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Jobs to be Done Framework

Jobs to be Done is a market research framework focused on uncovering the underlying tasks (or jobs) that customers are trying to accomplish. We can understand what motivates our customers and clients if we get the 'job' they're trying to do. We'll see why then, they behave the way they do. And because Jobs to be Done gives a broad yet rigorous view of where both opportunity and tough competition really lie, a deep understanding of customers’ jobs is key for crafting irresistible innovations that don’t mimic other competitors. As business owners, we will be able to spot the opportunities and capture them as well as take a decent look at our competition.

We use this framework to look at the root causes of customer behavior. There are both functional and emotional goals. In both the B2C and B2B space, some of the greatest successes can be traced back to a rigorous understanding of customer needs. 'Using the Jobs to be Done framework, it becomes easy to see that people aren’t just buying a movie theater ticket, for example, but also indulgence, bonding, and a couple hours of entertainment for the kids on a rainy Saturday.'

Customers’ jobs to be done exist independently from what people are buying, making it essential to see the world from the customer’s perspective rather than from the vantage of a company that happens to be selling something.


A major food company came to us looking for new ways to target couples at mealtimes. The company saw that the marketplace was trending towards convenience, efficiency, and ready-made food -- like meal replacements and upscale convenience stores. But the data showed that couples were less keen to purchase these prepared foods. What would stick with couples?

New Markets Advisors used Jobs to be Done research to help the food company deeply understand its target segment and innovate in ways that were new to its category.

What jobs do couples have around dining?

Functional jobs:

  • Eat healthy
  • Be nourished
  • Stay within budget
  • Spend less time on menial tasks like meal planning

Emotional jobs:

  • Unwind and relax
  • Bond with my partner
  • Learn new cooking skills
  • Try new things and create variety in our meals

Result: A New Product Line
The research was surprising -- even though convenience products were flooding the market, couples were actually willing to spend about 20 minutes together preparing food. Couples were skeptical of all-in-one and ready-made meal solutions, but also were burdened by having to plan a meal from scratch. Rather, they needed a “sous chef” to help them create the meal they envisioned. This led the food company to develop a new line of meal kits where consumers could add their own personal touch to familiar salads and entrées.

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