The jobs-to-be-done framework is a tool that helps organizations understand their customer’s unmet needs and how to fulfill them. This approach has been gaining traction in the innovation space because it provides a way for companies to tap into customer insights, while also aligning company strategy with what customers want. In this blog post, we will explore the fundamentals of an innovation strategy with examples through a jobs-to-be-done lens.
What innovation strategy aims to do
An innovation strategy is a plan to achieve business goals through the introduction of new products and services. It is often associated with the idea of “finding a new problem to solve”. When applying the jobs-to-be-done framework, it’s important to identify both the job, job executor, and target segment as well as which unmet needs to pinpoint.
An effective innovation strategy also aims to be informative. It must indicate which strategy is appropriate for the product. For example, a product improvement strategy would be best when a product gets the job done but there are unmet needs of customers that can be incorporated into the current model. On the other hand, a breakthrough innovation approach would be best for a new-to-the-world product that wants to target new customers.
Formulating an outcome-driven innovation strategy
Creating the actual strategy can be difficult (here are some innovation strategy examples). Here are the basic types:
This strategy involves charging more for a better product. It is best used when targeting a market of underserved customers. These customers will be willing to pay more for their job to be done more effectively.
This strategy is likely used the least. It involves charging more for a worse product. It is only meant for markets that don’t have a lot of options and companies that don’t have a lot of competition.
The disruptive strategy involves winning overserved customers by creating a product that does less but is also cheaper and more efficient for their personal needs. This can also win over those who are not customers if their needs align with your product benefits. This is best when your customer’s current solution is costing them too much for what they actually need.
This involves getting the job done better and charging less. Ideally, it wins over all types of customers whether they are underserved or overserved because it is a better product at a better price.
Questions to ask when developing a strategy
While almost everyone in a company is responsible for product improvement, it is management who holds the responsibility for new product innovation. When developing a strategy for new investments, management should ask themselves these key questions:
- When should we replace our current product with a new one?
- What new markets should we enter and why?
- What new products or features do customers need that will help us achieve our desired revenue growth?
- What market segments are the most profitable to target?
- Is there a need for an entirely new market segment because of unmet needs in existing markets?
An outcome-driven innovation strategy is not always easy, but it is important. It helps align business goals with what customers want. It empowers managers to make informed decisions about which strategy is best for the product and their customers, while also ensuring they are on the right path towards achieving success.