Business Model Canvas Vs. Value Proposition Canvas

Both are strategic frameworks to build companies with a long-term competitive advantage. The business model canvas is comprised of nine building blocks explaining what makes up a company’s success. The value proposition canvas is an extension of the business model canvas. It is primarily focused on developing a strong value proposition, which is among the central element of a sustainable business model.

AspectBusiness Model Canvas (BMC)Value Proposition Canvas (VPC)
Purpose and BackgroundThe Business Model Canvas (BMC) is a strategic tool that provides a visual framework for developing, describing, and analyzing a business model. It was introduced by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur in their book “Business Model Generation” in 2010. The BMC helps organizations understand how they create, deliver, and capture value.The Value Proposition Canvas (VPC) is a subset of the BMC, focusing specifically on the customer segment and value proposition elements. It was developed as an extension to the BMC to delve deeper into the customer’s perspective. The VPC was also introduced by Osterwalder and Pigneur in their book. It helps organizations create compelling value propositions for their customers.
Components and StructureThe BMC comprises nine building blocks: Customer Segments, Value Proposition, Channels, Customer Relationships, Revenue Streams, Key Resources, Key Activities, Key Partnerships, and Cost Structure. Each block represents a specific aspect of the business model.The VPC narrows its focus to two key components: the Customer Segment and the Value Proposition. It provides a more detailed analysis of these elements, exploring the fit between what customers need (jobs, pains, gains) and what the business offers (products or services).
Customer-Centric ApproachWhile the BMC considers customers within various building blocks, it does not explicitly emphasize customer problems and solutions as the VPC does. It addresses customer-related concerns in the Customer Segments and Value Proposition blocks.The VPC is specifically designed to be customer-centric. It helps businesses understand their customers’ jobs to be done, pains, and gains, ensuring that the value proposition aligns perfectly with customer needs.
Value Proposition DesignThe BMC outlines the value proposition in a concise manner but does not delve deeply into customer pains and gains. It provides an overall view of how the value proposition fits within the business model.The VPC is dedicated to value proposition design. It dissects the customer segment into jobs, pains, and gains, facilitating a more granular understanding of customer needs and how the value proposition can address them effectively.
Usage StageThe BMC is typically used during the early stages of business model development, helping organizations explore and refine their overall business concept. It serves as a foundational tool for brainstorming and strategic planning.The VPC is often used in conjunction with the BMC and comes into play when businesses need to fine-tune their value propositions to meet specific customer needs and preferences. It is more focused on the later stages of product or service development.
Visual RepresentationThe BMC uses a visual canvas format, making it suitable for workshops and collaborative discussions within teams or across different stakeholders. This visual approach aids in brainstorming and fostering a shared understanding of the business model.The VPC also employs a visual canvas format, but it zooms in on the customer segment and value proposition elements. It allows teams to visualize and assess how well the value proposition aligns with customer needs, pains, and gains.
Strategic Planning ToolThe BMC is often used for strategic planning, business model analysis, and presenting an overall view of how a business creates, delivers, and captures value. It is particularly valuable for established companies looking to optimize their existing models.The VPC is primarily a tool for fine-tuning and designing value propositions to ensure they resonate with customers. It plays a critical role in product development and marketing strategy, especially for startups aiming to meet specific customer needs.
Dynamic EnvironmentThe BMC is versatile and can be adapted to various business environments. However, its primary strength lies in providing an overview of the business model, making it useful for businesses in both stable and dynamic markets.The VPC is particularly valuable in dynamic environments where rapid adaptation to changing customer needs is crucial. Startups and businesses looking to pivot or innovate their offerings benefit from its customer-centric approach.
Startups vs. EstablishedThe BMC is suitable for both startups and established companies. Startups can use it to develop their initial business model, while established companies can employ it for strategic analysis and optimization.The VPC complements the BMC and is often used by startups looking to refine their value propositions based on customer feedback and validation. It is especially beneficial for startups aiming to disrupt or differentiate in crowded markets.

business-model-canvas
The business model canvas is a framework proposed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur in Busines Model Generation enabling the design of business models through nine building blocks comprising: key partners, key activities, value propositions, customer relationships, customer segments, critical resources, channels, cost structure, and revenue streams.
value-proposition
A value proposition is about how you create value for customers. While many entrepreneurial theories draw from customers’ problems and pain points, value can also be created via demand generation, which is about enabling people to identify with your brand, thus generating demand for your products and services.

Key Similarities between Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition Canvas:

  • Strategic Frameworks: Both the Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition Canvas are strategic frameworks used in business planning and development.
  • Building Blocks: Both canvases are structured using building blocks that help identify and articulate essential elements of a business.
  • Customer-Centric: Both frameworks focus on understanding and meeting customer needs and preferences to create a successful and sustainable business.
  • Value Creation: Both canvases address the concept of value creation. The Business Model Canvas considers value propositions as one of its building blocks, while the Value Proposition Canvas delves deeper into creating a strong value proposition.

Key Differences between Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition Canvas:

  • Scope: The Business Model Canvas provides a holistic view of the entire business model, encompassing key partners, activities, customer segments, revenue streams, and more. The Value Proposition Canvas, on the other hand, zooms in on the specific value proposition offered to customers.
  • Focus: The primary focus of the Business Model Canvas is to understand the entire business model and how all the building blocks interact to create value for the company. In contrast, the Value Proposition Canvas is centered on analyzing and refining the value proposition to meet customer needs effectively.
  • Level of Detail: The Business Model Canvas provides a broader overview of the business, whereas the Value Proposition Canvas goes into more detail about the customer segment and the value proposition that caters to their specific needs.
  • Value Proposition: While both canvases address value propositions, the Value Proposition Canvas dedicates more attention to understanding the customer’s pains, gains, and jobs to design a compelling value proposition that directly addresses their needs and preferences.
  • Integration: The Value Proposition Canvas is an extension of the Business Model Canvas, meaning it can be used alongside the Business Model Canvas to enhance the understanding and refinement of the value proposition within the larger business model.
  • Customer Insights: The Value Proposition Canvas places a greater emphasis on gaining deep customer insights and empathy to create a more customer-centric value proposition.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition Canvas are both strategic frameworks used in business planning and development.
  • The Business Model Canvas provides a holistic view of the entire business model, while the Value Proposition Canvas zooms in on understanding and refining the value proposition offered to customers.
  • Both canvases focus on understanding customer needs and preferences to create value for the business. However, the Value Proposition Canvas dedicates more attention to designing a compelling value proposition based on deep customer insights.

Read Next: Business Model Canvas, Value Proposition Canvas.

Related Strategy Concepts: Go-To-Market StrategyMarketing StrategyBusiness ModelsTech Business ModelsJobs-To-Be DoneDesign ThinkingLean Startup Canvas, Value Chain.

More Strategy Tools: Porter’s Five ForcesPESTEL AnalysisSWOTPorter’s Diamond ModelAnsoffTechnology Adoption CurveTOWSSOARBalanced ScorecardOKRAgile MethodologyValue PropositionVTDF Framework.

Connected Strategy Frameworks

ADKAR Model

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The ADKAR model is a management tool designed to assist employees and businesses in transitioning through organizational change. To maximize the chances of employees embracing change, the ADKAR model was developed by author and engineer Jeff Hiatt in 2003. The model seeks to guide people through the change process and importantly, ensure that people do not revert to habitual ways of operating after some time has passed.

Ansoff Matrix

ansoff-matrix
You can use the Ansoff Matrix as a strategic framework to understand what growth strategy is more suited based on the market context. Developed by mathematician and business manager Igor Ansoff, it assumes a growth strategy can be derived from whether the market is new or existing, and whether the product is new or existing.

Business Model Canvas

business-model-canvas
The business model canvas is a framework proposed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur in Busines Model Generation enabling the design of business models through nine building blocks comprising: key partners, key activities, value propositions, customer relationships, customer segments, critical resources, channels, cost structure, and revenue streams.

Lean Startup Canvas

lean-startup-canvas
The lean startup canvas is an adaptation by Ash Maurya of the business model canvas by Alexander Osterwalder, which adds a layer that focuses on problems, solutions, key metrics, unfair advantage based, and a unique value proposition. Thus, starting from mastering the problem rather than the solution.

Blitzscaling Canvas

blitzscaling-business-model-innovation-canvas
The Blitzscaling business model canvas is a model based on the concept of Blitzscaling, which is a particular process of massive growth under uncertainty, and that prioritizes speed over efficiency and focuses on market domination to create a first-scaler advantage in a scenario of uncertainty.

Blue Ocean Strategy

blue-ocean-strategy
A blue ocean is a strategy where the boundaries of existing markets are redefined, and new uncontested markets are created. At its core, there is value innovation, for which uncontested markets are created, where competition is made irrelevant. And the cost-value trade-off is broken. Thus, companies following a blue ocean strategy offer much more value at a lower cost for the end customers.

Business Analysis Framework

business-analysis
Business analysis is a research discipline that helps driving change within an organization by identifying the key elements and processes that drive value. Business analysis can also be used in Identifying new business opportunities or how to take advantage of existing business opportunities to grow your business in the marketplace.

BCG Matrix

bcg-matrix
In the 1970s, Bruce D. Henderson, founder of the Boston Consulting Group, came up with The Product Portfolio (aka BCG Matrix, or Growth-share Matrix), which would look at a successful business product portfolio based on potential growth and market shares. It divided products into four main categories: cash cows, pets (dogs), question marks, and stars.

Balanced Scorecard

balanced-scorecard
First proposed by accounting academic Robert Kaplan, the balanced scorecard is a management system that allows an organization to focus on big-picture strategic goals. The four perspectives of the balanced scorecard include financial, customer, business process, and organizational capacity. From there, according to the balanced scorecard, it’s possible to have a holistic view of the business.

Blue Ocean Strategy 

blue-ocean-strategy
A blue ocean is a strategy where the boundaries of existing markets are redefined, and new uncontested markets are created. At its core, there is value innovation, for which uncontested markets are created, where competition is made irrelevant. And the cost-value trade-off is broken. Thus, companies following a blue ocean strategy offer much more value at a lower cost for the end customers.

GAP Analysis

gap-analysis
A gap analysis helps an organization assess its alignment with strategic objectives to determine whether the current execution is in line with the company’s mission and long-term vision. Gap analyses then help reach a target performance by assisting organizations to use their resources better. A good gap analysis is a powerful tool to improve execution.

GE McKinsey Model

ge-mckinsey-matrix
The GE McKinsey Matrix was developed in the 1970s after General Electric asked its consultant McKinsey to develop a portfolio management model. This matrix is a strategy tool that provides guidance on how a corporation should prioritize its investments among its business units, leading to three possible scenarios: invest, protect, harvest, and divest.

McKinsey 7-S Model

mckinsey-7-s-model
The McKinsey 7-S Model was developed in the late 1970s by Robert Waterman and Thomas Peters, who were consultants at McKinsey & Company. Waterman and Peters created seven key internal elements that inform a business of how well positioned it is to achieve its goals, based on three hard elements and four soft elements.

McKinsey’s Seven Degrees

mckinseys-seven-degrees
McKinsey’s Seven Degrees of Freedom for Growth is a strategy tool. Developed by partners at McKinsey and Company, the tool helps businesses understand which opportunities will contribute to expansion, and therefore it helps to prioritize those initiatives.

McKinsey Horizon Model

mckinsey-horizon-model
The McKinsey Horizon Model helps a business focus on innovation and growth. The model is a strategy framework divided into three broad categories, otherwise known as horizons. Thus, the framework is sometimes referred to as McKinsey’s Three Horizons of Growth.

Porter’s Five Forces

porter-five-forces
Porter’s Five Forces is a model that helps organizations to gain a better understanding of their industries and competition. Published for the first time by Professor Michael Porter in his book “Competitive Strategy” in the 1980s. The model breaks down industries and markets by analyzing them through five forces.

Porter’s Generic Strategies

competitive-advantage
According to Michael Porter, a competitive advantage, in a given industry could be pursued in two key ways: low cost (cost leadership), or differentiation. A third generic strategy is focus. According to Porter a failure to do so would end up stuck in the middle scenario, where the company will not retain a long-term competitive advantage.

Porter’s Value Chain Model

porters-value-chain-model
In his 1985 book Competitive Advantage, Porter explains that a value chain is a collection of processes that a company performs to create value for its consumers. As a result, he asserts that value chain analysis is directly linked to competitive advantage. Porter’s Value Chain Model is a strategic management tool developed by Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter. The tool analyses a company’s value chain – defined as the combination of processes that the company uses to make money.

Porter’s Diamond Model

porters-diamond-model
Porter’s Diamond Model is a diamond-shaped framework that explains why specific industries in a nation become internationally competitive while those in other nations do not. The model was first published in Michael Porter’s 1990 book The Competitive Advantage of Nations. This framework looks at the firm strategy, structure/rivalry, factor conditions, demand conditions, related and supporting industries.

SWOT Analysis

swot-analysis
A SWOT Analysis is a framework used for evaluating the business‘s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It can aid in identifying the problematic areas of your business so that you can maximize your opportunities. It will also alert you to the challenges your organization might face in the future.

PESTEL Analysis

pestel-analysis

Scenario Planning

scenario-planning
Businesses use scenario planning to make assumptions on future events and how their respective business environments may change in response to those future events. Therefore, scenario planning identifies specific uncertainties – or different realities and how they might affect future business operations. Scenario planning attempts at better strategic decision making by avoiding two pitfalls: underprediction, and overprediction.

STEEPLE Analysis

steeple-analysis
The STEEPLE analysis is a variation of the STEEP analysis. Where the step analysis comprises socio-cultural, technological, economic, environmental/ecological, and political factors as the base of the analysis. The STEEPLE analysis adds other two factors such as Legal and Ethical.

SWOT Analysis

swot-analysis
A SWOT Analysis is a framework used for evaluating the business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It can aid in identifying the problematic areas of your business so that you can maximize your opportunities. It will also alert you to the challenges your organization might face in the future.

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