December 7

Two Big Limitations of the Value Proposition Canvas

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When to use (and NOT to use) the Value Proposition Canvas

Recently, when we’ve been working with our clients on their Value Proposition, we’ve found a few frustrations creeping in . We don’t always seem to be getting the impactful statements we’re aiming for. It’s taken us a while to figure out why that might be, and now we think we’re ready to share that.

First of all, let’s talk about what’s so good about the Value Proposition Canvas…

The Value Proposition Canvas is a tool used by entrepreneurs and innovators to assess and articulate the value they offer to their customers. The canvas provides a visual framework for aligning the key elements of a value proposition across the customer’s needs, the product or service offering, and the unique benefits provided.

Value Proposition Canvas

One of the main strengths of the Value Proposition Canvas is its focus on the customer. When we start with a deep understanding of the customer’s needs and pain points, the canvas helps us ensure that the value proposition is tailored to the customer’s perspective and addresses their key concerns. This customer-centric approach can deliver value propositions that truly resonate with customers.

Another benefit of the Value Proposition Canvas is its simplicity and flexibility. The canvas is easy to use and understand, making it accessible to teams of all sizes and levels of experience. Additionally, the canvas can be adapted and customized to fit the unique needs and goals of a business, making it a versatile tool for a wide range of situations and industries.

Limitations of the Value Proposition Canvas

Now you know the Value Proposition Canvas is so valuable, let’s start to look at some of its potential weaknesses…

One limitation is that the canvas can be overly focused on the product or service offering at the expense of other factors that contribute to a value proposition. For example, the canvas does not address issues related to pricing, distribution, or branding, which are also critical components of a value proposition.

Consider for example a luxury clothing brand. The customer value with this type of product is often more closely related to the emotional fulfilment or the status afforded to the purchaser through being associated with the brand. This kind of value is hard to capture on the Value Proposition Canvas.

Another limitation is that the Value Proposition Canvas is not well suited for situations where the customer’s needs and pain points are not well understood or are rapidly changing. In these cases, the canvas may not provide sufficient guidance or support for businesses to develop effective value propositions.

So, What To Use Instead?

Alternative approaches to developing value propositions include customer journey mapping and customer transformation modelling. These methods offer a more holistic and customer-centric approach, incorporating a wider range of factors that contribute to a value proposition.

To wrap-up, let’s be clear, Value Proposition Canvas is a valuable tool for businesses that have a clear understanding of their customers’ needs and pain points, and are looking for a simple and flexible way to identify their value proposition. However, if you are developing a B2C product or working in situations where the customer’s needs are complex, alternative approaches may be more effective.


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