Value Proposition Canvas: the link between customer and product

Introduction

Imagine a world where your customers’ needs are magically met, and your business thrives like never before. The Value Proposition Canvas will allow you to reveal your customers’ deepest desires and create tailor-made products and services for them, guaranteeing a lasting emotional bond.

Takeaways

  • The elements that make up the Value Proposition Canvas: the customer and the product
  • How to compose the diagram
  • Using the Value Proposition Canvas to discover new opportunities

Understanding a startup

We bring in a new software platform through the acquisition of a start-up. As chaotic as it can be in these cases, they work hard because few people have to meet the needs of so many customers. We want to know the product better and we are looking for information. Not only is the information missing in the documentation, but the people working on it don’t seem to have adequate answers. Everything works and nobody knows why. In this way, scaling to acquire new customers becomes impossible. Even the basic questions, what is the profile of our ideal customer and what services we provide to solve his problems, have no answers. Therefore the first step we take is to create a friendly workshop to get this information. We create the Value Proposition Canvas.

Persona Design Cristiano Bellucci

In this article, we look at what the Value Proposition Canvas is, how it works, and how you can use it to improve your products and services.

What is the Value Proposition Canvas?

The Value Proposition Canvas is a drawing composed of the ideal customer and the offer. The customer is represented with his problems and desires on one side and the product with the characteristics suitable to satisfy the customer on the other. By combining customer and product, we understand what the customer wants and what to deliver.

The main elements of the Value Proposition Canvas

The Value Proposition Canvas is made up of two main parts: the customer profile and the value proposition. The customer profile describes your ideal customer and their needs. The value proposition describes how your business intends to meet those needs.

Value Proposition Canvas Cristiano Bellucci

The customer profile consists of three sections: jobs, pains and earnings. The “jobs” refer to the tasks your client has to perform, the “pains” describe the problems your client faces, and the “earnings” refer to the benefits your client wants to achieve.

The value proposition comprises of three sections: product/service, earnings and pain relief. The “product/service” section describes what your company offers to the customer, while the “earnings” section describes the benefits that the customer gets by using your product/service. Finally, the “pain relieved” section describes how your product/service solves the customer’s problems.

How to use the Value Proposition Canvas?

The Value Proposition Canvas is a useful tool to help companies better understand their customers and improve their product/service offerings. To use it, follow these 5 steps:


  1. Identify your ideal customers and their needs.

  2. Create a client profile using the ‘jobs’, ‘pains’ and ‘earnings’ sections.

  3. Identify your product/service offer and its characteristics.

  4. Create a value proposition using the ‘product/service’, ‘earnings’ and ‘pain relieved’ sections.

  5. Compare the customer profile with the value proposition to verify that the offer meets the needs.

In fact, the diagram is structured symmetrically. On the right is the customer with his characteristics. On the left is our offer with the characteristics that must correspond to those of the customer. His works match our product or service. Most importantly, the client’s pains and gains must match the benefits (gains and pains left), that we offer them. Our product must solve the customer’s problems and increase his earnings.

Vision Value Cristiano Bellucci

What is the advantage of the Value Proposition Canvas?

The advantage of the Value Proposition Canvas is to have a central point that visually summarizes the product/service and customer requests.

The Value Proposition is the reason why customers turn to one company over another. It solves a customer problem or satisfies a customer’s need. Alexander Osterwalder

Experiences with the Value Proposition Canvas

I have used the Value Proposition Canvas regularly because it is an easy and compact way of describing the customer. I start with the customer and then build my offer based on what the customer wants. Sometimes you can do the opposite. We can start with our product and consequently define our ideal customer, the buyer persona.

The result is a high-level description of the product and the customer. Sometimes I saw how there was no valid match between the product I was offering and the customer. In this case, the product-market fit was missing. And I had to redesign the product to find the right balance.

One thing I notice is that this diagram throws people who love details into a tailspin. This is a work that remains at a high level. It serves to give an initial confirmation of what we offer and what the customer wants. For those who like more details, or if the situation is complex, then you can go deeper and add more information. Perhaps these can be reflected in other diagrams, such as storyboards, or buyer personas, or they can be added as descriptions.

Value Proposition Canvas in action!

Now is the time for action, it’s your turn! Think of a product or service. Think about the customers you want to serve. Does your product meet the needs of your customers? Can you discover new problems, pains, or gains that your customers want to achieve? If your product offers something customers don’t want, is there another type of customer, another target group, who may be interested? You understood the game: if there is a perfect match between the product and customers, the game is done. If there is a discrepancy, then you have a chance to better satisfy your regular customers or enter a new market.

Conclusion

The Value Proposition Canvas focuses on the relationship between the product we offer and our customers. Sometimes this connection happens unconsciously and we don’t know exactly what our customers want. Other times our offer is greater and we don’t know that we can also extend it to other customers who are happy to pay us. The Value Proposition Canvas connects our product/service and our customers and shows us how we can satisfy them and what new opportunities we can pursue.

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