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In today’s customer-centric business environment, understanding why customers make the choices they do is crucial. JTBD offers a lens through which businesses can view their offerings not just as products or services, but as solutions to specific customer problems. This blog post delves into the intricacies of JTBD, demonstrating how it can revolutionize your approach to business, marketing, and innovation.

What is Jobs To Be Done (JTBD)?

Jobs to be Done is a theory that delves into understanding the motivations behind consumer behavior in product usage.

When customers purchase a product, it's not just about acquiring the item itself; there's often a specific task they hope to accomplish with it. This concept is at the heart of the Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) theory. In business, it's crucial to recognize not just the surface-level expressions and demands of consumers, but also their underlying true needs. Take, for example, someone buying a drill bit. Their real need might not be the drill bit per se, but rather the ability to create a hole in a wall, a piece of wood, or even stone. Therefore, any product that can help complete this task could potentially be your competitor or substitute. Understanding this allows companies to delve deeper into the true motivations and needs behind consumer behavior. By focusing on these fundamental tasks, businesses can develop and market products that truly resonate with their customers, enhancing both relevance and effectiveness.

JTBD vs Traditional Market Research

At its core, the JTBD framework shifts focus from product features to the underlying customer needs these features address. Traditional market research often concentrates on demographics and buying patterns, but JTBD goes deeper, seeking to understand the ‘why’ behind every purchase.

Aspect Traditional Market Research Jobs To Be Done Theory
Focus Product Features Customer Needs
Method Surveys, Focus Groups In-depth Interviews
Outcome Statistical Data Actionable Insights

JTBD is a paradigm shift, urging businesses to think beyond the superficial attributes of their products.

Benefits Of Jobs-To-Be-Done Across The Business

1. A New Perspective and Framework for Businesses

Jobs-To-Be-Done (JTBD) offers companies a novel viewpoint and framework, emphasizing an in-depth exploration of the real motivations and needs behind consumer behaviors. This approach enables businesses to develop and market products that truly resonate with customers, as highlighted earlier. By delving deep into what truly drives consumer actions, companies can create offerings that not only meet but also anticipate consumer needs, leading to more effective product development and marketing strategies.

2. Guiding Product Iterations

JTBD plays a pivotal role in directing a company's product iterations.

Case Study: Fitness Equipment Company

In a competitive fitness equipment market, a company focused on developing high-end treadmills with cutting-edge technology and features like heart rate monitoring, voice control, and personalized training programs. Despite technological superiority, the company noticed stagnant sales growth.

Market expert Emily posed a critical question, "What real purpose do our potential customers aim to fulfill by purchasing a treadmill?"

Through research and market analysis, Emily uncovered that the company's treadmill, while technically impeccable, overlooked the core needs of the consumers. Most target customers were time-pressed professionals seeking not just a high-tech treadmill but a fitness solution that seamlessly integrates into their busy lives.

The company identified gaps in the market:

  • Traditional gyms offered professional equipment but commuting was a barrier for busy individuals.
  • Economical home treadmills were affordable but lacked comprehensive workout experiences.
  • Fitness apps were convenient but missed the mark in providing a complete physical workout due to the absence of equipment.

Iterative Direction for Treadmills:

  • Emphasize how the equipment can effortlessly blend into users' daily routines, with quick setups and easy storage designs.
  • Offer personalized workout plans that adapt to users' schedules and fitness levels.
  • Enhance social and interactive features, like online community support, to boost engagement and motivation.

With these enhancements, the company aimed to better fulfill consumer needs, thereby enhancing the market appeal and sales of its high-end treadmills.

3. A Paradigm Shift in Product Innovation

Innovation shifts from a product-centric to a task-centric perspective with JTBD.

Case Example: IKEA's Business Model

IKEA's business model is an outstanding example of the Jobs to Be Done theory in action. In the traditional furniture industry model, consumers typically customize their furniture based on their needs and then wait for the production and delivery of the furniture. This process is often time-consuming and expensive, and once the furniture is in place, it becomes difficult to relocate or replace.

IKEA's founder, Ingvar Kamprad, observed a key social change while studying the market: with economic development, the frequency of moving in Europe and America was increasing, and most rental housing did not provide furniture. This meant that tenants needed to furnish their homes quickly and economically. However, existing solutions in the market, such as flea markets or second-hand furniture, often failed to meet this need due to significant uncertainty and quality issues.

Kamprad realized that the traditional way of purchasing furniture did not meet the needs of this emerging market. His insight led him to create a new business model: why not manufacture standardized, easy-to-assemble furniture that customers could buy and install quickly themselves?

Thus, IKEA was born. IKEA's furniture is designed to be assembled by customers at home, significantly reducing production and transportation costs. Moreover, the ease of assembly and disassembly of IKEA furniture makes it particularly suitable for customers who move frequently. Customers can easily purchase, transport, and assemble these pieces of furniture in their new homes, and they can also conveniently disassemble and reassemble them when moving.

In this way, IKEA not only addressed the specific "jobs" customers faced when purchasing furniture but also successfully created a whole new furniture shopping experience. This case demonstrates how, by deeply understanding customer usage scenarios and needs, innovative products that meet these needs can be designed. What emerged from IKEA was not just a new way of buying furniture, but a home solution that fits modern lifestyles.

Overcoming Challenges

Implementing JTBD comes with its own set of challenges, such as resistance to change or difficulty in identifying accurate 'jobs'. Overcoming these obstacles involves:

  • Educating your team about the benefits of JTBD.
  • Engaging in regular training sessions.
  • Using pilot projects to demonstrate the effectiveness of JTBD.

These steps can help in smoothly integrating JTBD into your business processes.

Measuring JTBD Success

To gauge the effectiveness of JTBD, focus on metrics like customer satisfaction, repeat purchases, and market share.

Metric Before JTBD Implementation After JTBD Implementation
Customer Satisfaction Moderate High
Repeat Purchases Low Increased
Market Share Stagnant Growing

These indicators provide tangible evidence of the impact of JTBD on your business.


The Jobs To Be Done theory is more than just a conceptual framework; it's a practical tool for gaining a deeper understanding of customer behavior and driving business success. By focusing on the jobs your customers need to be done, you can create products and services that truly meet their needs, leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty.

Ribao Technology is dedicated to innovation that meets the real-world needs of our customers. Our focus is on providing practical solutions that save time and protect against counterfeit losses, embodying the core principles of the Jobs To Be Done theory. We're committed to technology that serves you in your daily life, not just technology for its own sake. Join us in embracing this customer-first approach.

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