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How Airbnb capitalised on the "Jobs to be Done" framework to become a unicorn?

If you're working in Marketing, you must have heard about the "Jobs to be done" framework. "Jobs to be Done" (JTBD) is a framework for understanding customer needs and motivations that was developed by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen and his colleagues.

According to the JTBD framework, customers "hire" products or services to get a job done, rather than simply buying them to fulfil a need or desire. The focus of the framework is on understanding the underlying jobs or tasks that customers are trying to accomplish, rather than just their stated needs or preferences.



The JTBD framework involves identifying the jobs that customers are trying to accomplish, understanding the context and circumstances in which they are trying to accomplish them, and identifying the obstacles and pain points that customers face in achieving their goals. By understanding these factors, businesses can develop products and services that better meet the needs of their customers and create more value for them.

The JTBD framework has been used by many businesses and organizations to drive innovation, improve customer satisfaction, and gain a competitive advantage in their markets.


So, the question is how does this framework help marketers and business professionals?

The "Jobs to be Done" (JTBD) framework can help marketers in several ways:


1. Identify customer needs: By focusing on the underlying jobs or tasks that customers are trying to accomplish, rather than just their stated needs or preferences, the JTBD framework can help marketers identify the most important customer needs and pain points.



2. Develop customer-centric products: The JTBD framework can help marketers develop products and services that better meet the needs of their customers and create more value for them. By understanding the jobs that customers are trying to accomplish and the obstacles they face, businesses can design products and services that are more effective and user-friendly.


3. Target specific customer segments: The JTBD framework can help marketers identify specific customer segments that are trying to accomplish similar jobs or tasks. By targeting these segments with customized messaging and offerings, businesses can better meet the needs of these customers and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.


4. Differentiate from competitors: The JTBD framework can help businesses differentiate themselves from competitors by focusing on the jobs that their customers are trying to accomplish and developing unique solutions to meet these needs.



5. Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty: By developing products and services that better meet the needs of their customers, businesses can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. This can lead to increased customer lifetime value and a competitive advantage in the market.


Overall, the JTBD framework can help marketers better understand their customers, develop more effective products and services and create a more customer-centric marketing approach.


One example of a successful marketing case study that is supported by the "Jobs to be Done" (JTBD) framework is the development of the Airbnb platform.


Airbnb started as a simple platform for renting air mattresses in the founders' apartment during a conference in San Francisco. However, the founders quickly realized that the platform addressed a broader "job" that customers were trying to accomplish: finding affordable and unique accommodations while travelling.



By focusing on this job, Airbnb was able to develop a platform that better met the needs of its customers, such as offering a wide range of unique and affordable accommodations, enabling guests to connect with local hosts and communities, and providing a seamless and user-friendly booking experience.


In addition, the JTBD framework helped Airbnb identify opportunities for innovation and growth. For example, the company realized that many customers were using the platform for longer-term stays, such as for relocations or business trips. This led Airbnb to develop new products and services, such as Airbnb for Work, which is designed to meet the needs of business travellers and remote workers.


Overall, the JTBD framework played a key role in the success of Airbnb by helping the company better understand the needs of its customers and develop a platform that better met those needs. By focusing on the underlying job of finding affordable and unique accommodations while travelling, Airbnb was able to differentiate itself from traditional hotel chains and create a more customer-centric approach to travel.


What other example comes to your mind, when you deep dive into the "Jobs to be done" framework?


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