A real-life Jobs-to-be-done case study with AMC.
AMC is one of Europe’s most premium cookware companies.
AMC offers a unique cooking system that provides better taste and more healthy nutrients compared to cooking with conventional pots and pans.
The company steadily grew thanks to new technologies and a successful direct sales model.
The business challenge of AMC
In 2017, it became clear that technology alone was not enough to sustain growth.
While the innovation roadmap was filled with technology ideas, the team had no confidence that these planned innovations would truly address unmet customer needs and thus build the business. Furthermore, it was not clear which projects should be given more priority for market success.
A new approach was needed with products that resonated better with consumers. At this critical moment, AMC was supported by Vendbridge, a thought leader in Jobs to be Done with a powerful methodology to drive growth initiatives to success.
Beginning of the project
At the beginning of a Jobs-to-be-done project, it is key to frame the challenge from the Jobs to be Done perspective.
The Universal Job Map in form of a hierarchy is a great tool for this. It helps to understand and structure the customer’s needs and motivations as a pyramid, i.e., what is in the focus (= focus job) and which are the steps to achieve this job (= job steps). It becomes also clearer what the “bigger why” of this job is, i.e., motives located higher up in the human pyramid of needs (= higher level job).
The focus job in the case, the core of the analysis, is «To feed my family».
The Universal Job Map serves
as a going-in hypothesis for qualitative discovery,
as a guide for interviewing and
to organize the analysis.
Universal Job Map of the AMC case:
What we want to understand are the needs and expectations customers have when trying to get a job done.
We also want to understand which criteria they apply when judging whether a job is done well or not.
And we want to make all observed expectations comparable and measurable “Job Metrics”.
Job Metrics follow a clear syntax and must meet certain standards, such as being natural language, being solution-free, containing a precise unit and a clarifying context.
Job Metrics make Jobs-to-be-done actionable by allowing one to assess whether a task is done well or poorly with a particular solution.
Discovering through interviews
36 qualitative interviews with AMC users and non-users were conducted in the three key markets Germany, Italy and Spain.
All participants fulfilled certain criteria like regular cooking, different household types etc.
They were also asked to bring their favorite pot or pan, a kitchen appliance they do not want to do without plus their best recipe.
This helped to understand the participants better and in addition prepared them for the interview.
All 36 interviews followed this structure in order to cover all relevant topics.
The interview guide had been discussed with the client before. We thoroughly talked about what we are looking for.
Laddering techniques helped us to go in depth and to uncover what is beyond the obvious. We also used pots, pans and other kitchen appliances to watch consumer behavior.
The interviews were recorded.
Validation of the relevance of each Job Metic & identification of those that matter
Through the 36 interviews, we recorded over 200 Job Metrics. After cleaning for duplicates and going through an initial prioritization, we got the list down to 120 Job Metrics.
The key objective of this step was to quantitatively validate which ones were relevant to customers and which once were true pain points. A pain point are those Job Metrics that are important to the customer but not well met.
Survey a minimum of 60 people (preferably 200-1,000) to achieve statistical significance.
This may sound a lot, but this is the only way to achieve the required investment security you are so dearly looking for!
Structure of the survey:
The Job Journey Navigator to visualize the big opportunities along the Customer Journey
The Customer Journey Navigator allows to identify opportunities along the Customer Journey, to devise customer-focused strategies and to develop innovative concepts.
All Job Metrics can be displayed from left to right in the order of the Customer Journey, highlighting how many users rated important and satisfied.
With the Job Journey Navigator, AMC discovered three distinct unmet need opportunities where the importance to the customer and the current customer satisfaction show a gap:
Promote family cohesion and teach values to children
Supervise the cooking process, such as preventing the dish from spoiling or messing-up the kitchen
Clean-up after a meal
These unmet need opportunities are robustly supported by data, so the team can confidently determine the overall direction of innovation efforts.
As a first step, it was decided that all innovation projects must contribute to solving problems related to these unmet needs.
To be more specific and leave even less room for interpretation in product development, the AMC team went one level deeper.
Each of the unmet need opportunity areas is specified by a set of Pain Points, i.e., Job Metric with high importance and low satisfaction.
For example, there is a specific pain point with burned-in spots, and users desire to remove them faster than usually.
This insight allows product developers to search for technologies which specifically target speed of removal.
Job Journey Navigator:
Spinning the innovation projects on the roadmap
In a next step, the team assessed each project on the innovation roadmap based on how it contributes to address the most relevant Pain Points.
For every project, the intended benefit for the customers was specified. This benefit was systematically matched against the list of Pain Points, with three possible outcomes:
Accelerate the project
Reframe the project to strengthen its value for customers
Kill the project
The result was a reprioritized innovation roadmap and a clear understanding which customer value it should provide.
A constant stream of customer-relevant innovations as business result
The Job Journey Navigator and the underlying Jobs-to be-done thinking helped AMC prioritize the innovation roadmap and sharpen the value proposition of each innovation.
The focus the team gained through the process resulted in a steady stream of new product developments with positive impact on revenue and profitability.
Thanks to the Jobs-to-be-done mindset and the quantitative approach, AMC’s approach to innovation transformed from technology-driven to a more customer-centric company.
Download the whole AMC case: