VALUE PROPOSITION CANVAS
A big sheet of paper, minimum size A3, or value proposition canvas
Markers and pens of different colours
Magazines to cut or pictures etc. to download
Scissors and glue
Any other potential material for the value proposition
What is this tool and what is its purpose and benefit?
The value proposition canvas helps you to understand customers’ needs and build your understanding of how a service could address these. It can help businesses and organisations make decisions related to markets, market positioning, and strategy. During the testing phase, the value proposition canvas can be used to verify that the proposed value and benefit of the service are in line with the customer’s needs, identified at the research phase. Once these have been verified, it can also be used as a guideline for values at the Exiting phase during the finalisation and follow-up activities of the service.
Steps how to use this tool in practice
The same steps apply when working individually, in pairs or in a group.
Start by focusing on the customer profile on the right side of the canvas with the customer's jobs, pains, and gains listed.
Take the research data and select a customer profile from there or if you have used the persona tool in your project, you can select one of the personas. If you select a persona, this should represent a typical customer.
Start by adding the jobs, i.e. the tasks that the selected persona, the customer, tries to complete and solve with the selected service. Think about the motivations behind these tasks. For example, are these emotionally, socially or internally motivated, or functional-practices. Identify the most important jobs. For example, the need to get to a swimming hall that is far away.
Next, identify the problems, pains, of the customer and prioritise them according to their severity. Pains are obstacles and elements that hinder the customer to reach the aim of feeling good. In the swimming hall example, taking too much time to travel or bus tickets being too expensive can lead to negative consequences, such as not being able to practice for a swimming competition.
Thirdly, add gains, the benefits, that the customer gets or wishes to get by using the service, such as getting to the location with a public transportation to be able to train swimming. Prioritise these too according to their importance.
Start filling in the left side of the value proposition canvas that covers products and services, gain creators and pain relievers.
Start by listing all products and services, including their features and benefits, offered to the customers, that may help the customer to solve the problem, such as different kinds of bus tickets, including student discount tickets. These correspond to the jobs.
Next, list all problems and pain relievers. These could help to relieve emotional, physical, or financial pain. For example, a pain reliever could help ease the stress of not being able to swim, or a student discount ticket could remove the difficulty of getting to the swimming hall.
Last, list all gain creators. These are elements that create something extra, the new and improved added value and customer experience. In the swimming example, the ticket type can make the person happy and able to practice.
Look at the two sides, the customer profile and the value proposition. Think about your service and the customer and select the 3-5 most significant pains and gains related to the task problem to solve. Next, select the 3-5 most essential problem relievers and gain creators from the other side and compare these. Are the two sides balanced? Do the problem relievers and gain creators answer to the pains and correspond to gains? If these are not in balance and match you may need to rethink your service.
Create a value proposition. If the two sides match, create a few value propositions and eventually select one of them. A value proposition is also called a unique value proposition. It is a short sentence that sums up, in an easy to understand and attractive way, the provided benefit and added value, and that which differentiates the organisation from others.
Tips and hints for using this tool
Once you have defined a value proposition, you can continue it one step further by making a visual presentation board of it for yourself and for your organisation. Try to capture the mood and the core idea of the value proposition. You can use colours, pictures, words and any materials for this that you wish. This visual presentation is a reminder of the service’s core values.