Value Proposition Canvas Explained

Nigel Tsopo
19 January 2023
6 min read

In a quarterly report from June 2000 by Mckinsey consulting, you’ll find the words “behind any winning product strategy must stand a superior value proposition”. 

Nowadays, there’s a vast number of products on the market. Each promises more value than its counterparts, yet it can be difficult to distinguish between genuine value and false marketing claims.

The gap between what customers desire and what companies provide is the root cause of this problem. Comprehending customers' desires and developing a product accordingly is an intricate process.

Businesses need to think carefully about their customers’ needs and prioritize them to satisfy those requirements best. 

The Value Proposition Canvas provides a useful framework for tackling this task in an organized and structured way so that by using this framework, businesses can achieve the superior value proposition as stated in the Mckinsey report.

In this article, we will explore the following:

  • The fundamentals of the Value Proposition Canvas

  • When it is beneficial to use

Let's get into it.

What is the Value Proposition Canvas?

The Value Proposition Canvas is a tool used to pinpoint customer issues and highlight product solutions that address those problems. 

Simply having a good product isn't enough - it must be beneficial to customers and have a value that is clearly communicated so that people are compelled to make a purchase. 

Our aims when creating a Value Proposition Canvas

We craft value propositions that businesses can use for positioning their product in the market. We help founders go beyond visualizing customer needs and desires to actually enabling them to tailor their strategies. 

The following are some key benefits of using the Value Proposition Canvas. 

We keep it practical and simple

Our tailor-made value propositions furnish a straightforward view of how a product can solve customer pain points.

We use focused planning

Our Value Proposition Canvases can be used by businesses as a visual aid to ensure the developed product is focused on its core values and meets its customer expectations.

Improves marketing outreach

Launching a new product requires significant effort in terms of marketing and branding. We craft value propositions that help startups inform clients about how the purchase of their products can meet their demands.

To establish your vision and value proposition and transform them into testable prototypes that will bring you instant feedback, don't hesitate to contact us.

Structure of a Value Proposition Canvas

The symbols above represent the value proposition and customer, respectively. They are vital in understanding the needs of your market and how best to meet them. 

The customer profile

In this diagram, the circular representation stands for the customer profile. This is usually a good starting point, and here it is divided into three parts: jobs, pains, and gains. 

The diagram lets you see the consumer outlook when characterizing tasks, including what customers expect, customer pains, and desires. Let's take a closer look at each component:

Jobs

Jobs involve all the objectives that customers are attempting to accomplish. Such tasks may include anything from a difficulty needing resolution to an assignment being given. Jobs can be social, functional, and emotional.

Here are some questions to aid in determining customer jobs:

  • What activities does your customer want to complete?

  • How does your customer desire to feel? What steps should be taken to achieve this?

Pains

Any factors impeding your target customers from working effectively are referred to as pains. To identify and clarify these pains, the following questions are usually considered:

  • What does your client consider to be too expensive? (This may be in terms of time and effort, as well as money.)

  • Which solutions are not currently satisfying your customers?

Gains

Gains are the beneficial objectives customers look to meet. These may be daily or even life-altering. However, they are not necessarily contrary to pains, but rather features that motivate users to access a product or service.

To determine these, you might query:

  • What gives your clientele pleasure? (Time, savings, etc.)

  • What outcomes does your customer look for; what could surpass these outcomes?

First-time creators of a value proposition canvas can save many resources by enlisting a team of experts. And this team is what we have in-house at Startup House.

We love seeing businesses flourish. This is because we're a results-first team who empathizes with customers to deliver value proposition canvases that are tailor-made.

The value map

The square on the canvas symbolizes the value proposition map. Similarly, it is divided into three sections, each of which is connected to the proper customer profile section. The emphasis here is to indicate the product features, capabilities, and advantages that draw customers in and meet their expectations.

Products and services

This is where you enumerate all the characteristics, commodities, and amenities you'll offer. You can also list the variation of the item you are producing, such as freemium, or trial. Concentrate on how your service creates customer gains.

Pain relievers

Here’s where you emphasize how your goods will alleviate user pain, and the remedies defined should be pertinent to the profile. Some common questions to help with these definitions will be:

  • Does your product/service help customers save resources?

  • Does it enhance the emotional condition of your clientele?

  • Does it resolve the flaws of preexisting solutions?

Gain creators

This is where you demonstrate to your clients how your item adds value. How does your item help customers accomplish their objectives? Here are some typical questions to aid in this demonstration:

  • Does it deliver something your purchaser needs?

  • Does your product/service represent any of the aspirations of your customer?

If you're curious how this process would look when tailored to your product, the Startup House product development team can give you a hand with sharpening your focus on what your target customers expect.

When to use the Value Proposition Canvas

Forging a new feature

You can leverage the value proposition when designing a new attribute for an existing product.

Entering a new customer segment

Another application of the business model canvas can be when you're aiming to venture into an unexplored market. We can put together the canvas to help you decide whether you're genuinely needed in that particular field.

Test product-market fit

Correspondence between a customer profile and value proposition demonstrates a product-market fit, amplifying the likelihood of success.

Value propositions explore new frontiers

When considering the practical, effective, and communal tasks that customers confront, a value proposition can provide insights into how to elicit buying-emotion.

Our best practices

We keep a wholesome approach

Components of the Value Proposition Canvas are interconnected. Customer profile pertains to pinpointing customer demands and expectations. The value map synthesizes these chief insights to refine product quality.

We diversify your customer segments

Each consumer segment differs in its unique needs, challenges and objectives. Hence why we avoid lumping them all into one Customer Profile.

Our strategy is unique in that we can craft distinct Customer Profiles for each customer segment, thus allowing for bespoke value propositions to be created and tailored to every demographic.

We think like the customer

We help startups build customer profiles that consider the positions, concerns, and benefits that a client desires to accomplish. The majority of businesses draft customer profiles ill-advisedly.

We help those who enlist our services to concentrate on what shoppers anticipate from a particular item and define what their offering (or service) is intended to resolve when rolled out in the marketplace.

When you start seeing things from a customer's point of view, it will become easier to pinpoint any deficiencies in your product.

Conclusion

Value proposition canvas is a valuable tool for businesses and product teams.

It can be used to analyze strategies and refine products by tailoring them to what a customer expects. It helps to identify the target market and the purpose of a product, encouraging one to ask questions that may otherwise go unasked.

A better alignment between the product and the market can be obtained through this process.

Working with the experts at Startup House to develop a value proposition canvas can provide the necessary guidance in crafting the perfect value proposition for your company. With our experienced team and a tailored approach to the process, you can be sure to make the most out of your value proposition.

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