Identifying Customer Needs: Do Customers Want to Hire your Product? (Part 1)

by Jennifer Dilley

We’ve all hired someone to complete a task or a job for us.  For example, if my lawn needs to be mowed – I hire someone to mow it. Seems simple, doesn’t it? But have you ever asked that question about the products or services you work with?  Do you know what “job” your customers need done, that is causing them to “hire” your product or service?

Customer needs are often less clear than ‘my lawn needs mowed.’ Identifying customer needs or “jobs to be done” is an intentional exercise where we must work hard and dig deep to uncover.

Jobs Theory

Jobs Theory reframes our relationship with customers, making them the center of our focus. While conventional marketing tends to focus on demographics or product attributes, Jobs Theory goes beyond such apparent classifications to expose the functional, social, and emotional jobs that explain why customers make the choices they do.

People don’t simply buy products or services; they pull them into their lives to make progress. We call this progress the ‘job’ they are trying to get done. When we discover why customers want to ‘hire’ our products or services, we develop a customer-centric view, allowing us to become empathetic to their needs and wants. 


What Do Workers Really Want? You Need to Dig Deeper to Find Out.

Identifying Customer Needs with a “Jobs to be Done Map”

A good Jobs to be Done Map becomes a framework that helps marketers figure out ‘where to play’ and it lives beyond a single initiative. It maps all the jobs that customers have for a particular occasion.  For example, a Snacking JTBD Map includes all the jobs that customers have for the snacking occasion.  A Financial Investment JTBD Map, includes all the jobs that customers have for investing their money.  It lives on in your organization as a place to continually go back to for inspiration and focus. It provides:

Inspiration and guardrails for brand positioning, marketing messages, product innovation and renovation 

A framework for categorizing, defining, capturing, and prioritizing customer needs

A common language and focus for the cross-functional team

Factors That Influence Customer Behavior

There are several factors that influence customer behavior, including:

  1. Customer Needs and Goals – Customers use products that help them achieve their goals and meet their needs. If your product does not effectively address these needs and goals, customers are unlikely to hire it.
  1. Product Features and Benefits – The features and benefits of your product can also influence customer buying behavior. Customers are more likely to buy products that offer the features and benefits that they are looking for.
  1. Brand Reputation – The reputation of your brand can also influence customer behavior. Customers are more likely to buy products from brands that they trust and that have a positive reputation.
  1. Customer Experience – Customer experience can also impact purchasing behavior. Customers are more likely to purchase products that offer a positive and seamless experience, from purchase to use.
  1. Competitor Offerings – Competitor offerings can also influence customer buying behavior. If your competitors offer products that better meet customer needs and preferences, customers may choose to “hire” those products instead of yours.
Partner with SIVO to Identify Customer Needs for Your Business

At SIVO, we help our clients uncover their customers’ jobs for a wide range of application opportunities. We design customized research that leads to a fully developed Jobs to be Done Map. Our approach focuses on uncovering the subconscious drivers of customer decision-making by understanding the underlying needs and true motivations.

In Part 2 of our Jobs series, we will share the keys to success for Jobs to be Done mapping along with some examples of how it comes to life. Until then, please reach out to discuss how we can help you to get your brand, product, or service hired. 



More Posts

Growth Frameworks: A Path to Action & Growth

Our job as Insights Professionals is to not only identify relevant and unique consumer insights but also to apply the information in a way that influences decisions and drives action, resulting in growth.  But ensuring that valuable insights are heard, internalized, and acted upon can be a challenge. 

ChatGPT is a Soup-Starter, Not the Soup

With each advancement or new tool, there is the inevitable talk of our jobs going away because the latest advancement is expected to replace us.  In many cases, with advancement in technology, there are shifts that do render obsolescence.