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Principles of Customer Jobs

Principles of Customer Jobs

Customers don’t want your product or what it does; they want help making themselves better (i.e., they want to evolve, make progress).Charles Revson knew that customers didn’t want cosmetics, which are just colored oils. He also knew that customers didn’t want what those cosmetics do, which is simply coloring skin. He understood that his customers wanted hope. This understanding of customer motivation has helped keep Revlon in business for eighty-four years. In 2015, its revenue topped $1.9 billion. It seems that selling hope is a profitable business. [17]

Focusing on the product itself, what it does, or how customers use it closes your mind to innovation opportunities. For example, if you sold drills, you might be tempted to think that people buy drills and bits because they want holes. But then 3M comes along and develops an entire line of damage-free hanging products that are designed specifically to eliminate the need for a drill or for making any holes. Another manufacturer, Erard, also avoided the “customers want holes” trap. It promotes a collection of TV mounts with a simple description: “The first TV wall-mount bracket with no drilling of the wall required.” While you were convinced customers wanted holes, your competitors understood that customers wanted help improving their lives.