Home Insights Value Discovery Canvas: How to discover customer value?

Value Discovery Canvas: How to discover customer value?


The reader has gone through all the chapters and is perhaps wondering – what next? You will need to step back and absorb the big picture and the interconnectedness of ideas and elements of the CAC framework. The framework has been converted into an easy-to-use tool called the “Value Discovery Canvas (VDC).” To analyse each of the nodes and catalysts, you will have to take the help of value criteria (refer to Appendix 1 and 2). Now is the time to apply the learnings to your own circumstances. Who can use this canvas?

  1. Very early-stage start-ups looking at building a product or service
  2. Early and growth-stage ventures who wish to pivot.
  3. Mature businesses can use the model for new solution development through incremental changes in products or services.
  4. B-school students can do a deep-dive into marketing case studies by using this framework to discover customer value.

The starting point for using this framework is “customer action”. What is the job-to-be-done, and what are the customer actions that are required to get the job done? By closely observing customer actions, the marketer can develop insights into customer thinking and behaviour. It must be emphasised that all the elements are interconnected, and any change in one of the elements will impact other elements of the canvas. The VDC can be used to analyse each of the customer actions and explore how value can be discovered at each of the nodes and catalysts. Value criteria need to be applied to nodes and catalysts to gain insights into discovering customer value.

Please identify what you observe and list them in the respective boxes in the canvas. Be brief.  You can use post-it notes or the whiteboard for detailed notes. The detailed notes can be the basis of discussions.

Step 1: Value Nodes

What are the action contexts? Who are the customers? What tools are being used? What are the different actions required? What are the desirable and undesirable outcomes? What are the unmet needs? Who is being impacted and How? What is the customer looking for in a supplier?

Step 2: Value Catalysts

What is the motivation behind the action? What resources are required? What are the required skills? What are the different customer emotions you have observed? What are the limiting and enabling beliefs of the customer?

Step 3: Apply Value Criteria

Brainstorm with the team and apply the value criteria and attributes to the nodes and catalysts. Note down all the possible areas where customer value can be discovered.

Step 4: Summarise the opportunity.

What are the areas that are not being addressed adequately right now? Where do you think you can develop and deliver superior value? List down the top 2-3 areas of focus.

Step 5: How can you help create customer value?

Explore how you can develop or improve solutions? This would require you to look inwards to check if you have the capabilities and resources to develop solutions?

Let us take the example of Rotimatic and apply the canvas:

Use case: Rotimatic

Rotimatic is the world’s first fully-integrated machine that measures, mixes, kneads, flattens, and cooks rotis – the popular flatbread that is very popular in many parts of the world. The VDC has been used to understand the origins of the idea. The founders observed women making rotis and identified the challenges encountered by women. These observations have been captured in the canvas. Once they identified the customer needs and what they wanted, the founders began planning and designing the machine that can create value for the customer.

The solution developed by Rotimatic

  1. Fully integrated automatic roti maker.
  2. Used Machine learning, cloud-connected technologies.
  3. Load and forget model.
  4. 90 secs to make a roti.
  5. No cleaning required.
  6. Automatic measurement of flour and oil and dough preparation.
  7. Makes perfect circular Rotis.
  8. Saves time to socialise with friends and family while roti maker makes the Rotis.
  9. Occupies 16 x 16 inches space.
  10. Very safe – no interaction with fire.
  11. Product priced at $999.
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