What is a Value Proposition Canvas?

A value proposition canvas is an excellent way to make your product plans easier to understand. It can also make a big difference in determining whether your next release succeeds or fails.

Learning how to leverage a business value proposition canvas correctly is pivotal to the product discovery process, but it can be easy to overlook its finer points. Once you know what this tool is best used for and how it works, you can make the most of it alongside your team members.

What a value proposition canvas is

A value proposition canvas is a special tool that you can use to enhance your product discovery efforts. It’s essentially a diagram that visually cross-references your business’s value proposition with your intended customers’ interests and needs.

The Value Proposition Canvas

How to fill out a value proposition canvas

A value proposition canvas is represented as a square and a circle, side by side. These are both split into three key sections that you will need to fill with your unique business and product information. Here’s how these both break down:

1. Your value proposition

This part of the value proposition canvas is all about your company’s products, services, and ideas for future versions of these. Knowing what you intend to offer customers and how it should impact their lives is crucial for achieving prime product-market fit and long-term profitability.

The value proposition square of your canvas is split into a “products and services” section (the products and services you offer as well as their most prominent features), a “pain relievers” section (product and/or service characteristics that alleviate issues your customers are having), and a “gain creators” section (unique and novel benefits to users’ lives that your offerings possess).

2. Your customer profile

This area pertains to the immediate and long-term needs of your customers as well as their motivators and impediments. Understanding what your customers are truly looking for makes a huge difference in delivering the perfect product to them.

The customer profile circle of your value proposition canvas consists of a “jobs” section (what your customers are trying to do), a “pains” section (what is keeping your customers from doing what they’re trying to do) and a “gains” section (what actually makes your customers happy).

The points identified on either side of your value proposition canvas are subject to change as you continue to refine your product vision. In fact, that’s one of the biggest benefits of using this type of tool in the first place. Instead of sticking with what you’ve written down in each section, you should begin assessing your assumptions and improving upon what you have discovered.

In practice, this would mean consulting with customers to obtain more actionable information regarding their needs. You can also turn your attention to the gain creators and pain relievers that you have identified so far and begin ranking them based on how essential to your users’ interests they appear to be. Both of these activities can help to inform your product development decisions before time and resources are sunk into anything else.

How a value proposition canvas helps with product discovery

A value proposition canvas can help you to refine your understanding of both your customers and your products. This ties in directly to the product discovery process, which centers on deciding what your products should do and identifying the reasons your product’s features should exist in the first place.

Because a value proposition canvas helps to connect customer concerns with product design decisions in a clear and meaningful way, it can be used as an extremely powerful planning tool. A well-constructed canvas makes for an exceptional visual aid during the product discovery phase.

Keep in mind that creating your value proposition canvas is not the only step that you should take to deal with product discovery within your organization. Instead, it should be thought of as a great way to:

  • Summarize or briefly define your customer profiles
  • Clarify what value your offering is meant to create and how it does so
  • Highlight potential snags in achieving product-market fit

Empower your product discovery process

Leveraging all of the various tools at your disposal can help you discover the best product to please your audience with relative ease. A value proposition canvas is a great tool to add to your arsenal once you understand how it works and why it matters. However, using a value proposition canvas is just the start of tackling product discovery with precision.

Our digital product agency can lend a hand in further transforming your organization’s product discovery processes through tailored guidance backed by industry expertise.

VeryCreatives works with startups to mastermind their next big releases and build them out from the ground up. Reach out to our team today to learn more about what we offer and how we can help your business succeed.

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Máté Várkonyi

Máté Várkonyi

Co-founder of VeryCreatives



Digital Product Agency

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