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    The Psychology of Buying: Unmasking How to Find Product / Market Fit

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      Picture of Vaughan Broderick

      Vaughan Broderick

      Hey friends ????,

      Have you ever been frustrated with building a product to solve a problem, only to find it gains no traction?

      That was the story of my first business failure.

      There are countless startups, innovations and existing businesses that end up in the idea graveyard.

      Even hugely successful companies like Google and Microsoft have had dozens of failures.

      And remember Segways? Who would have thought that people would be too embarrassed to ride them? ????

      But this is serious business, costing time, money, effort and jobs.

      Another example is Blockbuster, the once-dominant video rental chain, which needed to adapt to changing customer preferences.

      They focused on their existing business model of physical movie rentals and late fees, overlooking the underlying job customers wanted to accomplish: convenient and affordable access to a wide range of movies.

      On the other hand, Netflix recognised this job and disrupted the industry by offering a subscription-based streaming service.

      Blockbuster’s failure to understand the core jobs and needs contributed to a lack of innovation in delivering value to meet the need.

      Today, we’ll unpack Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) theory, the main steps and key benefits.

      Let’s dive in!

      ???? What is the Jobs to be Done Theory?


      The JTBD theory is a framework that emphasises understanding why customers ‘hire’ a product or service.

      Originally developed by the likes of Tony Ulwick, Bob Moesta, Clay Christensen and contributed to by Alexander Osterwalder and many others.

      Instead of focusing solely on demographics or product features, the theory highlights the importance of identifying the fundamental jobs that customers are trying to accomplish.

      These jobs can be functional, social, or emotional, and customers evaluate different options based on their ability to help them achieve desired outcomes.

      By understanding customers’ jobs, businesses can uncover opportunities for innovation and create products or services that better meet customers’ needs.

      The JTBD theory also emphasises the significance of understanding the context and circumstances in which customers hire a product.

      Factors such as timing, location, and the unique circumstances of customers’ situations play a crucial role.

      By considering these contextual elements, businesses can tailor their offerings and marketing strategies to better align with customers’ specific needs and enhance their overall experience.

      Ultimately, the JTBD theory guides businesses to focus on customer motivations and decision-making, providing valuable insights for product development and innovation.

      I capture the jobs, pains and gains using the Value Proposition Canvas.


      ???? Jobs to be Done – Step by Step


      Here are the ten steps to use JTBD based on a scenario of buying a milkshake.

      1) Interview customers: Conduct semi-structured discovery interviews to gain insights into customer experiences and motivations.

      Interview milkshake buyers to understand their preferences, such as the time of day they purchase milkshakes and their reasons for choosing this particular treat.

      You might find this interviewing framework helpful.

      2) Observe customers: Witness how customers interact with products and identify pain points and unmet needs.

      Watch customers purchasing milkshakes to understand their behaviours, such as which flavours they gravitate towards and how they consume them (e.g., sipping or using a straw).

      3) Extract JTBD, pains, and gains: Analyse data to identify desired outcomes (JTBD), frustrations (pains), and positive experiences (gains).

      Discover that milkshake buyers hire the product to satisfy their cravings, experience a refreshing and indulgent treat, and enjoy sharing a drink with family.

      4) Prioritise JTBD, pains, and gains: Address the most significant customer needs and pain points.

      Recognise that for milkshake buyers; the top priorities are a delicious taste, a smooth and creamy texture, and a reasonable price.

      5) Find the core problem: Distill the extracted elements to identify the underlying challenge or opportunity.

      Determine that customers often need help with long waiting times and limited flavour options when purchasing a milkshake.

      6) Identify all needs (get granular): Break down the broader JTBD into specific sub-jobs to gain a comprehensive understanding.

      Milkshake buyers expect a variety of flavours, a thick and creamy consistency, and the ability to customise their milkshake with toppings or mix-ins.

      7) Identify unmet needs: Identify areas where existing solutions fail to meet customers’ desires or pain points.

      Realise that milkshake buyers are looking for healthier options low in calories and sugar without compromising the taste and texture they enjoy.

      8) Quantify how much each need is underserved or overserved: There may be cost reduction or value creation opportunities.

      9) Build a product that solves unmet needs: Design and develop solutions that specifically address the identified unmet needs.

      Develop a low-calorie milkshake line with alternative sweeteners, offering flavours like fruit-infused options while maintaining a rich and creamy texture.

      10) Segment around unmet needs: Segment the target audience based on their needs and desired outcomes rather than demographic characteristics.

      Group milkshake buyers based on their preference for healthier alternatives and their desire for customisable options rather than solely focusing on factors like age or location.

      “Most companies are great at creating products – they just aren’t that great at creating the right products.” – Tony Ulwick

      ???? Key Benefits of JTBD


      There are five key benefits of using JTBD, namely:

      • Jobs are stable over time. Therefore, the product can change to meet preferences even with the core need remaining stable, such as Walkman to iPod to iPhone.
      • New segments can be identified outside of traditional segmenting. Competitors will likely use traditional segmentation, which may not highlight new segments.
      • You can find underserved needs that are ready for value creation.
      • You can find overserved needs that are ready for cost reduction.
      • You can find the 15% that motivates people to switch from competitors. This is ‘crossing the chasm’ from early adopters to mainstream buyers.
      • This approach helps to create market pull from the end customers perspective.

      ⚡The Short of It


      JTBD is a process to find unmet needs and identify untapped markets and customer motivations.

      Jobs remain stable over time, making innovation possible to meet customer preferences while still addressing the core needs.

      JTBD and the unmet needs drive solutions rather than having an idea, building a solution and then trying to find a home for it.

      Here are 4 bonus tools and resources that are useful and fun:

      • 💥 Here’s the long list of 288 of Google failures.🔥 If you are building a product, here’s how to use pretotypes to test ideas and reduce risk.
      • 🤯 Confused with all the AI terms? Here’s a glossary to level-up on AI.
      • 🎁 AI Bonus. Want to stay up with all the latest in AI? Parves Shahid makes AI accessible, entertaining and productive.

      That’s all for today friends! 👋

      Feel free to reply to this email if you have any questions or newsletter requests.

      Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you next week.

      Keep future-state thinking,