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Value Proposition Canvas

Value Proposition Canvas

Value Proposition Canvas

Use this framework to work out a value proposition

A value proposition describes the benefits that customers expect from your products and services. The Value Proposition Canvas is a tool from the Strategyzer company (the company that also promotes the Business Model Canvas). The framework helps you develop a value proposition by looking at all the benefits you have in your offer that are attractive to customers (the value map) and seeing to what extent these fit with the needs of the customers (the customer profile).

You should start with a target customer in mind such as a segment of the market. Now build a customer profile of this segment as illustrated in the right hand side of the diagram. Your should describe and list all the jobs the customer carries out and identify their pains and frustrations in doing these jobs. Rank order the pains and gains so you can see which are most important.

At the left-hand side of the canvas is your value map. Here you list all the products and services you have in your portfolio. Now you show how your products and services can reduce pains for customers and how they can produce gains for customers. Again, rank products and services and the pain relievers and gain creators to show which are essential and which are simply nice to have.

One by one, check to what extent your pain relievers and gain creators help customers carry out their jobs. You are looking for a fit between what customers need and expect and how your offer can serve them by reducing pains and producing gains. You may find that you need to change your offer in some way to get a better fit. In this way the tool can be used to drive innovation.

The Value Proposition Canvas focuses specifically on understanding customer needs and designing solutions that effectively address those needs. Here is how the Value Proposition Canvas can help a business:

1. Customer Understanding

Empathy with Customers: The canvas prompts businesses to empathise with their customers by understanding their pains (challenges, frustrations) and gains (desired outcomes, benefits). This deep understanding is crucial for developing products or services that truly resonate with the target audience.

Customer Segmentation: Businesses can use the canvas to identify and segment their target customers based on their unique needs and preferences. This enables more targeted and personalised value propositions.

2. Clear Value Articulation

Clear Communication: The Value Proposition Canvas facilitates the clear articulation of the value proposition – the unique combination of products and services that address specific customer needs. This clarity is essential for effective communication both internally and externally.

Differentiation: By explicitly defining the unique value provided to customers, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors. This helps in creating a distinct market position and attracting customers who align with the offered value.

3. Alignment with Customer Jobs, Pains, and Gains

Tailored Solutions: The canvas helps businesses align their offerings with customer jobs (tasks to be done), pains, and gains. This ensures that the products or services directly address what matters most to customers, increasing the likelihood of success in the market.

Innovation Opportunities: Identification of unmet needs and underserved areas can lead to innovation opportunities. By understanding customer pains and gains, businesses can explore new features, functionalities, or service enhancements that provide additional value.

4. Internal Alignment

Cross-Functional Collaboration: The canvas encourages cross-functional collaboration within the business. Teams involved in product development, marketing, sales, and customer support can use the canvas to align their efforts and ensure a consistent and coherent value proposition.

Shared Understanding: The canvas provides a shared language and framework for teams to discuss and understand the customer value proposition. This shared understanding helps in cohesive decision-making and execution.

5. Iterative Development

Continuous Improvement: The Value Proposition Canvas supports iterative development. Businesses can regularly revisit and refine their value proposition based on customer feedback, market changes, or new insights. This adaptability is crucial for staying relevant and competitive.

Market Validation: Before launching a new product or service, businesses can use the canvas to validate their assumptions. By testing hypotheses and adjusting the value proposition accordingly, businesses reduce the risk of launching products that may not resonate with the target audience.

6. Efficient Resource Allocation

Resource Optimization: By understanding the most critical aspects of the value proposition for customers, businesses can optimize resource allocation. This ensures that resources are directed toward the features and attributes that truly matter to customers, avoiding unnecessary investments in less impactful areas.

Cost-Benefit Analysis: The canvas helps businesses prioritize features and elements that provide the most significant value to customers. This is particularly important when considering trade-offs between costs and benefits.

Things to think about:

  • Thinking about your customers, what jobs do they do for which they need your products? What are the "gains" they are looking for? What are the "pains" they suffer?

  • And what about the products that you offer – in what way do they provide a gain for the customer and in what way do they relieve pain for a customer?

  • Now consider the strengths and weaknesses of your company terms of:

    • customer understanding,

    • the clear articulation of your value proposition,

    • the alignment of your products with customer jobs, pains and gains,

    • the internal alignment of your company between different departments,

    • the iterative development which leads to improvements are products,

    • your efficient allocation of resources.

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