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Tony Ulwick - Strategyn. Denver, CO, US

Tony Ulwick Tony Ulwick

Founder & CEO | Strategyn

Denver, CO, UNITED STATES

Tony is the pioneer of Jobs-to-be-Done Theory and the inventor of Outcome-Driven Innovation® (ODI).

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Biography

Tony is the pioneer of Jobs-to-be-Done Theory and the inventor of Outcome-Driven Innovation® (ODI), a powerful strategy and innovation process with a documented success rate that is 5-times the industry average. Tony has been granted 12 patents for his game-changing innovation practices, which result in products that help customers get a “job” done better.

Philip Kotler, S. C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University says, “I call Ulwick the Deming of Innovation because, more than anyone else, Tony has turned innovation into a science.”

Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen says, "Ulwick's outcome-driven programs bring discipline and predictability to the often random process of innovation."

Tony began his career with IBM’s PC division in 1981. Witnessing the failure of the PCjr, Tony was inspired to develop a better approach to innovation. Since founding the innovation consultancy Strategyn in 1991, he and his global team of ODI practitioners have led strategy engagements with over one-third of the Fortune 100, helping them generate billions of dollars in revenue growth.

In 2002, Tony introduced Harvard Business Review readers to ODI in the article Turn Customer Input into Innovation. HBR recognized ODI as one of the best business ideas of the year, declaring it one of “the ideas that will profoundly affect business as we forge ahead in today’s complex times.”

Tony is the author of the original Jobs-to-be-Done book, What Customers Want, his recent release, JOBS TO BE DONE: Theory to Practice, and additional articles on ODI published in HBR and MIT Sloan Management Review. Through his involvement in hundreds of innovation initiatives, Tony has helped companies reinvent underperforming products, create new business models, and build and implement company-wide innovation programs. His work is cited in hundreds of publications.

As an innovation thought leader, inventor, author and speaker, Tony Ulwick has changed the way academics and executives alike think about growth strategy and product innovation.

Areas of Expertise (6)

Jobs To Be Done

Outcome-Driven Innovation

Marketing Strategy

Innovation Consulting

Innovation Management

Strategy

Education (2)

Florida Institute of Technology: M.B.A. 1982

University of Rhode Island: B.S., Mechanical Engineering 1979

Testimonials (1)

John Vines, Former Colleague | Strategyn

I'm guessing this is the first recommendation being given because, most people would be embarrassed to think of writing a recommendation for Mr. Ulwick, being that he is a genius innovator and teacher who has transformed whole industries with his principles. So, what I can say about him is that, after spending a week with him and his top consultants at a training event - what struck me most was how humble, kind, approachable, and down-to-earth he is.

Media Appearances (2)

Before we use the ‘innovation’ label, let’s remember the man who coined the term

Mumbrella  online

2020-02-26

Customer-led innovation, on the other hand, is quite a different kettle of fish (that’s a voice-activated, internet-enabled kettle, of course). This kind of innovation starts with the customer and advances incrementally to increasingly address their needs. Christensen, and others like Tony Ulwick, are particularly focused on the customer’s ‘job-to-be-done’, and helping them get it done as elegantly and efficiently as possible.

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People Don't Want Your Product Design. They Want the Outcome It Provides

Core77  online

2019-05-20

As innovation expert Tony Ulwick, the founder of ODI describes it, "Customers are not buyers, they are job executors. Competitors aren't companies that make products like yours, they are any solution being used to get the job done."

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Patents (3)

Commercial Investment Analysis Continuation

us 8655244

This patent describes a technique for performing commercial venture analysis. More specifically, it patents the application of jobs-to-be-done theory as it applies to calculating returns for new markets in which products and services do not yet exist.

Needs-Based Mapping and Processing Engine

us 8666977

This patent describes a mechanism that dramatically minimizes the time it takes to gather needs, the expense it takes to gather those needs, and ensures those statements are formulated in manner that comply with a set of rules designed to ensure the right inputs are used in downstream strategy formulation, marketing, product development, and related company workflows.

Commercial Investment Analysis

us 8655704

This patent describes a technique for performing commercial venture analysis that involves the jobs customers are trying to get done and the outcomes they are trying to achieve. It is a division of a previously granted patent.

Articles (46)

Giving Customers a Fair Hearing Harvard Business ReviewF

2008 Eager to grow through innovation, companies are looking to customers to guide them toward unmet needs. But these entities often end up with vague, unusable -- or even misleading -- customer input. Why? The authors studied 10,000 customer need statements from many industries and discovered that companies have not even established a definition of what a customer need is or how user input should be standardized in terms of structure and format.

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Turn Customer Input into Innovation Harvard Business ReviewF

2002 This article includes a one-page preview that quickly summarizes the key ideas and provides an overview of how the concepts work in practice along with suggestions for further reading.

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Giving Customers a Fair Hearing MIT Sloan ReviewF

Tony Ulwick

2008-04-01

In nearly every company there is broad agreement that innovation is the key to growth and that understanding customer needs is the key to innovation. Unfortunately, more than 95% of product teams fail to agree on what a “need” even is. This is the root cause of failure in innovation. In this seminal MIT Sloan Management Review article, Strategyn’s founder Tony Ulwick introduces the types of customer inputs that bring predictability to innovation. Knowing the types of inputs that effectively inform innovation is the first step in transforming innovation from an art to a science.

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The Jobs-to-be-Done Canvas StrategynF

Tony Ulwick

2019-11-11

Helping a product team see a market through a Jobs-to-be-Done lens is often a transformational experience. This training canvas can help drive that transformation — and company growth.

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Customer Needs Through a Jobs-to-be-Done Lens StrategynF

Tony Ulwick

2019-11-06

Customer needs become discoverable and actionable when you define them around the job the customer is trying to get done. Innovation appears to be a random, inherently unpredictable process. But what if we could understand the causal factors that contribute variability to the innovation process and learn how to control them? Would that bring predictability to innovation? The answer is yes — we have proven it can be done, but it requires new thinking.

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Jobs-To-Be-Done Brings New, Deep Insights To Product Development StrategynF

Tony Ulwick

2019-11-04

While customer insights have driven hardware and software development for years, Jobs-To-Be-Done and Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI) take customer-centered innovation to the next level.

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Avoid These Common Mistakes When Getting Started With Jobs-To-Be-Done StrategynF

Tony Ulwick

2019-10-10

Defining the customer’s job-to-be-done correctly is fundamental to a company’s success. Don’t let these two common mistakes derail your innovation efforts.

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How to Define Your Brand’s Growth Strategy with Jobs-to-Be-Done StrategynF

Tony Ulwick

2019-05-16

You need to evolve your product line and grow your business. But how will you go about getting there? Add a new feature set to your existing offering? Develop a new low-cost product? Create a new platform-level solution that gets the job done significantly better? Or significantly cheaper? Something else entirely? It can seem like a guessing game.

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The Birth of Predictable Innovation StrategynF

Tony Ulwick

2019-05-16

Early in my career as a product engineer, I experienced the ultimate professional disappointment: for 18 months I put my heart and soul into creating a product that failed in the marketplace. It was 1983, and I was part of the IBM PCjr development team. We were working on a product that was supposed to revolutionize home computing. In advance of its release, the Washington Post wrote, “the PCjr will quickly become the standard by which all other home computers are measured.”

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Jobs-to-be-Done and the Internet of Things StrategynF

Tony Ulwick

2016-12-06

The Internet of Things, according to Wikipedia, allows objects to be sensed and/or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit. The vision of the Internet of Things has evolved due to a convergence of multiple technologies, including ubiquitous wireless communication, real-time analytics, machine learning, commodity sensors, and embedded systems.

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What Hidden Segments Exist In Your Market? StrategynF

Tony Ulwick

2016-09-15

Market segmentation is a method that companies use to target unique offerings to groups of customers that will value them. Over the years, many methods of market segmentation have been developed and implemented.

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How Should Customer “Needs” Be Defined? StrategynF

Tony Ulwick

2016-07-12

Companies receive thousands of inputs from their customers every single day. They come from dozens of sources, including social media, the service desk, the sales team, customer advisory boards, and formal qualitative and quantitative research. Companies are not lacking customer insights. If anything, they are overwhelmed with data. Despite these efforts, most companies do not fully understand their customers’ needs.

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Bring Markets Into Perfect Focus by Defining Them Around the Customer’s Job-To-Be-Done StrategynF

Tony Ulwick

2016-07-12

Companies often define the markets they serve around the technology in their product offerings… a technology that one day will become obsolete. Clearly, this is a mistake, but it’s one that has been repeated by hundreds of companies over the decades. Where are the companies that defined themselves around CDs? They spiraled to their death when MP3 technology came along. Many companies today find themselves in this same situation.

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Who is Your Customer? StrategynF

Tony Ulwick

2016-03-15

Before a company can become customer-centric, company managers must agree on exactly who the customer is. Gaining such agreement is not easy. When we ask company managers who their customer is, we typically hear, “We have many customers.” Often they add that customers include both “internal stakeholders and external customers.” To further complicate matters, external customers are typically said to include influencers, decision makers, buying groups, end users, operators, installers, and others. In a medical device company, for example, external customers include the surgeon, patient, insurer, nurse, operating-room manager, and hospital buying group, among others. It’s true that a company has many customers, but is there a way to simplify matters? Let’s start with the why question. Why do we need to know who the customer is? Obviously, we want to know who it is we’re trying to serve, but there is a more tactical reason. From a customer centricity perspective, we must identify the customer so we can gain the insights we need to create products and services that will get the job done better and/or more cheaply. So the question becomes, “Who holds these insights?” Through our work, we have discovered that there are three key customers types that must be considered: the purchase decision maker, the job executor, and the product life cycle support team.

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Define Customer Needs As Desired Outcomes StrategynF

Tony Ulwick

2012-04-27

The key to company growth is to create more value for your customers, which means better satisfying unmet customer needs. Why is this so hard? It is because companies do not define customer needs correctly. In 95% of all companies, managers squabble over what a customer need even is. And once that debate is resolved–if it ever is–it soon becomes clear that no one knows what all those needs are, or which ones are unmet. How can companies satisfy unmet customer needs when they don’t know what they are or even define customer needs correctly? Chances are they can’t. Less than 1% of all companies were able to grow 5% or more each year for the ten years from 1999 through 2009, according to a study published in the Harvard Business Review. Clearly, value creation is a challenge. Traditionally, companies have tried to identify customer needs through techniques such as voice of the customer. But this almost never works. Why? Because it turns out it’s not your customer or even your product that you should be analyzing. This seems counterintuitive, but it’s true. What you need to be analyzing is the job your customer is trying to get done. Ultimately, it is the desire to get a job done that causes the customer to buy a product or service in the first place. This thinking is essential to the jobs-to-be-done theory.

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Defining the Job-to-Be-Done StrategynF

Tony Ulwick

2012-10-22

Success in innovation doesn’t come from understanding the customer. It comes from a deep understanding of the job the customer is trying to get done. After all, it is the need to get a job done that causes customers to buy a product or service in the first place. The first challenge that companies face when trying to understand the customer is defining the job-to-be-done. Over the past 21 years, we have developed a set of rules that we follow to define the job correctly. It is a prerequisite to turing our jobs-to-be-done thinking into practice. Here are three of the dozen or so rules we use to get it right:

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When Is A Market Ripe For Disruption? StrategynF

Tony Ulwick

2012-02-27

You can’t disrupt a market just because you want to: the market has to be ripe for disruption–ready, in other words, for replacement with a new product/service platform. There are two situations in which new platforms are required: (1) when a market is highly overserved and (2) when a market is highly underserved. A market is highly overserved when customers (job executors) are highly satisfied with how well they’re able to do the job they’re trying to get done and when the needs associated with that job are relatively unimportant. These customers are not struggling in the least. In fact, they’d be happy to have fewer bells and whistles associated with getting the job done if it meant they could pay less for the solution.

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Why Your Idea Is Worth Nothing StrategynF

Tony Ulwick

2011-09-29

Tony Ulwick, founder and CEO of Strategyn, recently gave a webinar entitled, “Why Your Idea Is Worth Nothing, and How to Create Growth Plans That Work.” In this webinar, which Strategyn did in conjunction with Institute for International Research, Tony explained why most ideas do not succeed in the marketplace and presented a framework that can be used to create ideas that customers will embrace. Time constraints prevented us from addressing all the audience questions, but as we promised, we address some of those now. If you were unable to attend the webinar, you can view the video here. The slides are also available for download here.

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Customer Needs Research Methods StrategynF

Tony Ulwick

2010-02-23

A prospective client recently asked me why they should conduct customer needs research using the broad range of Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI) methods instead of pre observational (ethnographic) research. You may know that observational research is in vogue today in some of the most innovative companies. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best method for capturing customer needs. Many companies understand that they must capture customer needs before they can generate new product concepts that customers will value. But they don’t know what inputs to capture for innovation. Their enthusiasm for observational customer needs research is based, in part, on the false belief that customers have latent unarticulated needs. There is also a profound misunderstanding about what a customer need really is. If you believe that customers have latent needs that cannot be articulated then, of course, observational research becomes paramount because it provides a way to discover unarticulated needs. But this well-entrenched belief – that customers have unarticulated needs – is simply not true. Customers cannot articulate solutions but they can articulate their needs once you understand what a need is and don’t confuse it with solutions.

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Measure Customer Progress Using A Proven Jobs-To-Be-Done Methodology CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2018-12-26

New product success becomes predictable once you know the metrics customers use to measure progress when trying to get a job done. People often choose to switch from one product to another when a new product helps them “make progress in a given circumstance”. This terminology is sometimes used to explain Jobs-to-be-Done Theory, but using the term “progress” to describe the goal of the customer often raises questions in the minds of product planners and others as they try to predictably conceptualize winning products. When applying Jobs Theory with a focus on customer progress, those responsible for product innovation often struggle to answer two very important questions: How do customers define “progress?” How should customer progress be measured?

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Avoid These Common Jobs-To-Be-Done Fails CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2018-09-12

“People don’t want a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.” This quote, which was made popular by Theodore Levitt, forms the foundation for Jobs Theory: the notion that people buy products (like drills) to get a “job” done (e.g., create a quarter-inch hole). Sounds simple enough — companies are in business to create products and services that help customers get a job done.

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Outcome-Driven Innovation Brings Deep Insights to Hardware and Software Development CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2018-07-05

While customer insights have driven hardware and software development for years, Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI) takes customer-centered innovation to the next level. Whether a company is investing in the creation of a product, service or software solution, there are 4 key activities that must be executed effectively by the planning and development teams. For each product that is launched, a company must: Conceptualize the product that is to be developed for the target market. To be successful, the conceptualized product must help users get a core functional job done better and/or more cheaply. This activity is the responsibility of the product planner or process owner. Engineer/architect the product to perform the core functional job it is intended to perform. This activity is the responsibility of the product engineer or software architect. If the product does not get the core job done better/cheaper than the next two activities are a waste of time. Enable the user to effectively interact with the product. This activity is the responsibility of the usability team or the UX and/or UI designers. Design the customer experience to support users/others as they interact with the brand, company, and product throughout the product’s lifecycle. This activity is the responsibility of the product support or CX (customer experience) team.

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The Critical Role of a "Product Oversight Team" in Innovation Success CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2018-04-25

When it comes to introducing new products, companies excel: they introduce thousands of new products every year. Unfortunately, most of them fail. This highlights an issue that plagues companies worldwide: Companies do not struggle to create products. Rather, they struggle to create the right products, i.e., those that are certain to win in the marketplace

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Replace Luck with a Predictable Innovation Process CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2018-02-21

Any company can master innovation and create products and services that will consistently and predictably win in the marketplace. The process for doing so has been around for decades. Despite this reality, most companies complain of 70-plus percent innovation failure rates. Ironically, as CEOs rank innovation a top priority, and their companies struggle to achieve predictable innovation, they fail to address the obvious problem. The secret to success is really no secret at all. Innovation must be treated like any other business process. If a company wants to excel at lead generation, for example, it must invest in an effective lead generation process. If it wants to excel at customer service, it must invest in an effective customer service process. Innovation is no different. If a company wants to excel at innovation, then it must invest in and follow an effective innovation process — and this is where companies fall short.

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The Fundamentals of the JTBD Theory CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2017-12-01

Jobs-to-be-Done Theory is best defined as a group of principles that explain how to make marketing more effective and innovation more predictable by focusing on the customer’s job-to-be-done. The theory is based on the notion that people buy products and services to get a “job” done. The theory goes on to say that by understanding in detail what that “job” is, companies are far more likely to create and market solutions that will win in the marketplace.

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Reinventing Market Research for Innovation CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2017-11-09

Research methods designed to quantify solution preferences are standing in the way of achieving predictable innovation. Innovation is the process of devising solutions that address unmet customer needs. For decades companies pursued an “ideas-first” approach to innovation—they encouraged brainstorming to yield many alternative solutions and used market research methods that were designed to evaluate customer preferences as a means to determine which solution was best. Many gated development processes, including StageGate®, recommended this approach.

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10 Characteristics of the "Perfect" Customer Need Statement CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2017-07-13

Innovation is the process of devising a solution that addresses unmet customer needs. To win at innovation, a company must be able to uncover all the customers’ needs, figure out which are unmet and then work to devise solutions that will address them. Sounds simple enough, but in most companies the marketing, development, and R&D teams can’t even agree on what a “need” is. This is the root cause of failure in innovation. While customer needs are a critical input into the innovation process, confusion as to what a need is continues to derail the science of needs discovery. To address this issue, I have spent the last 30 years working on “inventing” what I hoped to be the “perfect” need statement. This has resulted in the creation of the desired outcome statement, which is the cornerstone of the Outcome-Driven Innovation process .

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Solving The Innovation Equation CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2017-05-05

The day after the IBM PCjr was announced in 1984 the headlines in the Wall Street Journal read, “the PCjr is a flop.” The critics were right—it was a flop, but how did they know? What metrics were they using to evaluate the PCjr? As a member of the PCjr development team I wished we could have gotten our hands on those metrics well in advance of announcement—preferably before we even started developing the product. If that were possible we could have simply built the product to address the stated metrics and achieved success. In the years that followed I worked on the IBM PC product planning team, trying to figure out a way to build successful products around customer-defined metrics. As part of that effort, four questions had to be answered:

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Bring Predictability to Innovation CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2017-04-06

By controlling the causal factors that bring randomness to the innovation process, companies can bring predictability to innovation. Innovation appears to be a random, inherently unpredictable process. But what if we could understand the causal factors that contribute variability to the innovation process and learn how to control them? Would that bring predictability to innovation? The answer is yes—we have proven it can be done, but it requires new thinking. Innovation is the process of devising product/service solutions that address unmet customer needs. There are 2 key inputs into the innovation process: (1) solutions: ideas for new products or product features that use new or existing technology in a new, unique or novel way, and (2) customer needs.

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Applying JTBD Theory to Micro-Moments CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2017-03-02

Here’s a relatively new concept that is sweeping across the radar of brand managers across the marketing world: micro-moments. Introduced to us by Google’s Sridhar Ramaswamy, micro-moments are the moments or instances when we turn to a device–often a smartphone–to take action on whatever we need or want right now. According to Ramaswamy, “Micro-moments are critical touch points within today’s consumer journey, and when added together, they ultimately determine how that journey ends.”

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Demystifying JTBD: Four Applications CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2017-02-02

Newcomers to “Jobs-to-be-Done” are getting confused. With all that has been written on the subject recently, those just getting introduced to the theory are wondering: Do multiple versions of the theory exist? Why do those out there who are talking about Jobs-to-be-Done think about it so differently? Why are there so many different methods being touted as the best way to apply the theory? Here is the good news: there is only one Jobs-to-be-Done Theory. I believe that the established thought leaders in this space can all agree on these 6 basic tenants of the theory: People buy products and services to get a “job” done. Products that win in the marketplace help customers get a job done better and/or more cheaply. A job-to-be-done is stable over time, making it an attractive unit of analysis. Understanding the job-to-be-done provides a new avenue for understanding customer needs. A job-to-be-done is functional and has emotional and social jobs associated with it. A job-to-be-done is always a process (to make progress).

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Why The “Job Story” May End Badly. Don’t Apply New Theory Through an Old Lens CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2017-01-05

Jobs-to-be-Done Theory, when applied effectively, makes innovation 5-times more predictable. Our 25-year track record applying the theory with our Outcome-Driven Innovation process offers that evidence—and it is no surprise as to why it works. Jobs-to-be-Done Theory offers a foundation for addressing the three key questions companies must answer correctly when trying to make innovation more predictable: (1) What are the customers needs? (2) Which needs are unmet, and (3) Are there segments of customers with unique sets of unmet needs? With this knowledge companies can more effectively position and improve their existing products and create altogether new products that customers will want.

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Formulating a Customer-Centric Product Strategy: 7 Key Actions CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2016-10-07

An effective product portfolio strategy will guide the company in (a) improving its products to better serve the unmet needs of customers in each targeted outcome-based segment, and (b) will offer a solution that eventually gets the entire job done on a single platform. Once the underserved outcome-based customer segments are uncovered and prioritized, the company can take the seven courses of action shown in the figure below for each segment: Borrow features from other company offerings. Accelerate offerings in the product pipeline and R&D. Partner with or license from other firms. Acquire another firm to fill a gap. Devise a new feature set. Devise new subsystems and/or ancillary services. Conceptualize the ultimate solution.

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Formulate a Market Strategy Around Underserved Segments and Needs CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2016-09-09

Strategyn’s Outcome-Driven Innovation process includes qualitative research methods that are used to discover the job customers are trying to get done and their desired outcomes (a special form of need statement) as they try to get the job done. The process also includes quantitative research methods that are used to discover outcome-based segments of opportunity and to identify which desired outcomes in each segment are underserved—these are needs that are unmet. With this information in hand, a company has the customer-centric, data-driven inputs it needs to formulate a market strategy. An effective market strategy should align the strengths of a company’s product offerings with the customer’s unmet needs. This is best accomplished through the marketing activities shown in Figure 1. We recommend the following steps:

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What Unmet Needs Should Be Targeted for Growth CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2016-08-03

The objective of the innovation process is to find ways to help the customer get a job done better and/or more cheaply by addressing desired outcomes that the customer cannot currently achieve—these are their unmet needs. Not all customers struggle in the same ways in getting a job done. This is why we recommend using our outcome-based segmentation method to discover segments of opportunity. Our data-driven segmentation method reveals segments of customers with different unmet needs. Once these segments are discovered and a specific segmented is selected, we are ready to determine what unmet needs should be targeted to (i) help the customer get the job done better, and (ii) help the customer get the job done more cheaply. We accomplish this task by employing statistically valid quantitative market research that reveals which outcomes are most underserved (making them targets for getting the job done better), and which are most overserved (making them targets for getting the job done more cheaply).

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Competitive Analysis: Why Does it Matter CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2016-06-02

Why do you conduct competitive analysis? Is it merely to see which features of competitors’ products are technically superior? Or is the goal to gain the insight that is needed to create products and services that get a job done better and/or more cheaply than competing solutions? We argue that the latter should be the goal. That being the case, comparing feature sets—“speeds and feeds”—of competing products is a waste of time. It’s an outdated approach that provides irrelevant information.

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What Value Proposition Should You Secure CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2016-05-06

A number of years ago we worked with Coloplast’s wound care product team. More specifically, we focused on wound care nurses (the job executors) whose job-to-be-done was “treat a wound.” We used our outcome-based segmentation methodology to reveal a segment of highly underserved nurses, and the findings resulted in a new value proposition that led to double-digit growth in less than six months. How did Coloplast achieve these results? To paraphrase hockey great Wayne Gretzky, Coloplast “skated to where the puck was going to be.”

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What Hidden Segments Exist in Your Market CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2016-04-07

Market segmentation is a method that companies use to target unique offerings to groups of customers that will value them. Over the years, many methods of market segmentation have been developed and implemented. Qualitative methods, such segmentation based on personas, segment the market using demographic, psychographic, or behavioral categories or stereotypes. Quantitative methods, such as conjoint analysis, aim for greater precision through the use of numerical values and calculations.

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How Should Customer Needs be Defined CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2016-03-10

Companies receive thousands of inputs from their customers every single day. They come from dozens of sources, including social media, the service desk, the sales team, customer advisory boards, and formal qualitative and quantitative research. Companies are not lacking customer insights. If anything, they are overwhelmed with data. Despite these efforts, most companies do not fully understand their customers’ needs.

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Customer-Centric Innovation is Driven by Outcomes, Not Ideas: Inside Scoop CustomerThinkF

Tony Ulwick

2016-02-27

CustomerThink Founder/CEO Bob Thompson interviews Tony Ulwick about ideas, outcome-driven innovation and why companies struggle to bring breakthrough products and services to market.

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Outcome-Driven Innovation: JTBD Theory in Practice jobs-to-be-done.comF

Tony Ulwick

2017-06-21

Outcome-Driven Innovation® (ODI) is a strategy and innovation process that enables a company to create and market winning product and service offerings with a success rate that is 5-times the industry average. ODI makes a company’s marketing efforts far more effective and its innovation efforts far more predictable and profitable because it begins with a deep understanding of the customer’s job-to-be-done. Looking through a jobs-to-be-done lens, we’ve reinvented the way customers, markets and needs are defined, how markets are segmented and sized, and how ideas are constructed and tested. The ODI process employs qualitative, quantitative, and market segmentation research methods that reveal hidden opportunities for growth. The process works because it ties customer-defined metrics (desired outcomes) to the customer’s job-to-be-done, making innovation measurable. By knowing how customers measure value, companies are able to align the actions of sales, marketing, development, and R&D with these metrics to systematically and predictably create customer value.

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What Is Jobs-to-be-Done? jobs-to-be-done.comF

Tony Ulwick

2017-02-28

JOBS-TO-BE-DONE is best defined as a perspective — a lens through which you can observe markets, customers, needs, competitors, and customer segments differently, and by doing so, make innovation far more predictable and profitable. When Einstein engaged in his thought experiments, he pictured himself riding on a beam of light and traveling through the universe. From this perspective he was able to view the universe through a new lens, enabling him to see things in a different and meaningful way and to develop a theory that others could not.

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Mapping the Job-to-be-Done jobs-to-be-done.comF

Tony Ulwick

2017-01-11

The Job Map turns the fundamentals of Jobs-to-be-Done thinking into an innovation practice. This framework enables companies to deconstruct a job that customers are trying to get done into specific process steps. The resulting job map, provides a structure that makes it possible to capture all the customer’s needs related to the core functional job and to systematically identify opportunities for growth. A job map is a visual depiction of the core functional job, deconstructed into its discrete process or job steps, which explains step-by-step exactly what the customer is trying to get done. A job map does not show what the customer is doing (a solution view); rather, it describes what the customer is trying to get done (a needs view).

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Jobs-to-be-Done: A Framework for Customer Needs jobs-to-be-done.comF

Tony Ulwick

2017-01-05

Imagine if all the developers, marketers, strategists and R&D managers in your company shared a common understanding of what a need is and which customer needs are unmet. Such alignment and focus changes everything. So how can this be achieved? Harvard Business School marketing professor Theodore Levitt said, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!” Clayton Christensen says, “People buy products and services to get a job done”. These are the basic constructs of Jobs-to-be-Done Theory, but these constructs are only the tip of the iceberg. The theory has a game-changing implication: Jobs-to-be-Done Theory provides a framework for defining, categorizing, capturing, and organizing all your customers’ needs. Moreover, when using this framework, a complete set of need statements can be captured in days — rather than months — and the statements themselves are valid for years — rather than quickly becoming obsolete.

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Inventing the Perfect Customer Need Statement jobs-to-be-done.comF

Tony Ulwick

2017-07-30

Innovation is the process of devising a solution that addresses unmet customer needs. To win at innovation, a company must be able to uncover all the customers’ needs, figure out which are unmet and then work to devise solutions that will address them. Sounds simple enough, but in most companies the marketing, development, and R&D teams can’t even agree on what a “need” is. This is the root cause of failure in innovation. While customer needs are a critical input into the innovation process, confusion as to what a need is continues to derail the science of needs discovery.

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Rethink your innovation process StrategynF

Tony Ulwick

2020-09-16

Does your company consistently excel at innovation? With new product failure rates around 80 %, chances are your innovation process lets you down more often than not. But it does not have to be this way. Over the years managers have been conditioned to believe that innovation is an inherently random process; that the acceptance of failure must be baked into company culture; and that pivoting and failing fast is the way to make the innovation process more efficient.

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