Those who purchase products and services always need something. Those who sell them always try to offer something that is worth paying for. Two previous sentences depict in short how our market works. However, there’s one essential thing missed: if you want to sell anything you need to keep in mind that your offer should meet the needs of your target audience. To handle this process in an effective way, I invite you to learn about value proposition canvas.
If you have read any of the previous articles on Growtheus blog, you may have stumbled across the term “customer value proposition”. Loosely speaking, it is something special about your products that makes them distinguish from what your competitors offer.
Therefore, value proposition canvas is the way you connect all the dots between needs of your prospects and customers and customer value proposition.
In case if you are totally new to the topic, I propose you to take a look at the article on How To Make A Great Value Proposition For Your Business.It will help you to smoothly dive into the topic and get a clear vision of what creating a value proposition is like. Also, to get an understanding of how customer value proposition works on a large scale of the business processes, I suggest taking a look at the article that addresses the question “What is the key difference between Lean Canvas and Business Model Canvas?”
Value proposition canvas is one of the essential issues businesses of every size and type need to be aware of. There’s a bunch of sources where you can get value proposition template for free.
However, I recommend you to thoroughly work on each of the questions adjusting them to your particular case. It will help you to get a profound understanding of your marketing proposition.
In this article, I will help you to get your hands on the practical side and apply your knowledge in creating a value proposition that will change the way customers perceive your products.
The stages of creating value proposition canvas
Development of appealing customer value proposition should be a key focus whatever upgrades are to be implemented and whatever actions the company decides to take. However, one may not always know where to start and which direction to take. That’s why I’ve decided to break all the process of marketing proposition mapping into three main stages. So that you will be able to gradually focus on the most relevant issues and come up with the strategic planning of marketing activities.
Source: value proposition template on http://www.xam.de/2013/2013-09-ValuePropositionMap-MaxVoelkel-v2.pdf
Before even looking at the product from the point of the company, I recommend you to think about it in the terms of customers. Both purposes and pains of your customers are the keys to understanding what kind of product may satisfy their needs. Write down answers to the questions or note the most important issues in a thesis-like way.
Let’s start with the purposes and goals of your customers. Think about the following and try to answer. What are the goals they pursue and ways they choose, so that they may end up with your product? What are their focuses? Functionality, quality, price? What kind of values, therefore, the product may contain to satisfy their needs?
After you’ve realized what kind of purposes your customers may possess, let’s move further to the identification of business proposition. Next what you need to do is to focus on the pains your customers might have experienced. What are they trying to avoid or solve? What kind of risks your customer may be afraid of? What fears would they want to get rid of?
In this article, we are talking all the time about the target audience. It drove me to the need for noting one issue in case if you are a complete newcomer: to be able to switch to the customer thinking, first what you need is to create buyer persona. It’s a crucial point for creating a mindset that allows you to “step into the shoes” of your customers and approach to the definition of your business proposition from your customers’ side. Therefore, if you don’t have it yet, I recommend starting with this article. It will guide you through the process of creating buyer persona and help you to get closer to your audience.
Think about your product in multiple dimensions. Recall all its features, its advantages, and disadvantages. What are the unique or special things that make the product outstanding among the competitors? Write all of them down.
Now we are going to connect all the dots. For this, you will need to switch between the product’s and customer’s sides. Start with the purposes and try to answer the following questions. What are the ways your product can help your customers to achieve their goals? How exactly? Is your product good at this right now or can you improve it? What can you do to make your product help your customers in achieving their goals?
Now, carry on to the pains of your customers. What kind of risks can you prevent them from? What kind of fears can you address? Think about your product: how good is it dealing with the pains of your customers? Does your product provide relief or is it staying apart? How can you make it more efficient solver of customers’ pains?
In order to get a full view of your value proposition canvas, connect all the matching points between the both sides. However, keep in mind that the missing ones also matter a lot – they show you what exactly you need to focus on in your further strategic planning activities.
For the sake of creating a mindful value proposition canvas, in this article, I’m trying to perform smooth switches between customer’s and company’s points of view at the problem. Of course, you can download any value proposition template but I recommend you not just to answer the questions you’re given but also to think of the alternative questions that are relevant to the topic. Try to expand it to the point where you feel that you have covered everything.
Only with the understanding of what your audience want, comes a clear vision of what your products may possess to satisfy relevant for the market desires and needs. Proposition mapping is an extremely helpful practice as it teaches to look at the products from different points of view. In other words, you always need to maintain strong connections with the customers to be able to see the product as they do. At the same time, your product embodies the values you want to deliver. Therefore, in the end of the day, both sides may become connected. So that what you want to deliver would meet what your audience want to gain. This connection is to be reflected in your marketing proposition mapping.
Of course, the process of creating a value proposition canvas isn’t just about sitting straight and inventing the ways of how your product may fit into the market – it’s about the product itself, which may contain all those attractive and marketable features, and strategic finding the way to deliver them to those who need.
Therefore, to make it right, you need a complex approach that would prevent you from messing around with the things you’re not experienced with. Creating a value proposition canvas is exactly such kind of approach. So I recommend you to start using it right now.
I hope you enjoyed the topic and the information I’ve brought up. The number of articles on the business proposition and strategic planning that are available on Growtheus blog is growing. Therefore, I recommend you to subscribe to the news and stay updated on everything that happens here. If any questions and/or doubts arise, feel free to comment and let me know about them – I will do my best to help you to solve them.
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