July 26, 2021

How To Write A Great Value Proposition Canvas And Why This Is Very Important

Finding it hard to sell your product?

Then you’ve missed out on the most important step in marketing - using a value proposition canvas.

This is a business model canvas that helps you position your product strategically in the eyes of your target customers. If you are interested in how to make your own value proposition design or want to polish your current value propositions, then read on.


Related: Insights That You Can’t Get Anywhere Else: Using Customer Journey Maps 

It Begins With Customer Analysis

The customer’s needs are always at the center of every business marketing model. That’s why it is important to know your customer profile. 


This includes understanding their preferences and their frustrations. Client analysis means knowing the customer jobs or the activities that your customers desire or are trying to do on a regular basis. 

value proposition canvas

In the next sections, we’ll discuss the three jobs you must consider when filling this customer segment of your proposition canvas. 


The three jobs to be done are functional, social, and emotional.


Let’s take a closer look: 

Functional Jobs


This refers to the actions that your target customer usually performs. In other words, these are the physical requirements of the job to be done. You need to match your products or services to what your clients need to solve their practical tasks. This way, customers can actually relate to the specific features of what you are selling and recognize their value. 


Social Jobs 


The social job emphasizes how your customers want others to see them. Think about their aspiration and sense of duty. 

value proposition canvas

Are they the type that cares about green projects and wants to be responsible? 


Do they want to look professional and care about their status?


How do they interact with others? 


How do they carry themselves in public? 

In a nutshell, you have to understand what your customers are trying to achieve socially. To do this, you have to study how they behave when other people are around. 


This way, the likelihood of your services being valued is higher. Customers can immediately see their social responsibility being elevated with your product or service.


It can be recalled that during the peak of COVID pandemic, many companies took social responsibility seriously and helped a lot of their employees. This act makes them appear compassionate and look responsible in the eyes of their employees and target customers. 


In the 2014 Nielsen Global Corporate Survey, 55% of consumers vouched for the importance of social jobs in value proposition sketch. Consumers say that they are willing to pay extra for products and services from businesses with positive social consequences or contributions.


Emotional Jobs


Finally, the emotional job refers to the certain feeling your target market is trying to get. To have a better understanding of their emotional jobs, you have to study their likes and dislikes. What do customers fear? Any insecurities? 


You have to understand the emotional jobs that your customers are trying to do. So, you can position your services in a way that contributes to their positive emotions. This will make your product appealing to them. 

value proposition canvas

Use a Value Proposition Canvas 


Designing your proposition canvas can be overwhelming on the first try. But the more you practice it, the easier it gets.


To help get you started, here are the two most popular value proposition canvas templates that help visualize your business marketing ideas and put them on paper.


Alex Osterwalder’s Value Proposition Canvas


Osterwalder is popularly known as the father of business model canvas. He introduced the importance of business analysis by studying the behaviour of your target customers. 


He said that it would help your business gain loyal customers. It will also put your products and services in a position where they can grow even more as a brand.


He also co-founded Strategyzer, which is a business model consultancy site. 


To follow Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas, you have to answer some key questions. 


Customer Segmentation


The key questions are: who are your target customers? What do they think, feel, and do? This is greatly connected to the first step, which is understanding your customer profile. 


Value Propositions


Your value propositions should tie with your customer segmentation. Find out what are the amazing reasons your customers buy or use your products and services. 


This is where you need to make a decision. You have to figure out the right strategies. Now, answer these questions:


  • How can I get the proposition delivered successfully? 
  • Why is this channel the best? 
  • How many percent is the success rate? 
  • And is it working? 

value proposition canvas

Customer Relationship

We mentioned that the customers are always at the center of your marketing. This means you have to build a good relationship with your target market. It’s a common marketing tactic to use the customer experiences to get their attention. Interact with them through the channel, way, and method that they prefer. 

value proposition canvas

Revenue Streams 


Revenue streams are crucial because, without proper income flow, you can’t keep the business. This is why it’s important to be clear on how the proposition helps keep the profit coming. 


Ask yourself the following questions:


  • How do your products and services get sold with the value proposition you use? 
  • How long is the ROI or return on investment? 
  • Will it take effect immediately? 

value proposition canvas

Key Activities


The key activities are the sets of tasks or actions your brand does to deliver its proposition. For instance, let’s say you choose the social media platform Instagram as your channel of choice. 


Now, you have to think about what you need to do on Instagram to achieve your value proposition. 

Maybe, you could have a paid partnership with influencers. Or maybe a giveaway would suffice. The decision will be up to you but make sure to explore your options before making a decision. 

Key Resources


Key resources refer to the specific assets your business or brand has. These assets have to be unique and allow you to compete in your niche. They could mean the raw materials and your storage facility. For example, if you are into the retail business, you need to make sure you have enough space for it. 


Key Partners or Alliances

Key partners or alliances refers to the connections or links to your business. After all, no man is an island. This also holds true in business. The business can’t run on its own. It needs alliances for it to operate smoothly. These can be your suppliers, agents, and even your trusted employees. 


For online-based companies, this could mean web hosting, telephone and customer service. It also covers other outsourcing services to keep the business running. 

Cost Structure


The cost structure is linked to the revenue streams, and you need to understand how these two are connected. Ask yourself what the big contributor in terms of expenses is and figure out if the price is worth it.


If you sell both physical products and services, the more you have to pay attention to the cost structure of your business model. 

value proposition canvas

Peter Thomson’s Template


Thomson’s template is also known as the new value proposition canvas. It is a template that improves some aspects of Osterwalder’s one.


It also puts customers at the center of the proposition. According to Thomson, his template allows the user to oversee the experiences on the customer’s end.


This new canvas template includes sections like:




This is about the description of your products or services. Here, we’re talking about the functioning characteristics of your brand. This is particularly vital for businesses that sell technology or software products and services. The feature aspect has to be clear and must be valuable to your target customers.




This can be interpreted as customer gains. These talk about what your customer gets or achieves from your product. It’s important to make it clear which product or service features make your customers’ life easier or their tasks easier and why they should care about them. 



Find out how your product makes your customers feel by putting yourself in their shoes. You need to know what emotional jobs need to be addressed. 


With this, you can customize your customers’ experiences and get them to feel the pleasure or guarantees from your product. 



Customers’ wants are purchasing drivers. You need to satisfy them to get your customers to buy your products. Once you do, you can break the barriers which stop them from checking out their carts.


Some common examples of shopper’s wants are fast transactions, discounts, and even having brands support social causes they believe in. 

value proposition canvas



Needs are more of the rational reasons why people buy your product. Maybe they have the ‘need’ for something they don’t know yet. And your product can give them that.


For example, iPhone users didn’t know they needed a wireless charger until the Magsafe charger was released, and that Apple no longer offered the charger adapter as part of the iPhone purchase for newer models. 


However, this didn’t make the customers feel cheated because Apple satisfies the modern consumers’ want and need to protect the environment. They get away by sticking to their social responsibility of being sustainable--offering less hazardous products and promoting recycling. 



Think about what your customer’s fear is. This is also one of the drivers that get your customers to buy your product or subscribe to your services. For example, if you are an antivirus and anti-theft software provider, you can position yourself as a helping land. 

Generali’s recent study examining identity theft and cybercrime found that 76% of people worried about identity theft. This means you already have a high number of people more likely to buy anti-theft software, but what you can do to really reel them in is to offer guarantees. 



Substitutes are like your plan B. You have to accept that some people can live without your product. 


Find out what these people resorted to instead. Maybe the answers can help you evaluate your proposition, so you can design a better one to position your products and services better than the existing solutions. 


Take Away


Using a great value proposition canvas, you can cover every aspect of your business model so that you can better plan your marketing efforts. And the easiest way to design your own proposition canvas is to make use of existing templates, like from Osterwalder and Thomson. 


If you are ready to take your business to the next level, then let us help you create your value proposition canvas.


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