Value Preposition Canvases. Which one to pick?

After nine long weeks of searching we finally decided which idea we are going to take forward. The lean canvas helped us to compare the two ideas we had  and decide which one is creates more value for our potential customers. The next step of investigating the protective dance wear idea was checking its validation by using the Value Preposition Canvas and making sure that our product create values that our customers need and want.

There are two VP canvases available: one presented by Alexander Osterwalder and his team and second one created by Peter Thompson. Alexander Osterwalder’s canvas  includes some theories from ‘The Lean start-up’ by Erick Ries such us “jobs to be done” and “customer pain”. (Thompson,2013)

Here is a video created by Strategyzers

VP canvas contains two elements  Customer’s profile and the value map.

In the customers profile we investigate the ‘jobs’ that our customers are trying to get done. The jobs can be functional, social or emotional.  Our product should aim to serve the purpose and do the jobs for our customers. Then we need to investigate the pains (problems that customers have like dissatisfaction from existing solutions) and gains ( results that customers hope to achieve).

The value map shows how the product ‘relives pains’ and ‘creates gains’. Therefore, shows how the product works and how it solves the problem (creates values for the customers).

Thomson(2013) argues that Osterwalder’s approach firstly doesn’t ground the product in the marketing, copy writing and persuasion techniques and secondly  that customers’ side doesn’t focus enough on the behavioural psychology (why people buy things). That’s why he created different canvas with focuses on ‘examining the human experience of their customers.’ (Thomson,P.2013)


The canvas is divided in three sections: one that focuses on the product, the other that focuses on the customer and the third one that examines the competitors.

Product section investigates the features of the product ( how the product works), benefits that it brings to the customers( increasin g pleasure or decreasing pain) and experience ( how does it make them feel).

Features + benefits = experience

The customer section examines the wants ( things that our customers want to be, want to do or want to have – emotional drivers), needs( things that customers need to get done – rational drivers) and fears (fear of  switching to the product, making a mistake, fear of missing out, fear of loss)

According to Thompson(2013),fears can be a strong driver of purchasing behaviour and can be the hidden source of wants and needs.

The Substitutes section focuses on the competitors (solutions that our customers are using currently and coping behaviours that we need to change in our customers by providing a ‘real’ value proposition)

After analysing both canvases I decided to use the Value Preposition Canvas by Peter Thomson.




I prefer the approach by Thomson because it helps, in as easy way, analyse how our customers think, what they need and what are they potential fears. This exercise helped me asses what our customers really need and how to create the best possible product for them.


Thomson,P.(2013)’ Value preposition canvas'[online] Available at:

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