Value Proposition Canvas

A well crafted value proposition speaks directly to relieving the pain-point of your customer.

I will warn you, however, working through the value proposition canvas is one of the more challenging aspects of building a business. This exercise is ambiguous. It is uncomfortable at times. It is not common for a team to work through this on their first try and feel like they didn’t accomplish much by the end. It might not be what you thought right away, but I assure you that you will improve each time. Your mind will find greater clarity. It’s a process.

Value Proposition Canvas

I am intentionally giving you instructions that exclude any real examples. I want you to push through this completely on your own with your team. I will follow this post with another post that shows you where and when we will use the outputs of this exercise throughout the life of your business. I will offer one critical pro-tip:

Value proposition pro-tip

The objective of this exercise is for you to learn how to bring your mind and your team through an exploratory process to produce an outcome that would only have been achievable by going through the process. It does not necessarily matter what your value proposition looks like at the end of this exercise. It is more important that you worked together to collectively create value in the exercise while also capturing that value by documenting your thoughts in the canvas. Everything you come up with has value and I’ll get into that in a future post.

Value Proposition Resources by Strategyzer

Value proposition comprehension test (click to open in new tab)

Value proposition canvas (click to open in new tab)

If this is a new exercise, you may find it helpful to give your undivided attention to it. At least for the first 15 minutes. The value proposition, at this moment, is the only thing that should be on your mind.

Get started on your value proposition canvas

Set the expectation for yourself that this will be an ongoing process. Get it started today, put it up on your wall, and revisit it at least once in the morning and once in the evening. Use post-it notes so that you can rearrange and group ideas into common themes. It is also important to know that you haven’t written anything in permanent ink because then it prevents you from changing things and moving things around simply because it is too inconvenient and time consuming to figure out how to get the ink off the paper.

Duration: 20-40 minutes

Format: In-person workshop with at least three team members

Pre-requisites: Team should have already gone through a persona canvas exercise and/empathy mapping prior to the value proposition canvas exercise

The value proposition should be framed for your customer in such a way that it is presented as the pain-killer to their most pressing pain-point.

As long as you invested in discovering your customer’s pain points then you should be good to start your value proposition canvas. You’ll want to have at least a first draft of your persona canvas complete because you learn the customer’s pain-points in the persona canvas and empathy mapping exercises. In order to identify your value proposition it must come from the pain-points which are discovered through the explorative exercises I just mentioned.

Whatever the pain-point is, the antecedent to that pain point is the value proposition. If your vision of the value proposition is not directly inline with the pain-point of the customer then your product or service likely does not solve a problem for the customer. If there is no problem, there is no product. Nobody is going to pay you to solve a non-problem for them.

A helpful video that describes the value proposition design process visually:

The video below is also from Strategyzer.

The bottom video was the first video they used to facilitate their education on value proposition design and the top video is the new and improved version. The outline you see on the cover of the video below is a one-pager known as the value proposition canvas. I include a value proposition canvas for you and your team after the video below.

Interested in getting some feedback on your value proposition canvas? Let me know on a private message or simply ask your question in the comments below. Happy to help!

I also have a value proposition comprehension test to help you document your process, get feedback from potential customers (or friends and family incase you haven’t found a customer yet), and there is a canvas to download below as well.

Value Proposition Assets

Value proposition comprehension test (click to open in new tab)

Value proposition canvas (click to open in new tab)

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