Value Proposition Design Part 1

Posted on by James Thomas.

Customer Profile Creation

One of the most important abilities for any business to be able to do is to find a common pain in their existing customers or future customers and solve it. If you do not have existing customers then you can just assume everyone is your customer until you can start to narrow down your target. The customer profile consists of the customers pains and gains, and the book Value Proposition Design adds on to this by defining a third category: Jobs. The pain category outlines the issues that a person or group of people may be experiencing on a regular basis. The gain category is what that particular segment of customer would get from your product, service, or budding idea. The job category requires you to put yourself in the shoes of the target customer and think about their day-to-day lives. There are several questions to ask that pertain to each category but as you talk to more and more customers you will be able to start seeing similarities. When you put all this together and include multiple customers you can start to get a better picture.

Pains

At some point in business someone will tell you to think about what keeps your customers up at night. This is the essential pain that you are looking to address. In some cases you can simply google "what keeps ________ up at night". CMOs or CIOs for instance in regards to B2B startups.

Jobs

This is the best way to understand your customer and some people go so far as to live with their target customer for a few days to observe and understand them. It’s important to remember that this is their function in life and not just within the business. This is similar to being an anthropologist. You want to understand them on a social level to look for other possible pains and gains.

Gains

This is where you come in. This is how you can solve a customers pains in different ways. You will eventually narrow down and focus on one particular pain, but its best to address as many that are within your skill set before thinking about how to monetize a solution which solves your own personal pains.

Lead Generation

Creating customer profiles is a helpful tool for lead generation. It provides quality information and understanding of your customer base and allows you to get to work on creating value much faster. A lower quality method that provides a higher volume would be web scraping. This can allow you to find potential customers or gather data on trends in social media/blog posts. If you design your scraping program correctly, it will communicate with the website to get the information you need. A large number of websites have API or interfaces specifically designed to work with web crawlers as well. I highly recommend Python’s Scrapy. Python is a scientific programming language with a community oriented towards results.

If you need help with web scraping or another part of the big data pipeline please contact us.