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David LeahyJan 30, 2023 2:40:36 PM3 min read

Value Proposition Canvas

What is the Value Proposition Canvas for?

The Value Proposition Canvas is a simple way to better understand your customers needs, and to design products and services they want. It works great on its own, but was designed to work in conjunction with the Business Model Canvas - as well as other business and marketing strategy tools.


Why we like it

It lets you create the value your customers want.

Discussions about value can often be focused on product features and the many (theoretical) benefits these offer, whilst losing sight of who the customer is and what they care about. The Value Proposition provides a framework to start with the customer first and to create strong value connections between customer and product.


LICENCE:  Copyright Strategyzer AG


How to use it

The Value Proposition Canvas is great for getting creative with. Print it out on A1 or A2 and use sticky notes to capture your ideas, or sketch out your thoughts freehand - whatever works best for your team. You can also use the Google Slides template to do the same on a big screen.




Always start with the customer. In this case, specify which customer segment you are focusing on - whether industry based, firmographic, or demographic, etc. 



Ideally you will also have a Persona defined that falls within this segment. Write their name down too. Otherwise detail who your customer is (e.g. profession, age)? Is this persona a buyer, end user, decision maker?



What are the jobs your customer is trying to get done in work or life? These could be a combination of functional, emotional and social. What basic needs do your customers have?



What is annoying or troubling your customer? What is preventing them from getting the job done? What is hindering your customer’s activities?



What would make your customer happy? What outcomes do they expect and what would exceed their expectations? Think of the social benefits, functional, and financial gains. Gains are not simply the opposite of pains. Instead, gains are the hidden ambitions people have, above and beyond pain relievers.



What are the products and services you can offer your customer so they can get their jobs done? How is it not a silver bullet?



How can you help your customer relieve their pains? Be explicit about how they can help.



What can you offer your customers to help them fulfil the gains? Be concrete (in quantity and quality)! 



Asking the right questions is really important. What does your customer really aspire to do that they cannot do now? Remember, the goal is to address your customers’ jobs, pains, and gains in unique ways that resonate with your customers. Sometimes this means uncovering shortcomings in your products and services. Don't be tempted to force a connection between product and customer needs just to complete the canvas.



The last step is to identify the strongest, most compelling value that your products and services provide and to make this your value proposition. You don't want a paragraph that encapsulates all pain relievers and gain creators. Rather be selective. Prioritise the importance of each pain and gain. Choose the best, the one that will resonate best with your customers, such that they will think totally different about why they hired you to fulfil their needs in the first place.



  • You mapped one customer persona per value proposition canvas.

  • You identified and prioritised at least 5 functional, social, and emotional jobs-to-be-done.

  • You identified and prioritised at least 5 pains.

  • You identified and prioritised at least 5 gains.

  • Every pain or gain is directly addressed by a corresponding pain reliever or gain creator.

  • The products and services cover the gain creators and pain relievers.

  • How much of what is on the canvas is still an assumption?



  • Use the Progress Board to test and validate your assumptions.

  • Go out of the building to talk to current and potential customers. Does what they say resonate with your value proposition or do you need to update it?

  • Prototype other Value Propositions to test and validate your assumptions.

  • Use the Value Proposition as the basis for creating and experimenting with Business Models.


David Leahy

I'm an industrial marketing consultant, providing senior-level marketing advisory and management services to businesses in manufacturing, engineering and construction.