Customer Development and Value Proposition Canvas

I wanted to do this post ever since I wrote about Business Model Canvas because I think Business Model Canvas is not complete without the Value Proposition Canvas.

I learned that it’s very important to find the perfect product – market fit in order to execute or find the business model. Customer development process guides you to find the product-market fit and Value Proposition Canvas helps you to map this entire process.

So, what the heck is Customer Development Process?

Customer development process is nothing but finding the paying customers for the product or service before building it. You’ll do that by talking with your customers, understand what they’re trying to achieve, understand their pains in the process, see if your product solves/reduce their pains and ask if they’re willing to pay for your product.

Now map the answeres on the Value Proposition Canvas so that you can understand the customers & make informed pivot’s. Value Proposition Canvas is divided into two segments

  1. Customer segment
  2. Value Proposition (your product or service) segment.

In the customer segment you write about

  • Customer Jobs: Describe what the customer trying to get done. It could be task they are trying to complete or problems they are trying to solve or needs they are trying to satisfy.
  • Pains: Describe negative emotions, undesired costs and situations, and risks that your customer experiences or could experience before, during, and after getting the job done.
  • Gains:  Describe the benefits your customer expects or desires by doing the above job. This includes functional utility, social gains, positive emotions, and cost savings.

In the Value Proposition segment you write about

  • Your Product or Services:  Which products and services do you offer that help your customer get either a functional, social, or emotional job done, or help him/her satisfy basic needs?
  • Pain Relievers: Describe how your products and services alleviate customer pains. How do they eliminate or reduce negative emotions, undesired costs and situations, and risks your customer experiences or could experience before, during, and after getting the job done?
  • Gain Creators: Describe how your products and services create customer gains. How do they create benefits your customer expects or desires, including functional utility, social gains, positive emotions, and cost savings?

Remember that this is not one time deal, you need to iterate this process from your learnings until you find the paying customers for your value proposition.

I’m still iterating this process with early adopters of my startup TrendArY, will share my learnings in the next post.

Let me know your thoughts or experience with this process.

Cheers!

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