Jobs to Be Done | Stephen Wunker

Summary of: Jobs to Be Done: A Roadmap for Customer-Centered Innovation
By: Stephen Wunker


Discover a powerful approach to creating products and services that consumers will adore – the Jobs Roadmap. Guided by the revolutionary concept of ‘Jobs to be Done,’ this approach serves as a comprehensive tool for understanding how to satisfy customers’ needs by focusing on the tasks they want to accomplish in their lives. Delve into this summary of the book ‘Jobs to Be Done: A Roadmap for Customer-Centered Innovation’ by Stephen Wunker and learn how successful companies uncover their customers’ motivations and align their offerings to address those tasks. Explore the importance of innovation and customer insights in making a roadmap for success.

Developing Profitable Offerings

Companies can use the Jobs Roadmap to develop profitable and popular new products/services by understanding the tasks people must get accomplished in their lives. The Jobs to be Done approach combines marketing data with consumer behavior to create commercial insights that help satisfy the right needs and alleviate the right pain points. Profoundly, understanding the jobs consumers must accomplish is more important than the products or services they purchase. By focusing on the tasks customers want to accomplish, companies can create new offerings that are profitable, popular, and implementable.

Understanding Customer Satisfaction

Customers seek satisfaction in accomplishing a job, not just a product. According to Peter Drucker, companies cannot sell satisfaction, but provide a means to gain it. Effective innovation requires understanding the right people and ways to make a better product that satisfies their needs. Successful companies invest in expert research to comprehend the behavior of customers based on their job requirements, exemplified by Procter & Gamble, Dell, General Motors, and Microsoft, who have ethnography experts and anthropologists dedicated to studying their customers.

The Jobs to be Done Approach to Innovation

The Jobs to be Done framework is a different approach to product innovation, deviating from traditional brainstorming sessions that lead to usual, unremarkable ideas. This framework seeks to focus innovators on the right questions to develop solutions that speak to the needs of their customers. According to the book, traditional brainstorming sessions that do not seek to focus systematically on insights about the consumers almost never yield notable “breakthrough innovations.” Instead, such sessions usually involve available company information, current events, and the likes and dislikes of primary stakeholders. Unfortunately, this kind of approach leads to limits in breakthrough innovations and several undesirable outcomes. For instance, of every 100 new products, only one covers its costs of development with more than half not meeting company expectations. The book, therefore, argues that you have to get “the ‘how’ of innovations right” if you ever hope to get the “what” right.

Jobs Strategy for Customer Insight

Discover how to enhance your Jobs to be Done strategy by shaping it around customer insight. By creating a Jobs Roadmap and keeping track of crucial insight in a Jobs Atlas, you can maximize success. The atlas contains three vital components: identifying and prioritizing customer jobs, understanding customer criteria for success and obstacles, and generating a roadmap to succeed over the competition. With this approach, you can create a more effective and customer-focused strategy to fulfill their needs and rise in the industry.

Understanding Job Drivers

Companies should analyze their customers’ job drivers to understand how they use products and predict how they will react to new ones. Job drivers derive from attitudes, background, and circumstances, and help to segment customers with different needs. The consumer electronics giant Best Buy used job drivers to develop two consumer personas and redesign its stores to serve them. In doing so, it recognized that different customers have different needs, and by meeting those needs, Best Buy could satisfy current customers and attract new ones. Traditional customer research shouldn’t meld demographics and attitudes with functional needs because each plays a different role. Instead, companies should establish clear causal mechanisms that move consumers from job drivers to jobs to specific purchase and usage behaviors. Attempting to satisfy too many jobs leads to expensive and complicated products that are one-size-fits-none. Ultimately, getting the how of innovation right will determine the quality of solutions that organizations ultimately produce.

Revolutionizing Humanitarian Aid

Plumpy’Nut: A Nutritious Peanut Butter Revolutionizing Aid

The Plumpy’Nut peanut compound demonstrates the effectiveness of using the Jobs to Be Done approach in providing lifesaving nutrition to impoverished individuals in developing nations. Pediatric nutritionist André Briend had been looking for a way to feed impoverished people for years. However, the fortified milk product (F-100) provided by humanitarian agencies required clean water, heating, and spoilt quickly, making it difficult for people to use. To solve this problem, Briend created a nutritious chocolate bar but was unsuccessful due to its unsuitability in hot climates.

After being inspired while watching his children eat hazelnut and chocolate spread, Briend developed Plumpy’Nut, a peanut-butter-tasting nutritional paste that is easy to consume in any condition. Plumpy’Nut meets all the important dietary requirements for healthy food staples for impoverished people as it’s familiar, requires no preparation, is portable, and has a two-year shelf life. It has successfully fed hundreds of thousands of children in countries with a success rate estimated between 90% and 95%.

Plumpy’Nut’s success lies in its ability to help desperately poor people get their most important job done – staying alive. The perfect illustration of the Jobs to Be Done approach, it revolutionized how aid is provided to impoverished individuals in developing nations.

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