The Value Proposition Canvas

The Business Model Canvas Series: The Value Proposition Canvas

In customer experience, design thinking, research, service design by Rebecca ReidLeave a Comment

Now that you’ve completed your Empathy Map, it’s time to transfer this key information onto The Value Proposition Canvas. This is a section of The Business Model Canvas which can be mapped out as its own canvas. It synthesizes the Value Proposition section and the Customer Segments section of The Business Model Canvas. The map is composed of a Customer Profile Map and a Value Map and its core purpose is to design a value proposition. You can download a copy of the Value Proposition Canvas here.

Jargon Buster: What’s a Value Proposition?

Your value proposition is essentially what it is that will provide value for your customer. This can be a product, service, feature, an innovation, or any promise of value that you will deliver for your customer. In a nutshell—how can your product or service meet the customer’s wants or needs better than your competitor can?

How do you use The Value Proposition Canvas?

The core purpose of this tool is to design a value proposition, which requires a deep understanding of your customers. However, you can use it in any way you want to, for example to shape your marketing plan. You can use some of it, all of it or none of it—the canvas isn’t necessarily prescriptive so you don’t have to follow any rules. But it can be helpful to start with The Customer Profile Map on the right-hand side.

Breaking down The Value Proposition Canvas: Section 1–The Customer Profile Map.

The Value Proposition Canvas

The Customer Profile Map is composed of your customers’ characteristics and can be used to map out each of your customer segments. For example, our customer base is composed of ambitious people who want to do things differently. So, you will essentially complete a value proposition canvas for each of your customer segments. This can be a great place to start—once you really know your customers inside out, you can start designing your business model around their core needs. This section of The Value Proposition Canvas is composed of Customer Jobs, Pains and Gains:

  • Customer jobs are the things the customer does with your product or service. These can be functional, social or emotional. For example, if you’re an architect providing a home extension, your customer’s job might be to entertain family or friends within their newly designed home.
  • Customer Pains are the things stopping them from buying your product or service. For example, it might be too expensive, they may not know the cost, or have other uncertainties related to the customer job.
  • Customer Gains are positive outcomes or benefits for your customer—essentially, how they measure success. These can also be functional, social and emotional and can be expected or unexpected. When mapping these out, consider what value you can deliver for your customers.

Once you’ve filled out this section, you’re ready to move on to The Value Map.

Breaking down The Value Proposition Canvas: Section 2–The Value Map.

The Value Proposition Canvas

Now that you’ve mapped out your customers’ characteristics, you can start designing your products or services to meet their needs. This section of the canvas is composed of Products & Services, Pain Relievers and Gain Creators. Each of these relate back to your Customer Map: your Products & Services provide Customer Jobs; your Pain Relievers alleviate Customer Pains and your Gain Creators ensure their Gains.

  • Products & Services are the things you provide for this particular market segment. These allow your customer do to do their Customer Jobs and directly address their Gains and Pains.
  • Pain Relievers are things that aid your customers and make their lives easier. When mapping out this section, consider how your products and services are Pain Relievers. What problems do they solve? These should directly alleviate the Customer Pains you identified on The Customer Profile Map. For example, a common pain our customers shared was not understanding the language their previous accountant spoke to them in. We alleviated this by speaking to them human to human, without any technical jargon and in a language they understand. Remember to keep in mind that your Pain Relievers should always provide an answer to a specific customer problem.
  • Gain Creators are the additional values provided to your customer as a result of alleviating their pains. Gain creators maximise customer outcomes and benefits. Ask yourself—how do your products or services provide Customer Gains? And how can you really provide that value that your customers are looking for?

Conclusion

Overall, The Value Proposition Canvas enables you to design, test, and iterate your products and services. It can also be used to help understand the customer, which relates back to the central idea of empathy. This is all about really understanding and being responsive to your customers’ needs and wants.

When mapping out your business model, designing a sound Value Proposition is a great place to start . But you also need an excellent business model to make this Value Proposition actionable.

The next blog post in this series will outline in more detail the Customer Relationships and Channels sections of The Business Model Canvas.

Download our free Business Model Canvas Guide here.

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