Book a strategy call

Innovation can be defined as the process of devising solutions that address unmet customer needs. An innovation strategy is the systematic identification of unmet customer needs in a given market—and selection of which unmet needs to target for growth.

Identifying and prioritizing unmet customer needs allows the business to grow market share or profits through reliably successful product and service innovation.

Jobs-to-be-Done offers the perfect lens to view innovation strategy because it allows you to uncover all of your customers’ unmet needs.

1. What is the most efficient path to growth?

A good innovation strategy lays out the most efficient path to growth. It helps a product team prioritize unmet needs that, when addressed, will have the greatest impact on the largest customer population.

For example, highly underserved needs across 100% of the customer population are prioritized ahead of outcomes that are moderately underserved across 50% of the population.

This prioritization method helps product teams accelerate their value creation efforts—and to stay out in front of competitors.

2. Are you creating a single, platform-level product or a product portfolio?

The innovation strategy also informs whether a product team is creating a single, platform-level product versus a product portfolio (several products targeted at different segments).

If you’re creating a single, platform-level product, you are optimizing the product to address the top unmet needs of a single customer segment. When your objective is a product portfolio, you’re targeting specific offerings at different segments. Each product is optimized to address the top unmet outcomes in each segment.

3. What kind of innovation strategy should you pursue?

With a strong innovation strategy, product teams know—with a high level of certainty—whether they should pursue disruptive, dominant, disruptive, discrete, or sustaining strategies. Knowing where to focus to create value, and which growth strategy to use puts product teams on the fast path to achieving product-market fit—with products that get a job done better.

A good innovation strategy comes with a lot of benefits, most of which center around getting your various teams on the same page to create value.

There is a clear link between innovation and value—for customers and for the business. In fact, historical data from BCG shows the correlation between value and innovation has grown even stronger over the last two decades.

All of the following benefits help a business achieve long-term success.

Don’t gamble at innovation

If you’re ready to launch the next big thing, it’s time to upgrade to Outcome-Driven Innovation. Get in touch to speak with one of our innovation experts.

Tony Ulwick

Tony is the pioneer of Jobs-to-be-Done Theory, the inventor of the Outcome-Driven Innovation® (ODI) process, and the founder of Strategyn. Philip Kotler calls Tony “the Deming of innovation” and Clayton Christensen credits him with “bringing predictability to innovation.” Published in Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review, Tony is also the author of 2 best sellers: What Customers Want and JOBS TO BE DONE: Theory to Practice.

Stop guessing. Start innovating.
Book a Strategy call