In this article I will explain how to define a value proposition, then how to use a design thinking tool to make sure you meet the needs of your customers.
We will always find a problem to fit with the solution
What is the value proposition?
The value proposition is to align the client’s need with the service / product offered. And not the other way around: we have to find solutions to our problems. So we need to know them. It sounds simple, but do not forget that the needs of customers are like the water of a flowing river: changing. Once this is understood, we can focus on the problems we are trying to answer. We have to start from the client and the problem he is trying to solve or from the action he seeks to accomplish. Everyone has good ideas, from simple things to the most revolutionary ones. But first, ask yourself what your customers’ needs are, then you’ll find the best way to meet these needs.
Identify client’s need(s)
Let’s start by separating the function from the object. For example, your customer does not need a drill, he needs to drill a hole to hang a frame. The drill is the answer to his need. The customer buys your product or service for the purpose of performing an action, functional or emotional. He expects a result: Drill a hole safely, without messing, quickly, without noise, … Its objective is not the hole, but to see the picture hanging on the wall. You must speak with your customers to understand the need and design the product or service that will respond
To assess the needs of your customers, you can use different ways. Some are qualitative, others quantitative. Some will give you primary needs, others secondary needs.
The value proposition grid
The value proposition grid starts from the customer’s need, from the why: what is the customer to accomplish. We add two elements: what does it gain to accomplish this action, and what are the irritants in connection with the accomplishment of the action. We can then mirror our value proposition: describe the product or service offered, then the benefits they provide to the customer, the value it creates for the customer, and the relief it offers for irritants.
How do you make sure that you meet the needs of your customers? Have you listened to them? Or did you find problems that fit your solutions?