Value Proposition Canvas – visualize customer requests

10.03.21 Theories & Concepts Time to read: 7min

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If you are starting a business or looking forward to improving on the one you own currently, a value proposition canvas can make all the difference. It will make you understand your market and customers’ desired products and services.

Value Proposition Canvas - FAQ

Value proposition canvas strategies are what you use to ensure that the services or products you produce are positioned around the customer’s needs and values. It focuses on solving customers’ problems.

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It can be used when you are coming up with new ideas for existing services and products. It can also be important if you are starting a new business, you will need to understand the customer’s needs. Value proposition canvas can be useful when redefining your marketing strategies.

It will be useful for you to make the right choices in your business. Marketing outreach will be easier. Also, it has a lot of customer involvement, which is good for business.

With the importance of value proposition known, you need to fill it carefully. Make sure you understand the layout and always put the customer first. Prioritise your customers accordingly.

You will not attain 100% fit, but the best way to make sure you come close is by covering all the key aspects. The customer’s jobs, pains, and gains should be well covered as well.

Value Proposition Canvas: Definition

It is a plan to help you identify your customers’ needs and value so that businesses can work to meet their needs. It focuses on understanding the customers’ wants and problems and how to fix it. Aside from meeting the customer’s needs, it helps businesses to grow in the process.

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How Does The Value Proposition Canvas Work?


Understand the structure

The structure will include the value proposition and a customer’s profile. The profile will consist of the customer’s pains, gains and jobs; create a profile for every segment in your business. Different segments will have different pains, gains and jobs. The value proposition should be unique and sufficient for the customer’s needs: outline what helps relieve customer’s pains and gains from your products and services. Once the structure is done, you can move to the next step.


Validate your structure

Having the plan on paper is only the start; make sure you validate your structure before using it. Reach out to customers to find out if the structure addresses their needs. Getting direct feedback from them is the easiest way to know their needs. After you have filled the value proposition structure, you can start working on your products and services to meet your customers’ demands.


Test your value proposition

Before you implement the value proposition entirely, you can test it with a few of your customers. The test will let you know whether you have achieved the fit or not. If the fit is not attained, you should revise the proposition.


Implement the plan

After you have tested the proposition and have attained your fit, you can start using your value proposition canvas, depending on why you needed it. If it’s for a new product or new market, you can implement it and wait for the results. It also works best if you want to re-invent an old product.

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Value Proposition

The value proposition is divided into three parts:

Gain creators show how your business adds value to the customers. You should know whether you are helping the customers to achieve their goals.

Pain relievers focus on ways to relieve the customer’s pain. The relievers should be in line with the pains of the customer. Find out whether your products and services fix the customer’s problems.

Products and services that you provide should be listed down. Focus on whether your product features help the customers get their jobs done. If you want to produce new products they should be listed too.

Customer Profile

The profile is divided into three parts: jobs, pains and gains.

The jobs can either be social, emotional or functional; it includes the problems your customer struggles to overcome. All the efforts that a customer enforces in solving a problem are included in the customer jobs.

Pains are the obstacles that prevent a customer from getting their job done. They are the negative outcomes that they would like to avoid. Categorising the pain helps you know what to prioritise.

Gains are the desires and positive experiences that your clients want; they are not the opposite of pains. They are what makes a customer to be motivated to use a specific product. They can be essential or just ordinary aspects.

Achieving the Fit

To achieve the fit, you should match the things that create gains in your products with the customer’s gains and the ones that relieve pain to customer’s pains. It’s important to know that your business will not solve every customer’s pain; achieving 100% fit may not be possible. But you should make sure your fit does not go below 50%. Ensure you cover every crucial concept in the value proposition canvas; your products and services should cover what your customers want. Achieving the fit should be the goal while you are making the canvas.

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Value Proposition Canvas: Do’s and Don’ts

The Do’s and Don´ts of a Value Proposition Canvas are:

  • Identify the customer’s jobs, do not ignore either of them and work towards addressing them. Your customer should be put first when making a value proposition canvas. Create propositions that will help in addressing the jobs
  • It’s essential to categorise the customer’s pain; their pain can either be severe or mild. Having organised them, you should prioritise the severe ones.
  • Test your proposition; the customer should not doubt whether or not you are delivering the best products to meet their needs. A test will be useful to you before you start implementing the value proposition canvas.
  • Validate all the assumptions before you start working on your value proposition canvas. Make sure the customer’s needs are your primary focus.
  • Update your value proposition canvas to make sure that you meet customer’s needs when they change. You can also update it if you have a new product.
  • Do not combine the value proposition and the pains, gains and jobs on the profile when making the value proposition canvas. It’s important to separate the two.
  • Mixing many customer segments under the same canvas will be a bad idea. It would be best to separate each segment because different customer segments will have different pains, gains and jobs.
  • Do not make the profile of customers by looking at your value proposition. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes when creating their profile and update the value proposition afterwards.
  • Do not try to address every single pain and gain of your customers. The value proposition canvas will not solve all of their problems, but it should come close.
  • It would help if you did not focus on functional jobs only. To attain the best results, you should consider the customer’s social and emotional jobs.

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In a Nutshell

  • Value proposition canvas methods are a practical and straightforward way to strengthen your product and business strategy. It’s functional and quick to come up with and has many benefits.
  • Value proposition canvas will be a good foundation for your business. You will understand what your customer needs and wants to make it easy to meet their demands.
  • An excellent way to ensure you keep your business on track is the value proposition canvas. It will make your business address genuine needs from the customers.
  • A value proposition can be the stepping stone your business needed to grow. Understanding your customers and keeping them happy is essential for growth.
  • Ensure you follow every step correctly when making your value proposition canvas to enjoy all the benefits. Remember the reason why you are doing it, to help you focus.