Jordan Ogren

May 30, 2021

Why do people buy milkshakes?

Why do people buy milkshakes?

Because they bring all the boys to the yard. (I'm sorry, I had to)

This question was posed by McDonald's marketing department. 

They wanted to increase sales of their milkshakes. But needed an angle to sell them.

They first tried: Sweet, delicious, vanilla ice cream flowing down your throat.

That didn't work. People were not buying milkshakes for their flavor or sugar.

The job that people were using milkshakes for was far from that.

Enter the late Clayton Christensen.

McDonald's asked him to help solve the milkshake problem.

Clayton was an author and instrumental in creating the Jobs To Be Done Framework (JBDF).

The framework helps figure out what jobs your product/service gets purchased for.

A toothbrush is an easy example. The job it is hired for is to clean your teeth and make them white.

You don't buy it to clean your toes. I hope you don't use your toothbrush to clean your feet…

So what did they do to figure out what people use milkshakes for? Talk to the people who purchase them the most.

They found that the milkshake's job was to give truck drivers "company" in the early morning while driving.

A milkshake isn't something you slurp back in five minutes. (Even though I'm guilty of this)

It's something that has a slow burn. And truck drivers enjoyed having something that would keep them busy while driving in the early morning.

Now McDonalds has its positioning. 

Without speaking with the people buying the most milkshakes and using the JBDF, they would have been hugely missing the target.

What Jobs does your service or product get purchased for?

It's not your initial answer; just ask McDonalds.

🧠 // JO