A value proposition provides the answer to why a customer should buy or use a product. It needs to convince a potential user why it is superior to existing solutions.
The value proposition statement is a tool to catch a product vision in, well, a simple statement. The typical template looks like this:
The idea of that very simple template is to provide a short, crisp, easy-to-understand description of what benefit the product shall provide for which customers in which circumstances, and how that differs from the other solutions.
To illustrate, the following is how the value proposition statement might have looked like for Nespresso when they launched their capsule machine business:
The right-hand part describes the customer, their jobs-to-be-done, and how they are struggling in that. The left-hand part briefly describes the product, its features, and how these features help to relieve pains or create gains. Obviously, both sides need to match.
For creating a value proposition canvas, we typically fill it in from right to left:
When all the information is essentially available, this tool is quick and easy to use for structuring a product idea. Other than the value proposition statement above, it can also be applied on the feature level, i.e. when an existing product shall be extended.
When there are gaps, this clearly indicates the need for more user research.
The Value Proposition Canvas is a framework which can help ensure that a product or service is positioned around what the customer values and needs.