Combining Strategy and Innovation

by Strategy

Capturing the essence of our customers’ (or prospects’) needs and jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) enables us to develop new innovation opportunities.

This, combined with the transformation of our business models, allows us to have maximum impact on value creation and the development of a competitive advantage.

Explore JTBD

Jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) refers to the tasks, goals or problems that customers seek to accomplish in their daily lives.

Rather than focusing on the specific features of a product or service, the JTBD perspective focuses on the outcomes and benefits customers are looking for.

Remember, people buy a drill not to own a tool, but to drill holes! Understanding this fundamental purpose allows us to explore innovative alternatives, such as no-drill mounting solutions.

To capture the essence of needs and JTBDs, it is essential to conduct in-depth customer research. This can include in-person interviews, surveys, field observations and behavioral data analysis.

Explore in the field. Observe and capture information. Be somewhat of an anthropologist.

The goal is to uncover customers’ underlying motivations, frustrations, expectations, and the circumstances in which they seek to accomplish their tasks. Think in terms of jobs, pains and gains.

This deep understanding helps define opportunities for innovation and develop solutions that truly meet customer needs.

Building an innovative business model

Once the needs and JTBDs are clearly identified, it is important to turn this information into concrete actions.

Here are some key steps to develop new innovation opportunities and transform the business model:

Generate ideas to rethink the value proposition

Next, organize brainstorming sessions involving multidisciplinary teams to generate creative ideas. Encourage divergent thinking, demonstrate empathy and use techniques such as brainstorming, mind mapping and design thinking to explore different perspectives.

Prioritize ideas

Evaluate the ideas generated based on their relevance to customer needs, technical feasibility and business potential. Use clear criteria to evaluate and rank ideas to focus on those with the greatest potential. Identify the conditions for success and the riskiest elements.

Rapid Prototyping

Create prototypes or minimum viable versions (MVPs) of the most promising concepts. Prototypes allow for rapid testing of ideas and valuable feedback from customers. This iterative approach allows you to fine-tune and improve solutions before developing them on a large scale.

Testing and iteration

Test prototypes with real customers to assess usability, fit and appeal. Gather feedback, data and observations to iterate and refine solutions. It’s important to take an agile approach, iterating quickly and adapting to customer feedback. This validation step helps to de-risk the process and increases confidence in the various hypotheses (Yes, there are always some!).

Business model

Once you’ve identified a viable solution, it’s time to think about transforming the business model to maximize value creation. Analyze how your solution can be articulated by taking advantage of innovative elements in the business model. Think about channels, key activities, and different revenue streams. Again, there is an element of uncertainty here that requires testing and validation.

Partner Ecosystem

To create maximum value, it is often necessary to partner with other players in the ecosystem. Identify potential partners who can help build and deliver your solution. This may include manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, technology platforms or even complementary competitors.

Customer Experience

Customer experience plays a critical role in creating value. Analyze the customer journey and identify key touch points where you can provide additional value. This may include improving accessibility, convenience, personalization, customer support, etc. Focus on creating an exceptional customer experience that retains and engages customers.

Scalability and sustainability

When transforming a business model, it’s important to think long-term. Make sure your solution can evolve and adapt to changes in the market, technologies and customer preferences. Build in feedback and continuous learning mechanisms to stay in tune with customer needs and iterate accordingly.

There are several well-documented approaches to exploring and rethinking the value offered by one’s business model.

The right approach

We have echoed many of them in our articles and podcast episodes. Think of Design Thinking, Business Model Innovation and the Blue Ocean Strategy.

Often, we make the mistake of looking for the best approach.

It’s more about identifying the right approach. The one that takes into account the possible collaboration, the competencies mastered by the team, the time available and the objectives pursued.

The right combination of the different elements will allow you to create this unique value for your customers as well as your shareholders (without forgetting the societal actors!)

Want to read / listen more? Explore these links:

  1. Resources
  2. Blog
  3. Podcast Playlist (French episodes)