Product manager’s guide to impulse buying

Most of the time we buy products we do it based on their appeal. We rarely ask about how good do they fit our daily lives. 

The marketers behind most products wanna sell to you the idea of a better you. Buy these Nike shoes and you will be fit. Buy Microsoft Office and your productivity will soar. We seem to believe that our lack of fitness or productivity comes from a lack of better tools. 

People building products may know about the jobs-to-be-done framework. In a nutshell the theory is people are deploying your products to get certain jobs done. This framework can easily be applied to making smarter purchases. 

Before you buy something think about the job you want the product to do for you. If you don’t have any right now, don’t buy it:

Let me give you some examples:

The iPad Pro may look great. Their carefully crafted commercials highlight some extremely talented artists creating amazing drawings. You may want to achieve similar results. And you know there is a talent treasure inside you and this iPad will be just the right product to unleash it all. The only way this makes sense is if you are already drawing or doodling a lot. In that case the iPad can help you do a better job (see what I did here) than you are currently doing. If you rarely draw or paint then this iPad will serve no clear job for you. Most likely you will use it to watch Netflix. You can start drawing for a few days on a pice of paper and see where that is going if you feel the artistic urge. No iPad required. 

Bread baking machines look so easy. You pop some flour in and you can get a delicious bread in less than an hour. Before buying one think if there is a real job this machine will help you get done. Do you cook often? Have you ever baked something? If you are the type of person who rarely cooks and always goes for the simple/fast alternative then this purchase will collect dust.