How to identify Customer Jobs-to-be-done from three perspectives


The concept of Jobs-to-Be-Done (JTBD) offers a unique lens through which manufacturers can view and meet these needs. JTBD is a framework that focuses on the ‘job’ a customer is trying to get done with a product, rather than just the product itself. This approach helps manufacturers innovate and tailor their products more effectively. According to Tony Ulwick, one of the JTBD framework’s creators, we can identify Customer Jobs-to-be-done from three perspectives. Let’s explore the JTBD for three key customer categories in the context of denim jeans, providing insights into how their specific needs can inform a denim manufacturer’s product development.

The Core Job Executor :

This is the person who actually uses the product or service to get the core functional job done. The core job executor provides crucial insights into the functional metrics or desired outcomes needed to enhance or create a product. They can offer feedback on how to make a product perform a job faster, better, more predictably, and more efficiently, with higher output or throughput. In case of denim jeans, they may have following jobs-to-be-done, needs, pains and gains:

  • Functional Jobs: Comfortable fit, durability, and practicality. The wearer needs jeans that are easy to move in, last long, and are suitable for various occasions.
  • Emotional Jobs: Style and personal expression. Jeans should make the wearer feel confident and fashionable.
  • Social Jobs: Conforming to or challenging social norms and trends. Wearing jeans that are trendy or align with a social group’s expectations.
  • Needs: High-quality fabric, diverse sizes, and styles.
  • Pains: Jeans that wear out quickly, don’t fit well, or are out of style.
  • Gains: Long-lasting, versatile jeans that boost confidence and express personal style.

The Product Lifecycle Support Person(s):

This group is involved in the various stages of a product’s lifecycle, including installation, maintenance, repair, and disposal. Their role is critical in understanding how a product can be designed for ease of use, maintenance, and end-of-life considerations, impacting overall customer satisfaction and product longevity. In case of denim jeans, they may have following jobs-to-be-done, needs, pains and gains:

  • Functional Jobs: Ensuring ease of maintenance, repairability, and sustainable disposal. They need jeans that can be easily cared for and have a minimal environmental impact.
  • Emotional Jobs: Pride in providing quality service and contributing to sustainability.
  • Social Jobs: Being part of a sustainable and ethical fashion movement. Influencing positive change in consumer habits.
  • Needs: Jeans that are designed for longevity, with eco-friendly materials and construction.
  • Pains: Dealing with easily damaged jeans or those that require complex care procedures. Difficulty in recycling.
  • Gains: Facilitating a longer lifespan for jeans and promoting eco-friendly practices.

The Purchase Decision Maker:

Often different from the core job executor, this is the person who decides whether to buy the product or service. Their considerations might include cost, value for money, brand reputation, and how well the product meets the needs of the end user. They might not use the product themselves but need convincing about its worth for the end user or the organization. In case of denim jeans, they may have following jobs-to-be-done, needs, pains and gains:

  • Functional Jobs: Finding jeans that provide good value for money and meet the wearer’s requirements.
  • Emotional Jobs: Satisfaction from making a wise purchase decision. Ensuring the wearer is happy with their jeans.
  • Social Jobs: Choosing jeans that reflect well on the decision maker, either in terms of fashion sense, financial savvy, or ethical choices.
  • Needs: Affordable, high-quality jeans that align with the wearer’s preferences.
  • Pains: Overpaying for jeans, or purchasing jeans that don’t meet the wearer’s expectations.
  • Gains: Achieving a balance between cost, quality, and wearer satisfaction. Feeling good about the purchase from an ethical and environmental standpoint.

For a denim manufacturer, these insights are invaluable. They highlight the need for a multifaceted approach to product development, one that considers the various functional, emotional, and social aspects of wearing and maintaining denim jeans. By addressing these diverse needs and expectations, manufacturers can create products that not only meet practical requirements but also resonate on an emotional and social level, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.