The fun graphic featured here was invented by Alex Osterwalder of Strategyzer.com. Similar to an impressionist painting, it shows how a number of small elements assembled together in the right way can form a beautiful image.
Essentially, Oseterwalder’s business model canvas shows three essential categories that entrepreneurs should consider if the goal is to build a successful company, desirability, viability and feasibility. Each category includes a different set of subcategories, all of which are important for developing a broader organizational strategy.
If a company is going to thrive in the modern business world, all of the building blocks should be carefully reviewed and implemented through various structures, processes, and systems. For the sake of brevity, this article only covers the desirability portion of the business model canvas (more on viability and feasibility in future articles).
The Value Proposition Building Block is so important it makes me think the canvas should be structured more like a pyramid, as it is the foundation. Without an array of products and/or services that serve a specific need, there is no reason for the business to exist.
Creating a value proposition requires answering a number of basic questions, related to whether the services/products a company is going to offer can solve a problem, serve a customer need, or shake up the industry. The value proposition can be an aggregation of products and/or services, an innovation or an improvement on existing market offerings.
The sales process involves exactly that—sales! A viable sales pipeline demands a thorough understanding of the Customer Segments Building Block. By first identifying the various groups, people and/or businesses an organization hopes to serve, it makes it easier to craft a marketing plan and generate profits.
Customer segments can be large or small, but it’s important to point out that a conscious decision needs to be made about which ones to serve or ignore. Understanding the target market and the specific needs of the customer vastly simplifies the creation of a successful business model.
The Channels Building Block is more than just a marketing campaign. In addition to describing the platforms your company will leverage to raise awareness about its products and services, channels are a means of showcasing the company’s value proposition.
Channels are essential to ensuring the customer has a positive experience. Along with providing customers with a way to purchase the company’s services/products, channels allow companies to offer customer support and gather feedback after the transaction is concluded.
Understanding the Customer Relationships Building Block can vastly inform a company’s marketing plan and business model. To be successful, businesses need to identify the type of relationships it wants to establish with its customers.
Gathering customer data and offering personal assistance can be an effective way to build long-term relationships. Economies of scale could be based on transactional relationships, where the customer interacts with automated systems.
Customer needs and company offerings will define the necessary relationships. Creating a detailed plan for how the company plans to acquire new customers and retain existing customers, as well as whether the company is more suited for up-selling or a low-pressure approach, is an important component of the blueprint for a viable business model.
For assistance developing a value proposition or creating a strong business model, reach out to me at [email protected], or on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hollysegur/.
Holly Segur is a 30-year veteran of the corporate world with experience navigating C-suite reporting. A retired senior executive from a Fortune 300 company, Holly positions her clients to attain the best possible work/life balance ‘sway' and understand the emotional choices required to ‘have it all.’ By helping her clients develop short- and long-term strategies for their personal and professional lives, Holly helps her clients achieve their goals with relationships, health and passions intact.
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