A Guide to Using the Value Proposition Canvas

21 April 2023

Looking to create a product or service that meets your customers’ needs and stands out in a crowded market? Say hello to your new best friend: the Value Proposition Canvas. In just a few steps, this tool can help you develop a customer-focused approach to your business, identify pain points, and create a unique selling proposition.

There are several methods of developing a value proposition, but we like the Value Proposition Canvas Template outlined by Alex Osterwalder.

We’ve adapted it to help you understand your customer and test your ideas with them.

What is Value Proposition Canvas?

The Value Proposition Canvas is a tool designed to help businesses create products or services that meet their customers’ needs. It consists of two main parts: the Customer Profile and the Value Map.

The Customer Profile helps you identify your customers’ Jobs-to-be-Done, their pains, and gains. Jobs-to-be-Done are the tasks or problems your customers are trying to solve with your product or service. Pains are the negative emotions they feel while trying to get those jobs done, and gains are the positive outcomes they expect from solving their problems.

The Value Map helps you define how your product or service addresses your customers’ pains and gains. It consists of the Gain Creators, the features that create gains for your customers, and the Pain Relievers, the features that alleviate their pains.

Download Free Value Proposition Canvas Template

Value Propositions Canvas Template

How to use Value Proposition Canvas and Examples


Before creating any value proposition, you need to have a clear understanding of your target audience. Start by creating a fictional character, or persona, that represents your ideal customer. Give your persona a name and describe their demographics, interests, and habits.

For instance, if you’re creating a value proposition for a mobile fitness app, your persona might be someone like John, a 30-year-old office worker who wants to stay fit but has a busy schedule.

Jobs to be done

Next, consider the jobs-to-be-done that your persona might be trying to accomplish. This involves identifying the specific tasks or goals that your customer wants to achieve, rather than focusing solely on their demographics or purchasing habits.

For example, John’s jobs-to-be-done might include “finding time for exercise” or “tracking progress towards fitness goals.”


Once you understand your customer’s jobs-to-be-done, think about the gains they might be seeking from a product or service like yours. These are the positive outcomes that your customer hopes to achieve by using your product or service.

For John, potential gains might include improved physical health, increased energy, and better self-confidence.

Pain points

Of course, there are also pain points or problems that your customer might be experiencing while trying to achieve their jobs-to-be-done. These are the negative emotions or barriers that stand in the way of their goals.

For John, pain points might include feeling too tired after work to exercise, or not having a clear plan for reaching his fitness goals.

Gain creator

This section is all about defining what your product or service does to create a gain for the consumer. Consider whether there are any features that can be removed or new ones that could be added to better deliver on the gains your customers are seeking.

For example, the mobile fitness app might include a personalized workout plan generator to help John reach his goals more efficiently.

Pain relievers

For each job-to-be-done, you’ll want to list all pain relievers – in other words, the ways your product or service can help alleviate the negative emotions associated with that job-to-be-done.

For John, pain relievers might include reminders to take breaks and stretch during the workday, or the ability to track progress towards fitness goals to maintain motivation.


This section is where you’ll identify the specific product or service that you’ll offer to help address the pain points and enable the gains of your potential customers. Consider how your product or service can deliver on the gain creators and pain relievers you’ve identified.

For example, the mobile fitness app might offer a range of customizable workout plans tailored to John’s preferences and fitness level.

Value proposition hypotheses

Finally, use all the information you’ve gathered to create hypotheses about how your product or service will solve your customer’s problems, provide desired gains, and enhance their lives overall. Consider which value propositions are most desirable, feasible, and viable for both your customers and your business.

For example, By using our mobile fitness app, John will achieve improved physical health, increased energy, and better self-confidence. Our app offers personalized workout plans designed to help him reach his fitness goals efficiently, and pain relievers such as progress tracking to maintain motivation and reminders to take breaks and stretch during the workday.

By following the steps outlined in the Value Proposition Canvas Template, you’ll be able to better understand your customers’ needs and create a product or service that truly delivers value. Remember to test your hypotheses with your target audience to ensure you’re on the right track.

Common mistakes to avoid when using the Value Proposition Canvas

While the Value Proposition Canvas is a powerful tool, there are several common mistakes businesses make when using it. Avoid these pitfalls to get the most out of the tool:

  • Focusing too much on your product or service features, rather than your customers’ needs.
  • Not testing your assumptions with real customers to validate your value proposition.
  • Filling out the canvas once and never revisiting it as your business evolves.
  • Not being honest about your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.

Final Thought

The Value Proposition Canvas is a great tool for any business or product team. You can analyze your strategies and improve your products. It helps you to understand your market, customers, and product capabilities. It encourages a bottom-up method that is scalable and repeatable. And finally, it helps you to find your unique selling proposition and customer value.

Let’s Talk!

If what you see here is relevant for you and can help you grow your business or organisation, we’d love to discuss further with you. Drop us a message or schedule an appointment with us.