7 Step Process

Seven steps to developing and executing compelling value propositions

The 7 steps provide a structured way to develop value propositions which can and should become a core business skill.


See my slideshare for more on the 7 step process.

Step 1:
Define customer segments

Value Propositions are specific to a defined customer segment. Segmentation must go beyond demographics and identify groups of customers with common needs. Only then can value propositions be developed which resonate with customers’ urgent needs.

Step 2:
Customer Discovery Canvas

The Customer Discovery canvas provides a structure for a cross functional team to identify the most important customer needs and insights for a specific customer segment. The canvas focuses on identifying customer outcomes and how these relate to their most important needs. Insights are developed through combining a picture of their desired outcomes matched with your unique capabilities. Expect to produce lots of questions to ask customers and view this stage as iterative and continuous.

Step 3:
Product/Service Value Map

Mirroring the Customer Discovery canvas, the Value Map creates a picture of how products and services provide value to customers – with direct correlation to identified customer needs and insights. Product benefits will only resonate with customers if they have an urgent, recognised problem or opportunity that they want to address.

Step 4:
Competitive Position

Based on each customer segment’s most important needs and insights, the Competitive Canvas produces a clear picture of points of difference and points of parity with competing offerings. The Competitive Canvas provides the basis to identify and develop sustainable differentiation.

Step 5:
Develop a compelling value proposition

The first 4 steps provide the structure to build value propositions which offer benefits that resonate with customers’ needs, based on sustainable differentiation and supported by proof so that customers trust your claims. The Value Proposition is more than an elevator pitch, it is a narrative which builds over time and develops credibility and trust with customers.

Step 6:
Test it

At this stage it is vital to get in front of customers and test if your value proposition story resonates with them. This is the stage to refine your offering to better match your customers most important needs.

Step 7:
Execution - putting it to work

Value Propositions are a ‘promise of value’ to your customers, they should be integral to your whole business organisation.

  • Each person understanding how their role delivers customer value
  • Sales tools that resonate and build value based on individual customer’s needs
  • Marketing briefs for external agencies with a focus on value
  • Strategy development driven by customer needs and insights
  • New product development based on customer insights
  • Business models which are redefined and challenged and are all about delivering customer value

It made us realise that we didn’t necessarily have all the answers. The process stimulated huge engagement from the team in working towards a better understanding of our value propositions

Nick Nearchou
Chief Executive, Elstat Group