We explore how you can find your customers’ “jobs to be done”—a concept closely related to Clay Christensen’s theory of disruption.
Although disruption theory helps companies respond to innovation, it doesn’t tell them how to spot new opportunities to begin with.
That’s where Christensen’s jobs theory comes in.
We look at how it illuminates consumer choices and paves the way for innovation.
Innovation is a top priority for leaders—and a top frustration, too. In a recent McKinsey poll, 84% of global executives said that innovation was highly important to their growth strategies—but 94% were dissatisfied with their firms’ innovation performance.
On paper, this makes no sense. Big data lets companies analyze a huge amount of customer information—so why is innovation still so hit-or-miss?
It turns out that there’s a problem with collecting lots of data: It tends to show correlations—This customer looks like that one, or 68% of people prefer A to B.
But gathering facts about a customer and matching him with other buyers won’t capture the specific reasons he made a purchase.
Think of it this way: You can know a person’s age, height, and family size—but that won’t tell you why he bought the New York Times today. Maybe he needed something to read on a plane—a reason no amount of demographic data will reveal.
What should companies look for, then? They need to understand the progress a customer is trying to make in a given situation—Christensen’s “job to be done.”
When we buy a product, we “hire” it to help us accomplish something—whether that’s packing lunch, finding a new career, or just passing the time.
If it does a good job, we’ll probably hire it again. If not, we’ll “fire” it and try something else.
By homing in on jobs that customers are struggling with, companies can design offerings to fill them.
We share with you the insights needed to focus on the progress your customer is trying to make so you can design your offerings to satisfy them better than anything else in the market.