American Girl doesn’t just sell dolls; it sells stories steeped in periods and places in U.S. history. With its Reese’s Minis, Hershey’s isn’t only marketing candy; it’s selling an easy way to eat chocolate on the run. Then there’s MinuteClinic, which diagnoses what ails us in mere minutes versus hours at a doctor’s office, saving time on a busy workday.
IKEA. Intuit. Sargento. Chobani. OnStar. All of these thriving companies have something in common: they’ve identified the “jobs” customers hired them to do. They’ve taken the uncertainty out of innovation, making it less of a gamble and more of a sure bet.
“Competing Against Luck” (HarperCollins, October 2016) – a just-published book by Clayton Christensen and his coauthors, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon and David Duncan – gives you the framework to do the same.
As Inc. editor-at-large Leigh Buchanan explains in her review, it’s all about shifting the focus from who customers are (the goal of target marketing) or what they do (the goal of field studies) to why they do it (Jobs to be Done theory).
What causes customer choice? Not features and benefits, says Christensen in a Wall Street Journal interview. “What matters is not the product attributes you rope together, but the experiences you enable to help your customers make the progress they want to make.”