What does The Sound’s approach to understanding human motivations allow your business to do? It allows you to break out of conventional understandings of competition and re-think your business problems from the ground up. Harnessing the power of human motivations and desires to craft a strategy that addresses the complex and situation-based realities of being human and drives people to your product.


How Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) Fuel and Grow Brands

Now more than ever, it’s important for brands to understand how to connect with people in a way that feels intuitive. It’s crucial to be relevant and resonant. To meet them where they are, on their terms.

Yet people are dynamic. They move in and out of varied (and often complex) situations throughout the day, every day. People use different brands and services in each of those situations, driven by motivations specific to the moment.


So how can brands be relevant and resonant in each of those moments?

That’s where The Sound comes in—understanding not just what people do, but why they do it

Don’t put people in a box

They don’t belong in any box, or in any confined space at all. The motivations people share are fluid. They transcend cultures, situations, and categories: they are human truths. And while our motivations shift in focus and intensity along our dynamic life, the spectrum of motivations remains stable.

What this means for brands 

Your competition is not limited to just the category. In fact, brands compete for something different altogether—something satisfying the want, interests, desires, or needs of people. 

Think about the last time you wanted to take a pause and get ready for the next thing. To satisfy that motivation, you might grab a coffee, meditate, read a book, or talk to a friend. For coffee companies—what does this mean for true competition?

By understanding the many ways people satisfy a single motivation, we equip our clients with insight and inspiration that makes brands more relevant to those moments. So they can connect and triumph over the competition—whoever, whatever, and wherever they are.

To do this, we rewrite the rules 

So we can observe the unobservable. The science behind it is joining two theories of motivation to create one framework. The motivation is to inspire action, driving growth for companies that offer products and services to people. The result is our Motivation Framework. Read about how we applied that Motivation Framework to Beauty, here.

One dimension of the framework asks whether a person’s motivations focus on internal desires or external needs. The other dimension asks whether someone is looking to shake up the status quo or keep it. Stitching the two dimensions together, we arrive at distinct territories that reflect the complex array of human motivations. And even better–they’re very malleable to a wide range of business problems!

motivation framework

Harnessing the power of human motivations: here are some of the questions we’ve answered: 

  • How can we understand the role our brand plays in people’s lives, and where are there opportunities for growth?
  • How can we explore new territories for our brand to innovate within? 
  • How can we best guide our brand’s purpose?
  • How can we make our communications more relevant and resonant? 
  • How can we optimize our media strategy to engage in a way that adds value?
  • How can we optimize our brand portfolio to drive acquisition, share, and long-term retention? 
  • Which competitors are people turning to instead of us in key moments? Close and adjacent? 


Read on to learn more about how we think through these motivational territories. You can see some thinking about what happens when people want to Engage and Bond, or when people want to Escape and Cocoon.

Feeling motivated? This is our Creative Analytics team’s bread and butter. Connect with us and learn more about how harnessing the power of human motivation can help your brand.

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Written By:
Allison Von Borstel

Allison is a strategic storyteller who has spent the past decade using quantitative and qualitative research methods to uncover human stories and truths that fuel strategy. Her strength is efficiently sifting through data and drawing out compelling narratives. Her background is rooted in economics, and she comes to The Sound after earning a graduate degree from the University of Chicago and working in data, policy, and diplomacy. When she's not driving growth for clients, she's teaching debate or climbing fake rocks.

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