As a consultant, I’ve had the chance to work with some of the world’s biggest businesses and organizations to help guide innovation initiatives and business strategies. What continues to surprise me is how often leaders lack a clear understanding of what the value proposition is that they are providing to customers before developing new products and services to meet their needs.
Value Propositions determine why a company does what it does, and if you don’t have a clear vision of what matters to your business, you’ll never be able to develop solutions that truly resonate with your customers’ needs.
What is the Value Proposition Canvas, and what are best practices, tools and online templates for teams and organizations?
A Value Proposition Canvas is used to ensure that the product or service being created is centered around customer wants and needs. Specifically, this tool outlines what the customer expects to gain from the product or service, any negative experiences they may have as a consequence of using the product or service and the tasks they hope to accomplish with the product or service. Features listed in each portion of the segment can be arranged from desirable to essential. The Value Proposition Canvas is useful for refining a new product or service innovation to make sure it is well received on the market. A solution is a good fit for the market when its features align with what the customer needs from the product or service.
The Value Proposition Canvas helps business leaders make better decisions about what matter to them as a company and where they should be looking to engage with customers. The key is to put together all available pieces of information together where they can be reviewed side by side. When this happens, insights professionals and business leaders can find more meaningful groupings of the data and make connections that will lead to lasting innovations.
The Value Proposition Canvas Tool
The Value Proposition Canvas is usually shown as a diagram with two separate sections for information.
The right side of the canvas describes the customer profile, listing customer tasks and expectations about the product or service. Additionally, this is where both the benefits and consequences of using the product or service are listed. The point of this side of the Value Proposition Canvas is not to read consumer minds, but rather to understand why they want to complete certain jobs and to think about how to minimize negative experiences and how to exceed expectations.
The left side of the canvas describes the product itself. Here, the pain relievers and gain creators are listed, which respectively describe how the proposed product or service fulfills customer needs and helps facilitate the jobs they need to finish as well as describe the added value that is offered to the customer. Additionally, the various features of different versions of the product can be listed in this segment of the canvas.
You can access the tool freely as a download here. It’s simple to use and is based on best practices I’ve gathered in the 3 decades I’ve spent as a strategic business consultant. Praxie’s digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.
About the Author
Soren Kaplan is the bestselling and award winning author of Leapfrogging and The Invisible Advantage, an Affiliate at the Center for Effective Organizations at USC’s Marshall School of Business, a columnist for Inc. Magazine, a globally recognized keynote speaker, and the Founder of Praxie. Business Insider and the Thinkers50 have named him one of the world’s top management thought leaders and consultants.