Clearly Articulate the Circumstance of Struggle

Successful products resolve circumstances of struggle in consumers’ lives: situations where consumers are making significant trade-offs, cobbling together imperfect solutions, or simply not addressing the struggle at all because they haven’t yet discovered an adequate solution. Concepts that clearly and completely describe the target situation—who is struggling, plus when and where they’re struggling—perform 58% better than concepts without this information.


Including this context helps to sharpen the connection between the “job to be done” 
in consumers’ lives and the product’s key messages and benefits. As a result, consumers are more likely to “hire” these products.


Consumers perceive concepts with a complete circumstance of struggle to:

  • Be more innovative
  • Be more relevant
  • Have an advantage over similar products
  • Be a better value


In addition to describing the circumstance of struggle, explain exactly how you’ll address this situation. How does your offering enable consumers to easily accomplish something they had previously struggled with? Does it leverage unique scientific or technological advancements? Does it include special ingredients? Explaining the how bolsters your credibility and competitive advantage.


What percentage of tested concepts fully describe a circumstance of struggle?
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Source: Nielsen 2016 Breakthrough Innovation Report, U.S. Edition. Based on an analysis of more than 600 concepts from 40 clients across 30 countries and 60 categories. Concepts were coded by a panel of experts.

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