By Jessica Wattman
Once you know about Jobs to Be Done, you can’t help but apply it to much of what you do. When I’m about to buy something new, I stop and think, “what job am I really satisfying?” Food provides a ready example.
For fun (honestly!), I started doing a quick-and-dirty jobs analysis on my last trip to the supermarket. It was almost like a game show — 5 points for each functional job I identified; 10 for emotional jobs; — 2 points for obstacles I encounter in trying to fulfill my jobs. Organic milk scored pretty high, winning 25 points. Its main functional job is to make breakfast quick and easy for sleepy kids getting ready to go to school. Five points for ease of use. There is also the positive of milk providing protein and calcium to their diet. Add another 5 points to the total. Emotionally, I feel like a better mother because I buy organic. That gives me 10 more points. I like to limit my plastic use so I go for the big glass bottles. My go-to supermarket doesn’t always stock glass, so I sometimes have to make an extra stop at the local farm to get the bottle I want. That obstacle would force me to subtract 2 points from my total. That day I was lucky, however, as organic milk bottled in one- gallon glass containers was readily available. I could add another 5 points for satisfying the functional job of being a good steward of the environment. Not bad overall but not nearly my highest score.
No, the winner that day in terms of most jobs satisfied in food surprisingly turned out to be Ozer Bakery’s Whole Wheat One Bun, which came in with a whopping 45 points! The One Bun is a whole grain, low fat, thin sandwich bun. You may or may not have noticed it tucked amongst the many other bread options in the frozen food aisle of your supermarket. At first glance, the One Bun doesn’t seem exceptional. But to a busy working mother of three boys, the One Bun is a lifesaver. Unlike my organic milk, I don’t need to make an extra stop at a specialty store to get what I want; it’s readily available at most large groceries. The fact that it comes frozen is another benefit. I don’t think twice about buying 3–4 packets at one time to stock up for the week. There’s palpable relief in being able to simply reach into my freezer when we’ve run out of buns. The buns come packaged 8 to a bag, which is a respectable number. With three growing boys who love sandwiches, one package lasts approximately 2–3 days, give or take a bun. For ease of use, then, the One Bun wins across many dimensions.
But there’s more. The One Bun is whole wheat, which makes it a healthy food for my family. Unlike other whole grain breads, it doesn’t have a rough texture nor is it difficult to chew. This is especially important for my 6-year old whose bread of choice is brioche, and who makes sure to tell me to use the ‘soft bread’ when I’m making him a sandwich. When I use the One Bun, there is never a complaint. Additionally, the bun is extremely versatile. I use it for sandwiches, hamburgers and even avocado on toast. It’s not often you can find a bread that satisfied all needs. The bun is thin but not flimsy. With bigger options, half the bread is often left on the plate to be thrown away or fed to the dogs. This never happens with the One Bun. There’s just enough heft to make it sturdy but not too much so that you generate waste. And at only 100 calories a serving, my husband and I have no guilt about our carb consumption.
Calculating the total points, we see that One Buns scores 25 points for functional jobs — availability, versatility, healthy option, size, and packaging — and 20 points for emotional jobs — feel good, healthy choice, and relief. In a world chock full of bread options, the One Bun is a hands-down success because it responds to so many of the jobs that I and others need to get done.
Of course, success isn’t always about the number of jobs satisfied. The (non-food) Blackberry only did one job — e-mail — but it did that really, really well when no other alternatives did. But in categories like food that are crowded, and where consumers are looking for easy options, hitting on several jobs in both functional and emotional ways can create a recipe for winning.