Briefly Explained – The Value Proposition Canvas

What does the Value Proposition Canvas help me with?

The Value Proposition Canvas is an ideal tool for you if you are an entrepreneur, CEO or product developer. This allows you to develop products and services that really inspire your customers and bring you sustainable sales. The model helps you to concentrate on the essentials and thus helps you to succeed. In this article, we’ll explain how the Value Proposition Canvas is structured and how to use it in the best possible way.

What is the Value Proposition Canvas?

The Value Proposition Canvas, also known as Value Proposition Design, was developed by Alexander Osterwalder as part of the Business Model Canvas.

The core of the model is the user promise that companies give to their customers. By building the model, you really have to go into detail and think about it in order to define a meaningful and added value user promise of a product or service. However, this is essential for the success of a company, but unfortunately it is all too often dealt with only superficially. The model forces you not only to pay attention to the functions or technical data, but also to really respond to the customer’s wishes and to make your offer indispensable.

What is the difference between Value Proposition Canvas and Business Model Canvas ?

With both models, business ideas can be visually displayed on a screen and displayed clearly and scalablely. The Value Proposition Canvas is the perfect complement to the Business Model Canvas. User promise is the central element of your business model.

The Value Proposition Canvas helps you to further specify the customer’s wishes and to look at the Value Propositions / Value Promise and Customer Segments / Customer Segment Element of the Business Model Canvas in detail.”

For example, the Value Proposition Canvas provides an additional, customer-centric component to the BMC. We recommend that you go through both models and apply them to your business model. If you want to improve an existing product or develop a new product, you can also use the VPC individually.

How is the Value Proposition Canvas structured?

The model consists of two sides:” Customer Segments” and ” ValueProposition“.

In the “Customer Segments” section, the customer is precisely defined and analyzed. For this purpose, the “Customer Jobs“, “Pains” and “Gains” are looked at in more detail. List only a specific customer segment to which you are editing the other fields. If you work with Post-Its, you can also use one color per customer segment throughout. Or you can use a new Value Proposition Canvas per customer segment.

The ValuePropositionsums up the requirements for the service or offer. The first part here are the “Products & Services“. As a counterpart to the Pains and Gains, the “Pain Reliever” and “Gain Creators” are specified here. In the following we explain what should be in the different elements.

Customer Jobs

The Customer Jobs describe tasks that the customer must overcome to solve a problem or challenge. Functional (e.g. pass on information), social (e.g. status)or emotional (e.g. feel good) jobs can be listed in this field.

Here you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the problem your customers have and how do they try to solve it?
  • What needs do your customers want to meet and what do they have to do about it?
  • What challenges do your customers have and what do they need to do to overcome them?


In the course of completing the task, the customer is confronted with “pain” in the form of frustrations and obstacles. Examples here would be incomprehensible costs, a lot of time or unpleasant emotions when completing the task.

Here you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • What undesirable situations arise for the customer from the customer jobs?
  • Where will your customers’ expectations be disappointed?
  • Are there (perceived) risks for the customer?
  • Where does the customer have to invest too much time, money, etc.?


The Gains are the counterpart to the Pains. These “profits” are the positive experiences, goals and results that the customer achieves by solving the task. Here, too, functional, social and emotional gains should be taken into account.

Here you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do your customers expect by solving this task?
  • What do your customers really want?
  • Where can your customer save on investments?

Products & Services

This field lists the functional, social, and emotional features of your offering. They are the solution to your customers’ challenges and problems, and should therefore be addressed with the insights from the fields previously worked on.

Here you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which products or services do you use to fulfill the user promise?
  • Which offers help your customers complete tasks?
  • Which services or servcies are really customer-centric and meet their needs?

Pain Reliever

Pain Relievers are the painkillers you offer your customers. You fight your customers’ frustration in fulfilling tasks.

Here you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • How does your offer prevent negative situations or emotions on the part of the customer?
  • How do you deliver a better deal to solve customer problems than competition?
  • How do you help or support the customer in solving the challenge?

Gain Creators

As a supplement and boost of Pain Reliever, you should define the Gain Creator. They not only minimize the unwanted experiences and side effects of completing a task, but also create added value and profit. The Gain Creators provide the wow effect!

Here you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • How do you meet the needs of your customers?
  • How do you make your customers’ lives easier?
  • What solutions do you offer?

How to use the Value Proposition Canvas?

The Value Proposition Canvas allows you to work systematically on your user promise. You can edit it as a team or alone, but with at least one other person it is more effective, because it is also about brainstorming. Create a relaxed and relaxed atmosphere and print the model on a large piece of paper or draw it yourself. On the Value Proposition Canvas, you work best with Post-Its. On every Post-It you write only one thought at a time! So you can simply change the position of Post-Its, use different colors to identify the affiliation of individual thoughts in the respective fields, or simply take post-Its away. Ideally, you also have your already created Business Model Canvas ready to refer to it and fill the two models together. You may also notice that you need to adjust your Business Model Canvas again.

If you are working with a remote team or do not want to make the Value Proposition Canvas on paper for other reasons, you can also work with collaboration tools and use a digital version of the model.

The default order starts on the Customer Segment page. Start with the Customer Jobs, and then continue with pains and gains. Then go to the Value Proposition page and edit the products and services first, then the Pain Relievers and finally the Gain Creators. Within each field, rank the notes by priority. It can be a bit challenging to separate the individual fields because they are not quite separating. However, the discussion in the team and the feedback from outsiders also help.


The Value Proposition Canvas is an indispensable tool for user- and customer-centric development. It is suitable for start-ups as well as for established companies and helps you to develop, optimize or revise your offer. The Value Proposition Canvas serves as the basis for your pricing strategies and positioning, your marketing and your long-term success. As an alternative to the VPC, there is the Value Model Canvas, which complements the Buisness Model Canvas with values.

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