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At an increasing rate (according to IBM C-Suite studies) companies are seeing that they need to figure out ways to put the customer at the center of their attention and decisions. But do businesses have the customer insight, tools or methods to put them there?

In the MIT Sloan Management Review article Finding The Right Job For Your Product Clayton M. Christensen, Scott D. Anthony, Gerald Berstell and Denise Nitterhouse discusses the idea of understanding what jobs customers are trying to solve and why different products are hired in order to help solve them.

In other words: What people are doing becomes the unit of analysis, not who they are.

To quote Clayton Christensen: "The way we teach marketing is wrong, understanding the customer turns out to be the wrong unit of analysis. You really want to understand what causes the customer to buy the product and pull it into their lives. And what causes us to buy a product is we have a job to do and we have to go out and find something to buy to get the job done. Understanding the job rather than understanding the customer is what you really need to understand because then you can improve it."

I am currently prototyping a tool for this theory (Work-In-Progress) and it can be seen and downloaded below.

Download by clicking the image or here.

The Customer_Job_To_Be_Done Canvas

The Customer_Job_To_Be_Done Canvas

I'm employing the same strategies towards my own business as I do with my clients, therefore the tool is still just a prototype being redesigned and redesigned again. But hopefully there are people out there interested in trying the tool out, give feedback and help on the way forward. This tool is not a parking lot for an idea - but a continuous, hopefully never-ending process. 

Thank you for any feedback on EmailLinkedIn (please connect) or Twitter.