What Jobs Do Your Customers Need To Have Done?
A whopping 95% of new consumer products fail, including heavily advertised products. Products fail because companies use demographics and other unsuccessful methods to "understand customers, segment markets and build brands," says Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen (Note 1). Customers "hire products and services" to get specific jobs done. When companies have this view of their customers, they know what to sell, to which segment, and how to approach the segment, concludes Christensen.
What Are the Components of the Job To Be Done?
Fifty years ago Vance Packard defined cars as covert sex symbols. Now, cars often serve as mobile offices, according to Christensen. However, car manufacturers don't respond to this need. To grasp what jobs your customers need to do, you must understand:
Four Ways To Identify Jobs To Be Done
The most effective software developers are former users, Christensen says. To gain familiarity with the jobs your customers want done, you should:
Companies often conduct product concept tests after they have developed a new product or prototype. Too often they are surprised to find that customers have little interest in the product. If you develop products that do a job that customers want to have done, you are more likely to launch successful new products. We can help you identify what those jobs are.
Next month: Questions to ask to identify the jobs to be done.
Note 1: Clayton M. Christensen, "Integrating Around the Job to Be Done," Harvard Business School, Module Note 9-611-004; 2010. Cited by Paul Regensburg of RainCastle, April 13, 2012. Regensburg blog.
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