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Jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) is becoming more and more established as a customer-centric, disruptive approach to innovation. In this framework, optimisations or new developments in products and services are not made by the company, but on the basis of customer needs. This is made possible by surveying and analysing how and why customers start or stop using different products and services.

The simple basic idea is: customers do not obtain products and services for their own sake, but “hire” them to solve problems for them, which ultimately enables progress in their lives. These “jobs” are the third part of the value proposition, along with profits and gains.

Whether you are developing completely new products/services or optimising existing ones, whether you want to understand the users of your products and avoid switching: Jobs-to-be-done helps to deeply understand customer needs, explain customer behaviour and anticipate future customer decisions. The approach is equally suitable for B2C and B2B and even to create personas based on different customer jobs or to enrich existing customer segments.

The key to customer-centred innovation

Optimisation and new development of products and services are successful when they are geared to the needs of customers. Jobs-to-be-done helps with this. Customer behaviour is considered along the entire perception and decision-making process, from purchase to use and change. Inhibiting and promoting factors, motives and decision criteria are analysed. In this way we learn,

  1. what needs your customers have
  2. which solutions are currently used to fulfil needs
  3. how customers recognise that a solution fulfils the need (well)
  4. which of these needs are unfulfilled
  5. in which area your product or service fulfils or could fulfil the “jobs” better than the competition

Knowing whether your product idea will fulfil these “jobs” helps you to focus on the essential and success-generating features. Well before the launch – even at the beginning of an idea – you can check the chances of success of the new solution. This enables targeted and thus efficient innovation processes.

Felix Bernet
Felix Bernet
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