Visually build your Value Proposition with a Value Proposition Canvas

Building a good value proposition can be challenging. There are various models available for going about it, and I’ve used some over my years of experience in planning new products and businesses at Microsoft. I found that many are fine models to explain a value proposition, but are poor tools to build one from scratch.

I use a slightly modified version of the Value Proposition Canvas to coach value prop development. The original canvas was set up from Business Model Generation author Alex Osterwalder.

    • it is a customer-centric tool for matching customer pains and gains with product benefits (many value prop models tend to be product-centric and result in a “all-benefits” approach to value prop definition);
    • it is a visual tool that makes it straightforward to develop your value prop step-by-step.

The (Visual) Value Proposition Canvas


On the lef side of the canvas you will detail your audience or your customer side of the value proposition:

      • who is your customer are and what their overall intent is ((not in an abstract way but in the context of the business relationship you want to establish with them);
      • what jobs or tasks they will undertake in their role, what needs they will have to do so and what problems they encounter;
      • their gains or what will make them more successful, gets them to celebrate, that will they seek to get more of;
      • their pains or what will impede their success, keeps them up at night, that they will seek to get less of
      • The right side is all about you and your offer. This is where you will list:

        • what market you operate in, who your competitors, or alternatives your customer could substitute for your services if you did not exist;
        • the specific features and benefits that your product/offer delivers that tie directly to the Jobs/Tasks/Needs?problems of your audience;
        • the gains boosters, or ways in which your offer enables or increases the stated customer gains & successes;
        • the pain relievers, or ways in which your offer prevents or decreases the stated customer pains or failures
        • The middle area is where you make the connection between the pains and gains of your audience and the boosters and relievers of your offer to arrive at your value proposition.

Here is an example of a value proposition canvas filled out for Tesla Motors Model S (you may need to open the image in a new browser window to see the text in larger font):


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