Posted in Business Strategy

What’re your products’ jobs?

Have you ever asked yourself what job(s) your product does for your customer? If not, it’s about time! We buy things in order to make our lives easier which, to put in another way, means that we buy products or hire services in order to get certain jobs done. Your washing machine cleans your clothes and, in doing so, saves you time and effort – just image you would have to do it with a washboard again! In the same way, the products or services you offer should help your customer get something done easier, to save time or effort, etc. Thinking about your offer this way will give you a whole new perspective and lead to interesting insights or possibly even product adaptation or extension.

Milkshakes in the Morning

Here’s one example from a Harvard Business Review Article. Can you image why people would buy milkshakes in the morning? A fast-food chain found out that many of their customers were doing exactly that and wanted to learn why. They talked to them in order to find out and asked them which jobs the product fulfills. And here’s what they found out: In the morning, most of their customers were in a rush to get to work and needed a quick breakfast on their way to work, which, as it turned out, was by car. Consequently, they went to a fast-food restaurant, grabbed a milkshake, placed it in their cup holder and had it on their daily commute to work. Plus, this way they would stay full until noon.

From this little case study, the fast-food chain recognized that the jobs their milkshakes were fulfilling for their consumers were: 1) being available quickly 2) something to do during the daily commute 3) a tidy way of eating with one hand 4) staying saturated until noon.

Having gained these insights not only allowed them to modify their milkshake offer but also present additional products for consumers to use in similar ways.

In summary, don’t forget to ask yourself about the customer jobs your product/service fulfills to gain new insights into your customers’ mindset and be able to develop other products that fulfill their needs in similar or even better ways.

What do you think?

What are your thoughts on this concept? Do you consider it helpful?


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