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Generate Customer Insights Using Jobs To Be Done

How can you discover what's missing from people's lives? To spot new growth opportunities for clients, we take a 360-degree view of what motivates consumers. Our relentless focus on the customer experience gives us a unique prism for generating breakthrough insights.

Our approach to what others call market research is multi-dimensional. In addition to sophisticated quantitative analytics, we explore the full range of functional, emotional and social motivators that drive customers.

So we don't just interview consumers in focus groups. We go shopping with them. We visit their homes and watch them prepare meals. We help organize their closets. We take an inventory of the technologies they use throughout their day. We go along for test drives.

Targeting "jobs-to-be-done"

Our understanding of habits and desires begins with a simple question: What is the job that the customer is hiring the product to get done? Innosight's "jobs-to-be-done" approach is based on the theory, pioneered by Clay Christensen, that new products and services can be created when they connect with a specific circumstance. Such innovations make it easier for consumers to do something they were already trying to accomplish.

Through dozens of client engagements, Innosight has shown that if you can pinpoint an important job that isn't being done adequately by an available solution, you've found an opportunity to drive growth through innovation.

Driving a new Chevy

As General Motors planned the launch of the Chevy Volt, an "extended range" electric vehicle, the auto maker engaged us to study car buyers and create a breakthrough messaging platform. For the Volt to ignite a new growth market, GM needed to attract early "ambassadors" by understanding the full range of driver motivations, including emotional, social and even political factors. Our work helped position the Volt as the centerpiece of the "new GM."

Visiting villages in India

Our experience generating customer insights also came into play when Godrej & Boyce, one of India's leading manufacturing companies, came to us to tackle a vexing problem: how can it better compete against multinational rivals in the consumer appliance space.

We suggested an entirely different approach: Instead of competing for existing consumers, be disruptive. Target non-consumers: the 80 percent of Indian homes lack appliances such as refrigerators.

Godrej innovators visited dozens of Indian homes and convened hundreds of villagers to understand what kind of tasks needed to get done to prepare meals. They concluded that rural villages didn't want a cheaper refrigerator. The result was the creation of something entirely new: the Chotukool, a portable unit that runs on a thermoelectric cooling chip instead of a traditional compressor.

These kinds of projects demonstrate how unconventional insights can lead to highly differentiated products and services. By putting these insight-generation tools into practice, we can help you change the way you see the world through your customers' eyes.


What We Offer

conducting a jobs to be done analysis"Jobs to be done" analysis

We work to develop a new understanding of who your customers are and who could be your new customers. What are the functional, emotional and social jobs they can't get done well today? How we can satisfy those jobs with new solutions that drive growth.

Disruptive Innovation ChartDeveloping Disruptive Solutions

Armed with a new customer understanding, we can imagine new products and services aimed at non-consumers or "overshot" customers who may be satisfied with different solutions. In some cases, enabling technologies can drive change and lead to a new product that creates an entirely new market.

Related Insights

Books from Innosight:

The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth

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Innosight in MIT Sloan Management Review:

Finding the Right Job For Your Products

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