What is a customer value proposition?

by | Mar 29, 2023 | Jobs to Be Done Theory and Target Market Segmentation, Market Research, User Experience

Good product, good outcome and vice versa

A customer value proposition (CVP) is a statement explaining what you do and how you’re better than the competition… That’s the boring definition, anyway.

But who likes boring?

You sell ice cream from a bicycle cooler near a beach. All you have is the bicycle, different ice cream flavours, and a bell. What would your CVP be?

1. *rings the bell. “The best ice cream in town, right here!”


2. *rings the bell.


3. *rings the bell. “It’s hot, isn’t it? Cool down with delicious ice-creams at half the price on a scorching day!”

Now, although the third statement is a bit long to yell out at the beach, the message gears toward the outcome of “cooling down”. The swimmers likely feel they have an entire saltpan in their mouths, so something cold and sweet would go down perfectly.

The children don’t care what you say as long as you have something sweet. And the parents? They get to stop the whining while saving a few bucks they would’ve spent at the over-priced beach restaurant. Nailed it.


What is CVP in the jobs-to-be-done framework?

Simply stating that you have the best product around won’t get you anywhere, and neither will ringing a bell and hoping for the best.

When developing your brand’s CVP, try addressing the outcome and centre the statement around uniquely fulfilling a persisting need to get a job done.

Understandably, it’s not that simple – that’s why the jobs-to-be-done framework exists.

By defining who your target customers are, what jobs they need to get done, and how they’re being underserved, you basically have a CVP crafted for you. (Don’t mention the company underserving them, though – yikes!)

Here’s a quick guide to securing a rocking value proposition:
  1. Find out why, how, and to what degree customers are underserved in your market by conducting segmentation analyses focusing on desired outcomes.
  2. Craft a CVP expressing your intent and ability to meet their unmet needs.
  3. Keep your promise and show your customers how you’re already addressing their unmet needs.
  4. Continuously develop your products or services to comprise new and improved features targeting remaining or new unmet needs.


3 real-world examples of well-defined CVPs

1. Apple’s iPhone 14
  • “Your photo. Your font. Your widgets. Your iPhone. iOS 16 lets you customise your Lock Screen in fun new ways. Layer a photo to make it pop. Track your Activity rings. And see live updates from your favourite apps.”
Why is this so great? Because they’re outlining the outcomes of the phone’s new features. Instead of “You can even customise the lock screen”, they express specific results you can expect that many other phones may not offer to this extent.

2. Cinnabon
  • “Order Cinnabon Whenever The Craving Hits Now you can order online for pickup or delivery directly from Cinnabon!”
No more struggling with third-party delivery services with ridiculous markups or cravings, for that matter. Cinnabon brings itself closer to the customer by offering its own online pickup and delivery service to enable more direct and satisfying outcomes.

3. Mitsubishi Motors South Africa
  • “Mitsubishi Motors South Africa If adventure is your game, you’ve come to the right place. Mitsubishi vehicles are made for luxury adventures, outdoor expeditions and conquering urban terrain – all with equal poise. A Mitsubishi is all about the thrill of the drive – with ultimate comfort and reliability.”
This statement puts adventure-seekers in a car they haven’t even seen yet. While combining luxury with outdoor adventures and urban driving, they’ve also addressed two significant needs for long-term product outcomes: comfort and reliability.


If the outcome fits, use it

Businesses can proclaim their excellence as much as they’d like, but there is only one of two places they can end up: the cause of unmet needs or the solution. If you want to create a brilliant CVP, ensure you have an outcome to match.

Or let our experts help you create a strategy that complements your business, addresses customer needs, and communicates the desired outcome.

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