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El blog de Mikel Niño
Industria 4.0, Big Data Analytics, emprendimiento digital y nuevos modelos de negocio

Using the Business Model Canvas: the Value Proposition

In the most important references about Alexander Osterwalder's Business Model Canvas, the two canvas blocks that are usually analyzed first are the Value Proposition and the Customer Segments, given that they are the two fundamental elements to identify the Product-Market Fit of our business idea. In this blog entry I will review some key aspects to define our Value Proposition, leaving the Customer Segments for the next post.

The key to capture our Value Proposition in the canvas is to think that, although it is necessary to write down a general idea about our product's features, it is imperative to go one step further and to think in terms of the problems and specific needs that it solves to our targeted customers. This concept is crucial to face this task the right way, because we must stop thinking of customers as an "external entity" which exists with the only purpose of buying our product, and start considering our product the real "stranger" here, whose existence is only justified if it helps some customers to solve their problems or needs.

The challenge is even more difficult when we talk about digital startups, because in this case the vision captured is usually biased towards a description of the features or the technology, as we also mentioned when we talked about "copywriting" applied to the website of a digital product (in Spanish). For this "one step further" it is very useful to remember the expression "pains & gains" and to focus on identifying which "pains" your customers wish to see relieved and which "gains" or benefits you are going to create for them. Thinking in these terms helps you to find the appropriate language (eliminating risks or negative feelings, saving money, making life/work easier...) both for your business model canvas and for the key messages in your website's landing page.

This first analysis must be completed with a characterization of those pains & gains according to criteria such as their seriousness (is it something vital or is it really a slight annoyance with which one can easily live?) or their frequency (do customers suffer it on a daily basis, from time to time, very rarely...?). And one last key aspect to remember in order to decide about these parameters: we shouldn't use our own opinion or the ideas we had in mind while designing our product. Customers must be the ones deciding and assessing these criteria, so it is extremely important to "get out of the building" and to meet and interview them in order to know what they have to tell us about it.

[Haz clic aquí para la versión en español de esta entrada]

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