can be overcome, and the pains and gains that emerge during the process.
…all from a perspective elevated by an understanding of Jobs to Be Done.

 

Nonconsumption

A commonly neglected opportunity for accumulating wisdom about customers’ jobs to be done lies within the vast depths of nonconsumption.

In order to ‘hire’ your product or service to do a specific job, the customer must ‘fire’ some compensating behaviour or suboptimal solution. By looking at what they are firing you can garner additional insights into the drivers behind what they are hiring instead and why.

Businesses often don’t realise that in addition to their various direct competitors, they are also competing for jobs against ‘nothing’. If customers cannot find a solution that adequately addresses their job to be done they can opt to hire ‘nothing’ rather than pursue another option. This is often not even considered and is difficult to recognise from existing data as it is focussed on what customers do and isn’t going to show you where to find it.

If a solution fails to measure up, if it doesn’t provide sufficient value, or if the trade-offs needed to hire it are too onerous then ‘nothing’ becomes a valid option. For instance, if you are interested in taking a holiday you have many options to choose from when looking at destinations, mode of travel, activities, and more. However, if none of the options do your job (relax, have fun, enjoy time with family, learn about the world) or if you are unwilling to make the trade-offs required to make the hire (too expensive, time away from work and loved ones, too difficult to arrange details) then you may opt to not even go at all, putting it in the ‘too hard’ basket.

 

Noncunsumption-abandoned-cart

 

You can learn just as much about customers’ jobs to be done from looking at customers that are not hiring as from those that are. Nonconsumption opens the door to understanding and can help you uncover unseen demand and discover new growth opportunities.

For instance, when AirBnB entered the market 40% of their guests say they wouldn’t have a made a trip at all, and almost all of the hosts would never have rented out their spare room or home. AirBnB was competing with nothing and used this understanding to open up a whole new market within hospitality.

If you look at a market and feel that there isn’t any room for growth, this could be a sign that haven’t yet defined the job to be done… or defined it poorly. Step back and take another look, making sure to include non-consumption in your analysis.

 

Workarounds

Looking at customers who are struggling to complete their jobs to be done can yield a treasure trove of information that will help you identify areas primed for innovation.

When customers are looking to resolve a specific job and fail to find a workable solution, they often become frustrated with the existing options, or lack thereof, and reject them altogether. They adopt compensating behaviours and put together makeshift solutions as a workaround to solve the problem.

This is a signal that the job they are trying to do is important enough, or provides a value that is significant enough, that they are willing to forego hiring any of the existing options, including ‘nothing’, and are willing to make the effort to create their own solution in order to address that job to be done.

By identifying these jobs, and the customers who are struggling to resolve them, you put yourself in a prime position to seize the opportunity and offer a solution with high value.

For example, with the advent of computers, smartphones, music players, and other electronic personal devices, desks and workspaces began to become cluttered with a wild tangle of cables. Customers found that all the cables got in the way and were unattractive, so they started using twist ties from existing packaging to organise and tidy up the mess.

This led to the development of a slew of products meant to solve the job of removing this clutter including cable zip ties, reusable Velcro ties, clips, clamps, conduits, and even decorative charging stations that enable convenient charging of multiple electronic devices in a single location, eliminating the worry about cabling while looking good at the same time.

Identifying makeshift solutions also gives you the opportunity to locate influential customers that are willing to adopt and test a product prior to release and advocate its use to their family, friends, co-workers, and other social networks. They have a problem and are actively looking for a solution, they put together their own solutions, have a budget, and are willing to take risks.
Workarounds help you to identify these ‘earlyvangelists’ so that you can bring them into the fold and start building an ideal customer base for new innovations.

 

Unusual uses

Like workarounds, unusual uses for existing products yield important insights into jobs that are not being done, or not being done well.

For instance, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) was originally created to fulfil the job of acting as a leavening agent when baking. However, customers found many unintended and unique uses for the product, including eliminating odours in the refrigerator, whitening teeth, cleaning and freshening carpets, and deodorising cat litter, just to name a few.

These jobs weren’t new, they just needed to be discovered. Arm & Hammer used the insights gained from these unusual uses of their product and developed a range of new and improved products tailored to these various jobs. Today, the original baking product only accounts for 7% of their total business.

Additional examples:

  • The Mac Mini was originally designed as a compact computer, but people were using it to stream video to their televisions. Apple added an HDMI port to the device to make video streaming easier, and this likely led to the later development of the Apple TV in order to fill this niche.
  • Cell phones are consumer communication devices that were modified over time into small portable computers in order to solve new jobs and address changes in the way people connect. However, when in need of illumination customers were using the screen of the phone as a light source. This led to the development of apps that showed a white screen to maximise the light created, and later the inclusion of a ‘flashlight’ feature built into the device itself that utilises the built-in camera flash as a light source.
  • Shampoo bottles are designed to store and dispense shampoo. Businesses in the industry noticed that customers were storing the bottles upside down in order to get that last bit of shampoo out of the bottle. So, they redesigned their bottles to adopt a natural upside-down orientation, adding the value of convenience for their customers.

By looking at how customers use your products, at these kinds of unusual and unintended uses, you open the door to innovating new solutions or improving upon current offerings to better fulfil your customers’ jobs to be done and win their business.

 

Things people don’t want to do

Finding the jobs that address things that customers don’t want to do, the ‘negative jobs’, can often lead to the best opportunities.

Everyone has things that they would prefer not to do, things that they avoid tackling because of negative experiences or associations. Add to this anything that acts as a barrier on their path to progress and you can find areas ripe for innovation where you can solve customer jobs while overcoming obstacles and minimising their pains in the process.

For example, generally, no one wants to go to the doctor. It can take time out of your busy day – you may have to request time off, you usually spend more time waiting than being seen, and then you may have to have follow up tests done and a trip to the pharmacy for your medication. This is all disruptive to your day and is not a ‘positive’ job.

CVS, a US pharmacy chain, joined with partners to create CVS Minute-Clinics which provided a walk-in service where patients could immediately see nurse practitioners, get prescriptions for routine medication, and pick it up all in one place at one time. This solved the negative job of losing time and going through the hassle of seeing a doctor for minor ailments. Job done!

As with competing against ‘nothing’, do not overlook the power of inertia and our aversion to change. Change can be difficult and disruptive. It challenges the status quo and it is often easier to continue to do nothing, rather than hire a solution. Discerning where the point that customers will trade-off the comfort of inaction in favour of the perceived value of progress lies can be an important insight into providing solutions that positively influence the outcome of the hiring process in favour of your product or service.

By eliminating obstacles and making their journey easier (or faster or more convenient) you build loyalty and gain long-term advocates for your brand.


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Customer Motivations

Identifying Key Drivers

In order to identify what drives ‘why’ for your customers and identify their jobs to be done, you have to dig deep, find and understand what they value, and discover which jobs they prioritise and what trade-offs they are willing to make in order to achieve progress… not only what job they need, but what emotional and social drivers affect their decisions.

Endeavour to assess all of the information gleaned from your investigations and research framed within the specific context of your customers’ circumstances. What are the attitudes, personality traits, and social pressures that affect the jobs they need and their decisions on what they hire to do them? What is the long-term context of their struggle? What is their background – their geographic location, family situation, social station, or economic status? What are the near-term factors that can affect their decision? What elements of their immediate circumstances such as their surrounding environment, relevant weather, or available time affects not only their jobs to be done but what they chose to hire?

Accurately assessing these components and understanding their priority and potential impact can help you craft your solutions and position them perfectly to meet your customers’ needs.

 

Elements that inform customer motivation

Over the years Apple Inc has developed a dedicated customer base that exhibits an almost cult-like loyalty to their products and brand. Let’s take a look at some of the key drivers that influence customer behaviour and how Apple has incorporated these into their positioning and approach to Jobs to Be Done.

 

Identity

People are compelled to make purchases that they feel fit with who they are, or who they aspire to be, or even how they want to be seen by others. By taking a hard look at who your customers actually are and who they want to be, you can solve those jobs that arise from our desire to stand out and improve the world we live in.

‘Think Different’

Apple’s core positioning speaks to their ideal customers by feeding into their personal identity. Their positioning and the value promised caters to people’s need to feel special and unique. It addresses the creative bent of their core market by recognising their emotional need for recognition and elevating their position in society to that of creative geniuses and drivers of change.

 

 

Value

Value is not always equated with price. It is driven by personal factors and the trade-offs customers are willing to make to progress and accomplish their goals. Different customers value different things, for different reasons, and understanding context lets you identify these distinctions. What matters to one person, or one segment, won’t matter to everyone.

‘It just works.’

Apple’s customers are markedly different and have different values from customers who prefer other brands. Instead of lower prices and more software for the platform, Apple’s customers were willing to trade those things in exchange for a better customer experience – ease of use, stability, design aesthetics, and the sense of validation and worth that was generated by supporting a brand whose values closely matched their own.

 

Experience

It's easy to forget that customers don’t buy products and services; they buy experiences. If you consider what experiences a person is trying to create, and integrate solutions that do those jobs into your offerings, you are well on your way to building a compelling brand and customer loyalty.

Apple is a great example of the power of product experience. They integrate customer experiences into their message, from lofty goals – ‘The power to be your best’ – that feed the desire for personal growth to those day-to-day experiences that bring happiness into our lives or that highlight the things that we wish we could experience more… that help us attain our ideal state of being.

They paint a picture and let us become part of the experience… where we can share in carefree moments that inspire both envy and joy… they encourage us to dance as if no one is watching.

 

 

Connectivity and Community

The desire to belong, to feel like you are part of something larger, can exert a subtle influence on customer behaviour.

This desire is innate to our basic social and emotional needs to belong and be part of a group. Additionally, we seek to achieve goals and be a part of movements that highlight what we value. We want to make a social impact and achieve positive change. These needs feed into our identity and how we want others to perceive us; they support our desire to pursue self-actualisation and transformation, the things that help us grow as individuals.

Because these drivers are steeped in our emotional and social contexts - our need for a sense of belonging, acceptance, growth, and love – it can be difficult to pin down the jobs these feelings invoke. The part of the brain that is dedicated to our emotions is separated from the part that we use to rationalise and translate our ideas into language.

 

"We believe that people with passion can change the world for the better… and that those people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who actually do.”
— Steve Jobs

 

Apple highlights these drivers; they frame their brand in the context of our innate need to be facilitators of social change, to be part of an elite group, to explore the joy of possibilities. They associate with our higher qualities such as creativity, imagination, and courage and feed our dreams of becoming our very best selves.

 

Quality

Quality is a primary driver in almost any situation. Everyone wants to have the highest possible quality while sacrificing as little as possible. Cost and convenience are often casualties in the quest for quality and understanding what your customers value and what jobs they are trying to complete will show you what trade-offs they are willing to make and where the tipping point lies.

There is an old marketing adage…
“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter inch hole.”
While this goes beyond looking at the product and features to what people want to do, it still falls short of Jobs to Be Done theory as it doesn’t look at why they want to do them.

Someone who is looking to hang some pictures or shelving in their home “I want to make my home attractive while providing some functional conveniences” has a very different job from someone who is a professional builder “I want a tool that is heavy-duty, long-lasting, and will enable me to do my job and that is recognised for its quality so will show my status to my customers and peers”. Someone who is looking for quality professional tools that they will use every day is much more likely to trade quality for cost than someone just looking to do some odd jobs around the house.

Apple has gained a reputation for having quality products. They have complete control over the hardware letting them ensure quality while reducing the amount of hardware they have to program to accommodate, making their products more stable. Additionally, their brand appeals to creative professionals and those seeking to express similar values, and the products have a certain connotation of exclusivity that their customers happily embrace as a status symbol.

 

Need

A wide variety of needs influence customer decisions and play an important role in consumer behaviour. Making the connections between what you offer and what your customers actually need is where the heart of Jobs to Be Done theory shines, helping you find your ideal customers.

People have many needs, all of them diverse and providing different levels of value. Some needs are a higher priority than others and the higher up the pyramid of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs the need sits, the more trade-offs customers are likely willing to make in order to fill it.

Look at the Elements of Value Pyramid below. How many of these needs does Apple address and how many levels do they touch? By looking at their customers’ values and their jobs to be done Apple has built a strong brand and has encouraged customer loyalty.

 Value-Pyramid

 

Want to explore how Apple has addressed many of these elements within the context of their customers’ jobs and values? Watch their full ‘Get a Mac’ campaign.

Where to from here?

Gaining Understanding: Questions to Ask

Now that you are well on your way to understanding the importance of finding the ‘why’ of Jobs to Be Done, there are some questions that you can use to self-check your approach and ensure that you stay on track.

If you take the time to answer and reflect on these questions you will be well placed to achieve the insights needed to properly assess customers’ jobs to be done and move forward with the knowledge needed to position and progress your business for sustainable growth and success.

 

Moving Forward

By diving deep and understanding the underlying drivers behind your customers’ jobs to be done, you are positioned to help them solve their problems, make progress, and overcome the anxiety and inertia that comes with embracing a new solution.

By placing yourself in your customers’ shoes and taking a customer-first approach and analysing everything within the context of their circumstances, perceptions, values, pains, and gains, you will gather invaluable insights into who your ideal customers are… and the trade-offs that they are willing to make in order to progress.

Chase the ‘why’…
Find your ideal customers, define your niche – the jobs you can do better than anyone or anything else – and experience the transformational power that comes with a solid understanding of Jobs to Be Done.