Re-imagining Markets Using Jobs to be Done: Tillamook
Tillamook has been a leading dairy brand in the American West since 1909, and it has a long tradition of craftsmanship in cheese, ice cream, and other dairy staples. But it needed to grow beyond that core product set and positioning in order to boost the company’s trajectory and succeed in markets beyond its geographic stronghold.
The company engaged New Markets to understand the “jobs to be done” of dairy consumers in a range of markets, pinpointing new opportunities in both product innovation as well as brand strategy. We looked across consumer types and usage occasions to understand when and why dairy products were being chosen, and when they might be appropriate but did not compete due to a variety of constraints. We also delved into what defines a dairy brand and how consumers’ priorities around food can translate to these specific product categories. Research techniques included smartphone-based video ethnography, small group interviews, and a quantitative survey.
Tillamook has since emphasized the farmstyle craftmanship behind its products, accentuating the fact that it does not take shortcuts in product aging or fool consumers through common tactics such as whipping excessive air into ice cream. It also has an exciting portfolio of products in the works.
New Business Models in Established Industries: Boston Scientific HeartLogic
In medical device innovation, high R&D costs and regulatory hurdles make it essential to thoroughly evaluate opportunities before launch. Medical device company Boston Scientific turned to New Markets to do just that as the company investigated new ways to serve physicians and heart failure patients. Over the course of a new product’s development, in multiple engagements from 2013 through to 2017, New Markets interviewed a range of physicians, nurses, and practice administrators to identify what information medical providers needed to know about their patients, what outcomes they realistically wanted to achieve, and how new business models could provide a win for both Boston Scientific and its customers.
Following the conclusion of the project, in 2017 Boston Scientific received FDA approval for its Resonate family of implantable defibrillator systems equipped with HeartLogic diagnostic technology. In addition to unique diagnostic sensing technology unique, HeartLogic provides physicians and nurses with an intuitive display of patient data, a clear risk scoring of patients, and actionable recommendations to prevent worsening symptoms that can lead to hospitalization. A study of the system showed that HeartLogic was able to accurately predict 70% of heart failure events a month before they occurred. This increased accuracy gives physicians more time to proactively alter a patient’s treatment and deliver appropriate care, reducing the need for emergency intervention.
Market Assessment for Emerging Opportunities: Mahindra
Mahindra, an Indian conglomerate and India’s largest vehicle manufacturer, was keen to understand how electric vehicles might gain traction in the country. Over a three-month engagement, New Markets conducted a thorough trends assessment of the auto industry, both in India and globally. It looked specifically at where the company could make inroads in the electric market, what evolving technology meant for competitive positioning, and what segments of the market the company could lead.
In 2017, Mahindra released an electric three-wheeled rickshaw, the e-Alfa Mini, the first of its kind in India. Designed to navigate tight urban streets while helping India achieve its 100% electric vehicle vision, the e-Alfa provides an affordable solution to India’s unique transportation challenges and helps Mahindra stay a step ahead of potential disruption.
Strategy in Rapidly Changing Industries: iRise
iRise was one of the first visualization software programs to come to market, and its revolutionary software allows those without a technical background to create quick mock-ups of websites, apps, and other systems. But as the demand for visualization services grew, so did the number of iRise’s low-end competitors. iRise ruled the top-end of the industry but needed a way to ensure it could continue to grow successfully.
Using Jobs to be Done as our framework, New Markets embarked on customer research to understand the workflow, motivations, and pain points for iRise’s target users. We found that while there were ways iRise could improve its visualization software, focusing just on that wouldn’t solve the core disruption the low-end players were creating. Instead, iRise could fight its disruptors by broadening the playing field and addressing an adjacent area where users were struggling: in requirements management, the step before visualization in which business and technical stakeholders hash out the project vision.
iRise has subsequently released a new version of its premier software that also facilitates requirements management and positions the company in a new space in that field. By addressing core jobs to be done and holistically considering pain points, iRise has distinguished itself from its competitors in a dramatic way, and it is the only visualization package to offer requirements management tools.
Building Innovation Capabilities: Boehringer Ingelheim
Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) is a leading German pharmaceutical company. While it has led in scientific innovation over its history of more than 130 years, the company sought to add digital tools to its therapies so that patients and physicians can become more engaged in the usage of BI drugs. New Markets has undertaken more than a dozen engagements with BI over the past seven years as it has built out this capability.
In addition to helping BI create disease-specific solutions, we have also worked with BI to build corporate capabilities. As a result, BI has launched a number of new initiatives that, for example, act on its commitment to external collaboration and progressive innovation. In 2017, BI launched its inaugural innovation prize, awarded to a life science startup pursuing therapeutics-based technologies. In 2018, BI more than doubled the size of its corporate venture fund and has plans to open a second US office to expand its network of partnerships. It also created an office for Business Model and Healthcare Innovation, reporting in at a high level, to embed digital capabilities in its wide portfolio of drug brands.