The birthday cake’s JTBD

One question within jobs to be done is: Are the consumer and the customer different? 

A manager who buys software or uniforms or food for their staff is the customer whereas the staff is the consumer. And this happens a lot. 

Homeowners use thermostats but HVAC companies buy them. About one-fifth of books sold are gifts. Physicians choose the medicines that patients take. And then there is the birthday cake. 

“We aren’t making nearly as many of our decorated cakes as we used to. When we do, it’s a half sheet instead of a full sheet or even nine-inch cakes. In our Chicago industry, we’ve seen a drop in decorative cakes mostly from the people who are in their twenties and thirties who don’t want to buy the same things for their kids that they got when they were kids. They want ice cream cakes or experiential things instead of having a birthday cake at home.”  – Ken Jarosch, Odd Lots, December 2022

If the customer and consumer aren’t aligned then a business gets what Bob Moesta calls “zombie revenue”. 

Gyms run on zombie revenue because the customer, the current me, is different from the consumer, the future me. 

Products are not: build it and they will come. There’s much more why, how, and when – even at a kid’s birthday party. 

Birthdays are common posts around here: The Birthday Cake Diet and The Birthday Bet.

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