Value Proposition Canvas Template and Examples – Step-by-Step Guide

The Value Proposition Canvas provides a framework that centers your customers. It supports understanding the problem your customer is truly trying to solve so that you can design an elegant and effective solution.

Value Proposition Canvas
27 min read

Understanding and effectively communicating your value proposition to customers is important in business. One powerful tool for achieving this is the Value Proposition Canvas developed by Alex Osterwalder, a part of the Business Model Canvas that evolves dynamically, birthing new value propositions by uncovering unmet customer needs through the “Jobs to be Done” theory. The Value Proposition Canvas is a great tool serves as a framework to guarantee that a product or service aligns with the values and needs of the customer. By adopting a value proposition canvas approach, businesses can fill in the value and tailor their offerings to address specific customer pain points and desires. With a clear understanding of customers’ problems and needs, businesses can develop compelling value propositions that resonate with their target audience and differentiate themselves in competitive markets.

Understanding your customers’ desires helps you grasp what they want to achieve while addressing obstacles get in the way. In the circles of a successful value proposition framework, the value proposition is represented by the Value Proposition Canvas and Business Model Canvas. At Digital Leadership, our specialized Business Model Strategy services leverage the potential of both the Value Proposition Canvas and the Business Model Strategy. Through this integration, we catalyze transformative changes that resonate closely with shifting market trends and customer preferences. our Innovation Blueprint service adds another dimension to our offerings. we help businesses develop comprehensive strategies for fostering innovation across all aspects of their operations.

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In this complete guide, let’s take a look at the intricacies of the Value Proposition Canvas, providing a step-by-step template help you understand your customers’ needs trying to satisfy them and help them fulfill the gains. and real-world examples to illustrate its application. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or embarking on a startup journey, mastering the Value Proposition Canvas can significantly enhance your business strategy and success.

What is Value Proposition Canvas

The Value Proposition Canvas functions as a framework to guarantee that a product or service is strategically aligned with the customer’s values and needs. Developed by Dr. Alexander Osterwalder, the Value Proposition Canvas ensures a harmonious fit between the product and the market. The Value Proposition Canvas provides a structured approach to identifying customer pains, gains, and jobs to be done, as well as mapping how products or services alleviate customer pains and create gains.

In crafting a Value Proposition Canvas to map customer needs effectively, it’s imperative to start with a thorough understanding of your target customers’ profiles. This involves identifying the jobs they need to accomplish in their work or life, the obstacles they face, and the outcomes they desire. By recognizing the jobs customers need to fill and the outcomes they seek, you can develop products or services that address their specific needs and help them fulfill their goals. This process ensures that your offerings align closely with customer expectations and provide meaningful value.

The alignment between the customer profile and the value proposition map is essential for ensuring that businesses achieve product-market fit. This alignment involves identifying how each element of the value proposition map corresponds to specific aspects of the customer profile, thereby ensuring that products or services effectively address customer needs and deliver value.

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Value Proposition Canvas Template For Mapping Customer Needs

The Value Proposition Canvas Template is divided into three key parts:

  • The Customer Profile in the center allows you to get into your customer’s head and thus clarify their jobs to be done.
  • The Product Value Map on the left helps you describe how you intend to create value for that customer. The ultimate objective is to achieve fit between the Customer Profile and the Product
    Value Map.
    You have achieved that fit once the product solves a clear Job to be Done
  • The substitutes section outlines what people are currently using to solve their JTBD and identifies inertias that might prevent them from switching to your solution, even if it is superior. Most organizations struggle to understand the alternative solutions. Gaining a customer means not only serving their need but overcoming their resistance to trying something new.

Each part plays a crucial role in understanding and addressing customer needs effectively.

Value Proposition Canvas
The UNITE VALUE PROPOSITION CANVAS
Designed by: Digital Leadership AG – Based on the work of Peter Thomson which is based on the work of Steve Blank, Clayton Christensen, Seith Godin, Yves Pigneur and Alex Osterwalder and the original Value Proposition Canvas

1. Customer Profile

Understanding customers’ needs and problems is important. By starting with the customer and comprehensively examining their profiles, businesses can gain valuable insights into what customers are trying to achieve and the obstacles that prevent them from doing so. This customer-centric approach, often referred to as the job-to-be-done methodology, emphasizes the importance of focusing on the outcomes that customers seek rather than just the features of the product or service. The value proposition canvas facilitates this process by providing a relevant customer profile section, which allows businesses to create separate customer profiles for each customer segment. By segmenting customers based on their unique needs and preferences, businesses can tailor their value propositions to better address specific customer segments, thereby enhancing the overall customer experience.

By prioritizing assistance to customers to help them fulfill their needs and achieve their desired outcomes, you can craft a value proposition that resonates with your target audience and distinguishes your business from competitors. Understanding your customers’ pains and gains is essential for delivering value and ensuring satisfaction. By identifying the specific jobs your customers are tasked with and the outcomes they seek to achieve, you can tailor your products or services to address these needs effectively. Whether it’s providing solutions to streamline their tasks or offering features that enhance their desired outcomes, aligning your offerings with your customers’ objectives is key. By doing so, you can remove obstacles that may prevent the customer from getting what they need and ensure that your products or services fulfill their expectations.

The foundation of the Value Proposition Canvas lies in understanding your target customers’ profiles. This involves identifying their specific needs, desires, and challenges. Let’s break down the key components of the customer profile:

Customer Jobs in value proposition “NEED” – Customer Jobs to be Done

Customer Jobs to be Done Building Block of the Value Proposition Canvas
Customer Jobs to be Done Building Block of the Value Proposition Canvas

Customer jobs refer to the tasks, activities, or problems that customers are trying to solve in their work or life. These jobs can be functional, emotional, or social in nature. Understanding functional jobs helps you identify what customers are trying to achieve, while emotional and social jobs reveal deeper insights into their desires and aspirations.

  • Main Jobs to be Done: This represents the primary goal or task the customer intends to accomplish. Sometimes, customers may have latent needs that they aren’t consciously aware of, which can be unveiled through exploring their jobs to be done.
  • Functional Jobs: These are the practical tasks or requirements that customers need to fulfill. They often reflect rational motivations and can be mapped out in detail using a Job Map.
  • Emotional Jobs: Emotional drivers influence decision-making by representing desires and aspirations for improvement in various aspects of life. These desires, while sometimes abstract, can significantly impact purchasing behavior.

Crafting the Jobs to Be Done Customer’s Job Statement model helps to distill the essence of the customer’s job into a concise and actionable statement. This model emphasizes understanding the customer’s Needs, Tasks, and Objectives, as well as the associated Context and Constraints. By utilizing this framework, businesses can gain deeper insights into the functional, emotional, and social dimensions of the customer’s job, enabling them to tailor their products or services more effectively to meet customer needs and desires.

Jobs to be Done Customer's Job Statement
The UNITE Jobs to Be Done Customer’s Job Statement
Designed by: Digital Leadership AG – Source: Helge Tennø.

Customer Pains in value proposition

Pains represent the obstacles, challenges, or frustrations that customers encounter while trying to accomplish their jobs. These can range from tangible issues such as high costs to intangible concerns such as fear of change. By understanding your customers’ pains, you can develop solutions that address their specific needs and alleviate their frustrations.

Customer Gains in value proposition

Gains are the benefits, outcomes, or positive results that customers expect or desire from successfully completing their jobs or overcoming their pains. These can include functional gains like increased efficiency, emotional gains such as peace of mind, or social gains like enhanced social status. By exceeding customers’ expectations and delivering meaningful gains, you can create value and build lasting relationships with your customers.

2. Product Value Proposition Map

The product section of the canvas uses the widely accepted marketing syntax of features and benefits with the addition of a box for “experience” (taken from the fields of Design Thinking and customer experience architecture). Once businesses have a thorough understanding of customers’ needs and problems, jobs include proceeding to develop pain relievers and gain creators in the value map. Pain relievers are the features or solutions offered by products or services that alleviate customer pains and address the obstacles that prevent customers from achieving their desired outcomes. On the other hand, gain creators are the features or solutions that provide specific benefits or outcomes to customers, thereby fulfilling their needs and desires. Once you have a clear understanding of your customer profile, you can map out how your products or services address their needs and provide value. The Value Proposition Map consists of three key elements:

Pain Relievers:

Pain relievers are the features, attributes, or solutions offered by your products or services that alleviate customer pains and help them overcome obstacles in getting the job done. Whether it’s simplifying complex tasks, reducing costs, or saving time, pain relievers play a crucial role in enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Gain Creators:

Gain creators are the features, attributes, or solutions that deliver specific benefits or outcomes to customers, thereby fulfilling their needs and wants. By understanding your customers’ desires and aspirations, you can develop gain creators that exceed their expectations and provide added value. Whether it’s improving their emotional well-being, enhancing their social status, or fulfilling their existential needs, gain creators contribute to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Products and Services:

This section of the Value Proposition Map outlines the specific products or services that your business offers to address customer needs, pains, and gains. It provides a tangible representation of how your offerings align with customer requirements and create value. Whether you’re introducing a new product or improving existing ones, focusing on customer wants and needs is essential for success.

We recommend starting the crafting of your Elevator Pitch immediately to provide yourself with an initial version to iterate. Embracing even imperfect drafts can be valuable! You can then refine it progressively. The Elevator Pitch typically adheres to a standard structure, streamlining the process for you.

Elevator Pitch Template
The UNITE Elevator Pitch Template
Designed by: Digital Leadership AG – Based on the work of Dave Gray.

The Elevator Pitch should neatly summarize your product, how it meets your customer’s need and how it differs from other possible solutions.

FIT Between Customer Profile and Value Proposition Map

The alignment between the customer profile and the value proposition map is essential for ensuring that businesses achieve product-market fit. This alignment involves identifying how each element of the value proposition map corresponds to specific aspects of the customer profile, thereby ensuring that products or services effectively address customer needs and deliver value. By understanding your customers’ functional, emotional, and social needs, you can tailor your value proposition to meet their expectations and exceed their desires.

Understanding the pains customers experience and the gains they hope to achieve, both essential parts of the value map, is important for crafting a compelling value proposition. Pain relievers and gain creators play a crucial role in addressing customers’ obstacles and delivering desired outcomes. By mapping out these elements in the Value Proposition Map, you can create a clear alignment between customer needs and the value your products or services provide, this FIT between the customer profile and the value proposition map ensures that your offerings effectively address customer needs, enhance satisfaction, and drive loyalty.

3. Substitutes

Some companies assert that they face no direct competitors. Nonetheless, it’s important to recognize that substitutes on the canvas encompass more than just obvious competitors. Instead, consider existing behaviors and coping mechanisms. How are people currently addressing their Jobs to be Done? Understanding substitutes thoroughly serves as a reminder that your customers are real individuals who have managed without your product until now. If your product doesn’t offer significant improvement over existing solutions to motivate customers to switch, then your real-world value proposition may be lacking.

When developing your value proposition, it’s crucial to recognize that jobs are the tasks your customers aim to accomplish. These tasks represent the core activities or objectives that customers seek to fulfill when interacting with your products or services. By understanding these jobs, you can tailor your offerings to align with the outcomes your customers desire. Whether it’s providing convenience, efficiency, or satisfaction, your value proposition should address the specific jobs your customers need to complete. This ensures that your products or services resonate with their needs and ultimately contribute to positive outcomes for your customers.

Value Proposition Canvas Example: Uber

Let’s examine a real-world example of the Value Proposition Canvas in action, using Uber as a case study.

  • Customer Profile: Uber’s target customers include individuals seeking convenient, affordable, and reliable transportation solutions for their daily commutes or special occasions. By understanding their customers’ needs and desires, Uber has developed a value proposition that addresses their specific pain points and creates meaningful gains.
  • Customer Jobs: Customers use Uber to book rides quickly, track their drivers’ location, and pay for their trips seamlessly, thereby saving time and reducing the hassle of traditional taxi services. By focusing on functional jobs such as transportation convenience and efficiency, Uber has become a preferred choice for millions of customers worldwide.
  • Customer Pains: Common pains for Uber customers include long wait times for rides, uncertainty about driver availability, and concerns about safety and security during their journeys. By offering features such as real-time ride tracking, driver ratings, and 24/7 customer support, Uber addresses these pains and enhances the overall customer experience.
  • Customer Gains: Uber offers customers the convenience of on-demand transportation, the assurance of transparent pricing and payment options, and the peace of mind of tracking their rides in real-time. By exceeding customers’ expectations and delivering added value, Uber has built a loyal customer base and established itself as a market leader in the transportation industry.
  • Value Proposition Map: Uber’s value proposition map includes pain relievers such as real-time ride tracking, driver ratings for safety assurance, and flexible payment options. Gain creators include features like upfront pricing, ride-sharing options for cost savings, and personalized promotions for customer loyalty. By aligning its value proposition with customer needs and wants, Uber has revolutionized the transportation industry and transformed the way people travel.

In the case of Uber, the Value Proposition Canvas illustrates how the company successfully caters to its customers’ needs and desires. By understanding what customers buy – namely, convenient and reliable transportation services – Uber has developed a value proposition that helps customers fulfill their desire for hassle-free commuting experiences. The company addresses the opposite of pains, such as long wait times and safety concerns, by offering features like real-time ride tracking and driver ratings. Ultimately, Uber ensures that customers get the convenience and peace of mind they seek when using transportation services. The jobs Uber focuses on include providing quick and seamless rides, ultimately aiming to satisfy customers’ desire for efficient transportation solutions. Through its value proposition, Uber fulfills the gains customers seek, such as transparent pricing and on-demand service availability, thereby solidifying its position as a preferred choice in the transportation industry.

Value Proposition Canvas Example: Tesla

Another compelling example of the Value Proposition Canvas in action is Tesla, the electric vehicle, and clean energy company.

  • Customer Profile: Tesla targets environmentally-conscious consumers who prioritize sustainability and innovation in their purchasing decisions. By understanding their customers’ values and preferences, Tesla has developed a value proposition that resonates with their unique needs and aspirations.
  • Customer Jobs: Tesla customers seek reliable, high-performance electric vehicles that offer superior driving experiences and contribute to reducing carbon emissions. By focusing on functional jobs such as vehicle performance and environmental impact, Tesla has attracted a dedicated customer following and disrupted the automotive industry.
  • Customer Pains: Common pains for Tesla customers include concerns about range anxiety, access to charging infrastructure, and initial investment costs compared to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. By offering features such as long-range electric vehicles, fast-charging capabilities, and financial incentives, Tesla addresses these pains and enhances the overall customer experience.
  • Customer Gains: Tesla delivers benefits such as long-range electric vehicles, fast-charging capabilities through its Supercharger network, and innovative autopilot features for enhanced safety and convenience. By exceeding customers’ expectations and delivering added value, Tesla has established itself as a leader in sustainable transportation and clean energy solutions.
  • Value Proposition Map: Tesla’s value proposition map includes pain relievers such as expanding its Supercharger network for convenient charging access, offering financial incentives and tax credits to offset initial costs, and continuously improving battery technology to extend vehicle range. Gain creators include features like over-the-air software updates for ongoing performance enhancements, advanced driver-assistance systems for added safety, and sleek, futuristic vehicle designs that appeal to tech-savvy consumers. Through its innovative approach to electric mobility and sustainable energy solutions, Tesla has redefined the automotive industry and garnered worldwide acclaim.

Tesla’s Value Proposition Canvas demonstrates how the company aligns its offerings with customer needs and aspirations. By understanding what customers are trying to achieve – environmentally-conscious transportation solutions – Tesla has developed a value proposition that helps them fulfill their desire for sustainable and innovative vehicles. The company addresses the pains customers face, such as range anxiety and initial investment costs, by offering features like long-range electric vehicles and financial incentives. Through its focus on providing reliable and environmentally-friendly transportation options, Tesla ensures that customers get the benefits they seek, such as superior driving experiences and reduced carbon emissions.

The jobs Tesla aims to satisfy include delivering high-performance electric vehicles and expanding access to charging infrastructure. By addressing these needs and desires, Tesla fulfills the gains customers actually seek, such as convenient charging options and innovative autopilot features, ultimately reshaping the automotive industry and driving sustainable transportation forward.

Importance of Value proposition Canvas

The Value Proposition Canvas plays a pivotal role in helping businesses understand their customers’ needs and desires, articulate their value proposition effectively, and differentiate themselves in competitive markets. Here are some key reasons why the Value Proposition Canvas is essential for business success:

  • Understand Your Customers: By conducting thorough customer research and mapping customer needs, pains, and gains, businesses can gain valuable insights into their target market and develop products or services that resonate with their customers’ preferences.
  • Help Your Customer: The Value Proposition Canvas enables businesses to identify pain points and challenges that customers face and develop solutions that address these issues effectively. By providing value and solving customer problems, businesses can build trust and loyalty with their target audience.
  • Exceed Their Expectations: By aligning products or services with customer needs and desires, businesses can exceed customer expectations and deliver exceptional value. This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also encourages repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals.
  • Emotional and Social: The Value Proposition Canvas helps businesses understand the emotional and social aspects of customer needs, allowing them to develop products or services that tap into these deeper motivations. By appealing to customers’ emotions and social aspirations, businesses can create stronger connections and foster brand loyalty.
  • Existential: The Value Proposition Canvas encourages businesses to consider the existential needs and aspirations of their customers, such as sustainability, ethics, and purpose. By aligning with customers’ values and beliefs, businesses can create meaningful experiences and drive positive social change.
  • Gain Creators and Pain Relievers: By identifying gain creators and pain relievers that address customer needs and challenges, businesses can develop value propositions that resonate with their target audience and differentiate themselves from competitors. This allows businesses to capture market share and sustain long-term growth.

The Value Proposition Canvas is a powerful tool that enables businesses to understand their customers, articulate their value proposition, and create products or services that meet customer needs effectively. By aligning with customer wants and desires, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction, drive revenue growth, and achieve sustainable success in today’s competitive marketplace.

Challenges of Value Proposition Canvas

The Value Proposition Canvas, while an invaluable tool for businesses, does present its fair share of challenges that organizations must navigate:

  1. Getting the Job Done: Effectively completing the Value Proposition Canvas process, from customer research to value proposition development, can be daunting. It requires dedicating time, allocating resources, and possessing the necessary expertise, all of which may be in short supply for some businesses.
  2. Asking the Right Questions: Asking the right questions during the customer research phase is critical. Without delving into the right inquiries, businesses risk missing out on valuable insights into customer needs, pains, and gains, hindering their ability to craft compelling value propositions.
  3. Customer Expectations: Meeting and exceeding customer expectations is a perpetual challenge, particularly in dynamic markets where preferences evolve rapidly. Businesses must continuously monitor feedback and market trends to ensure their value propositions remain pertinent and compelling.
  4. Competition: Standing out in crowded markets can be tough. Competing effectively requires businesses to differentiate themselves and communicate their unique value proposition clearly. This task becomes especially challenging when rivals offer similar products or services, necessitating constant innovation and creativity.
  5. Changing Landscape: The business landscape is ever-evolving, shaped by new technologies, market trends, and consumer behaviors. Businesses must adapt their value propositions accordingly to stay ahead of the curve and effectively address emerging customer needs.

Despite these hurdles, the Value Proposition Canvas remains a potent instrument for businesses aiming to understand their customers, articulate their value proposition, and carve out a distinctive identity in competitive markets. By proactively addressing these challenges and leveraging insights gleaned from the Value Proposition Canvas, businesses can bolster their strategic clarity, foster innovation, and achieve sustainable growth.

When you need value proposition canvas

The Value Proposition Canvas (VPC) is a versatile tool that serves businesses across various stages of development and industries. Here’s how it can be utilized effectively:

  • Startup Validation: Startups can leverage the Value Proposition Canvas to validate their business concepts and ascertain product-market fit. By understanding customers’ problems and needs, startups can tailor their offerings to address specific pain points and gain creators, ensuring that their products or services resonate with their target audience.
  • Product Development: Established businesses can use the Value Proposition Canvas to guide product development efforts and ensure that their offerings add value to customers. By mapping out the customer profile and identifying pain relievers and gain creators, businesses can prioritize features that enhance customer satisfaction and differentiate their products or services in competitive markets.
  • Market Expansion: When entering new markets or targeting different customer segments, businesses can adapt their value proposition using the insights provided by the Value Proposition Canvas. By understanding customers’ unique needs and preferences in different market segments, businesses can tailor their offerings to maximize customer appeal and drive market penetration.
  • Strategic Planning: Incorporating the Value Proposition Canvas into strategic planning processes enables businesses to align organizational objectives with customer needs effectively. By identifying key customer segments and developing tailored value propositions, businesses can drive innovation, sustain competitive advantage, and achieve long-term growth.

Value Proposition in the Business Model Canvas

eXtended Business Model Canvas
The UNITE eXtended Business Model Canvas
Designed by: Digital Leadership AG – Based on the Original Business Model Canvas of Alexander Osterwald, the Lean Canvas & the Thinking of Patrick Stahler

The Value Proposition Canvas plays a vital role within the Business Model Canvas, a strategic management tool widely utilized in various industries. Within the Business Model Canvas framework, the value proposition embodies the distinctive amalgamation of products or services provided by a business to meet precise customer demands and set itself apart from rivals. Through a deep comprehension of customer challenges and aspirations, coupled with the alignment of products or services to adequately address those needs, organizations can not only attract customers but also drive revenue and foster long-term growth. Let’s delve into the correlation between the value proposition and the business model canvas:

What is value proposition in business model canvas? And its importance?

In the Business Model Canvas, the value proposition represents the unique combination of products or services that a business offers to meet specific customer needs and differentiate itself from competitors. It serves as the core element of the business model, driving revenue generation and customer acquisition.

The importance of the value proposition in the Business Model Canvas lies in its ability to define the value that a business delivers to customers and articulate why customers should choose its offerings over alternatives. By clearly defining and communicating its value proposition, a business can attract customers, generate revenue, and sustain long-term growth.

The key measure of success for a Business Model is the ability to create and capture value. Many Business Model Innovations fail to capture enough value because their solution is poorly conceived. The Value Proposition Canvas is therefore a critical step in designing your overall Business Model.

Conclusion

The Value Proposition Canvas, alongside concepts like the Lean Canvas, serves as a comprehensive guide for businesses seeking to understand and address customer needs effectively. By focusing on how their product adds value and considering both positive outcomes and negative social consequences, businesses can better comprehend what motivates customers to buy and align their offerings accordingly. It’s crucial to always start with the customer, recognizing their desires and aspirations, while also acknowledging the challenges that may obstruct them from fulfilling those needs.

Through this process, businesses can identify the specific problems their customers are trying to solve and craft solutions that help fulfill their goals. By understanding the jobs customers need to accomplish and finding the right approach to satisfy those needs, businesses can create value propositions that resonate with their target audience. Ultimately, the Value Proposition Canvas provides a framework consisting of two essential components—the leftward square focusing on customer profiles and the rightward circle emphasizing value propositions. Leveraging this tool, businesses can develop a deeper understanding of their customers’ needs, refine their offerings, and ultimately achieve success in the marketplace.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the 6 components of the value proposition canvas?

The six components of the Value Proposition Canvas include:

  1. Customer Jobs
  2. Customer Pains
  3. Customer Gains
  4. Pain Relievers
  5. Gain Creators
  6. Products or Services

2. What are the 9 elements of canvas?

The nine elements of the Canvas are:

  1. Customer Segments
  2. Value Propositions
  3. Channels
  4. Customer Relationships
  5. Revenue Streams
  6. Key Resources
  7. Key Activities
  8. Key Partnerships
  9. Cost Structure

3. Why use a value proposition canvas?

The Value Proposition Canvas helps businesses gain a deeper understanding of their customers’ needs, pains, and gains, enabling them to develop products or services that address those needs effectively. It also facilitates communication and alignment across internal teams, guiding strategic decision-making, and fostering innovation.

4. Gain creators vs pain relievers, What is the Difference?

Gain creators are features or attributes of a product or service that deliver specific benefits or outcomes to customers, fulfilling their desires or expectations. Pain relievers, on the other hand, are solutions offered by a product or service that alleviate customer pains or challenges, making it easier for them to achieve their goals. While gain creators focus on enhancing customer satisfaction, pain relievers address obstacles or frustrations that customers encounter.