How to craft a customer value proposition

by | Aug 7, 2023 | Customer Experience

…that is less thin and more win

Welcome to the digital stage, in the digital age, where businesses pop up faster than TikTok influencers and thousands of competitors say, “I’ll take a piece of that market share, thank you very much.”

Sure, sharing is caring, but do you really want to compete in the wild west of choices? And is there a silver bullet that’ll help you stand out (or at least dodge the panic attack) in a crowded marketplace?

Enter stage right: the Customer Value Proposition (CVP). You’ve heard of it, and you’ve probably tried to create one, but have you ever really given it the attention it deserves?


All hail the Customer Value Proposition

A compelling CVP is your golden ticket to resonating with your target market. It clearly explains how your product solves customers’ problems, delivers specific benefits, and tells the ideal customer why they should buy from you, not the dynamic duo on the Wednesday morning infomercials.

Be a detective, not a salesperson

Before printing banners and shooting an infomercial, remember that a CVP is not about how well you can sell your product but how well you know your customer. Detectives don’t solve crimes by guessing; they listen, observe, and analyse.

So put on your hat and coat, Sherlock, because you’re about to dig into your customer’s needs, wants, and pain points to design a CVP:

  1. Understand your target customer: Who are they? What do they need and want? What are their peeves?
  2. Focus on the benefits, not the features: What problems does your product or service solve? How does it make customers’ lives better?
  3. Be clear and concise: Not all customers are modelled the same, so make sure they’ll instantly understand your offering and why they should care.
  4. Differentiate: Easier said than done? We know. But there must be something that makes your product or service unique. Find it.
  5. Consistency is key: Your CVP must be consistent with your marketing material, website, and customer service. In fact, every touchpoint should reinforce your CVP.

But how do you spin this web of words in a way that shines in a competitive market?

Enter stage left: the Customer Innovation Framework.

What is a Customer Innovation Framework (CIF)?

A CIF aligns customer needs, wants, and expectations with your CVP. It consists of two parts:

1. The customer profile
Like detectives maintain detailed profiles of their victims and suspects, you need a customer profile that details:

  • Customer jobs: Tasks or goals your customers want to accomplish or problems they want to solve; for example, a customer’s job at a hardware store may be to (finally) fix the guest bathroom’s dripping tap.
  • Gains: The positive outcomes or benefits customers expect from performing their jobs; for example, to stop the whining or save water.
  • Pains: The adverse outcomes or risks customers may experience from performing their jobs; for example, continued whining or the wrong fitting.

2. The value map
The value map helps you understand how your product or service can help your customers perform their jobs, avoid their pains, and achieve their gains. It includes:

  • Products and services: Features or capabilities of your offerings; for example, a variety of fittings.
  • Gain creators: How your product or service helps customers achieve their gains; for example, a friendly store clerk or plumber who helps choose the correct fitting (or does the whole installation).
  • Pain relievers: How your product or service reduces or eliminates the pains your customers experience or fear; for example, a universal fitting, a manual on installing it, and a return policy that lets them return it if it’s wrong.


How to create a CVP using the CIF

Confused by all the acronyms? Let’s repeat: customer value proposition (CVP), customer innovation framework (CIF). Right, let’s move on…

Here’s how to use a CIF to create a CVP:

  • Step 1: Identify your target customer segment and create a customer profile. List their jobs, gains, and pains.
  • Step 2: Create a value map. List your products and services, gain-creators, and pain-relievers.
  • Step 3: Compare your customer profile and value map and identify the best fit between them. Highlight the most critical jobs, gains, and pains and match them with relevant products and services, gain creators, and pain relievers.
  • Step 4: Write a CVP statement summarising how your product or service helps your customers perform their jobs, avoid pains, and achieve gains.
  • Bonus step: Remember to use clear, plain language that speaks to their emotions and rationality.

Look, it’s not easy. But no-one said it would be. Just follow the best practices and use the right tools. If you get stuck? We’re the right tool, and we follow best practices. Contact InteractRDT to help you.