More on the Job to be Done theory

I discussed this earlier in the context of a podcast by Horace Dediu. A small excerpt from the HBR artcicle "Marketing Malpractice: Cause and Cure" where this is first articulated.

By understanding the job and improving the product’s social, functional, and emotional dimensions so that it did the job better, the company’s milk shakes would gain share against the real competition – not just competing chains’ milk shakes but bananas, boredom, and bagels. This would grow the category, which brings us to an im- portant point: Job-defined markets are generally much larger than product category-defined markets. Marketers who are stuck in the mental trap that equates market size with product categories don’t understand whom they are competing against from the customer’s point of view.

Notice that knowing how to improve the product did not come from understanding the "typical" customer. It came from understanding the job. Need more evidence?

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