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Jobs to Be Done: Breakthrough Customer Insights

Companies often segment markets by product type or by customer demographics. While these attributes may correlate with consumer behaviors, they rarely shed light on the underlying reasons why people decide to buy or reject a product—or how a single individual may want different solutions or behave differently according to circumstances.

Designing an innovative customer value proposition begins with genuinely understanding the customer's "job-to-be-done." The premise is simple: customers don't really buy products. They "hire" them to do a job. Instead of asking what products customers want to buy, Innosight asks what fundamental problems they hope to address.

Our ability to comprehensively identify the customer's job-to-be-done—which potential customers themselves often cannot fully articulate—enables your company to develop more convenient, reliable, or affordable ways for customers to solve an important problem. While traditional market research segments markets by products, size, demographics, or some other easily applied category, our jobs-to-be-done approach taps into what really drives customer behavior. Instead of market segments of questionable relevance, you uncover a far more solid basis for innovation.  Download an overview of the jobs-to-be-done approach.

Using Innosight's jobs-be-to-done approach to customer understanding, we can help companies:

  • Understand the criteria customers apply in choosing between solutions. Our approach examines the full spectrum of motivations—functional, social, and emotional—that drive the customer's preference for one solution over another.
  • Pinpoint an important job that isn't being done adequately. When no existing solution to an important job-to-be-done really fits the bill, people resort to workarounds, compensating behaviors, and unsatisfactory products and services. That's where the opportunities to drive growth through innovation lie, and our approach helps you find them.
  • Unlock markets by eliminating barriers for customers. Often, what look like insurmountable barriers prevent people from satisfactorily solving a job-to-be-done. They may lack the wealth, skills, access, or time required by some solutions. We help you find solutions that eliminate such barriers – opening up new markets and increasing their potential size.

Related Insights

An Impact Story from Innosight:

Lee Jeans – how can you reshape a shopping process and catapult a brand to #1?

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Innosight in MIT Sloan Management Review:

Finding the Right Job For Your Products

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