By being specific about how your gain creators help clients achieve their aims, you demonstrate how much you understand them.
It’s all about drawing a straight line between their list of desired gains and your built-in gain creators. Being utterly explicit about this can be a game-changer. But your thinking needs to be based on reliable B2B market research insights, not assumptions or educated guesses.
Getting it right ensures successful product market fit, avoids expensive development mistakes, and empowers your messaging. A focus on gain creators accentuates the positive ways your product or service directly meets clients expectations and desires – and maybe even provides a delightful surprise.
Your Value Proposition Canvas
Both gains and gain creators are elements of the value proposition canvas. This comprises a client circle of three segments; jobs to be done (before a purchasing decision), pains and gains. This isn’t based on each of your actual clients, but on your B2B buyer personas.
Then there’s your value proposition square, also divided into three: products and services, pain relievers, and gain creators. Here’s a more in-depth explanation of how you can use your value proposition canvas to understand your clients and support successful business decisions.
This article focused on the relationship between client gains and your gain creators. It’ll help you identify which of your products and services are gain creators that directly enable clients to meet their gains.
What are your clients’ gains?
It’s important to go through the value proposition canvas process in the right order. The overarching aim of this thought scaffolding is to keep your client at the heart of your decision making. This means you start by identifying your clients’ gains.
To make real connections and get a competitive edge, these need to be based on actual data. Guesswork and assumption won’t cut it. You need to ask the right people and learn from their answers.
For example, NewtonX worked with a $20B design software company to establish how to attract the best design talent in their industry. 300 design hiring managers from across four countries were custom recruited in 10 days. The insights from this research highlight three key gains that top talent want from their employers.
Figma didn’t keep their custom findings in-house, they shared this powerful information with their industry, building further trust as a thought leader. It also means that all design software companies know which specific gains they need to meet with their gain creators in order to win over the most exceptional designers.
Different types of client gains
There are four different types of client gains you can be speaking to:
- Practical: a functional answer to a practical need that makes their life easier
- Financial: helps them to save money
- Social positive: it makes them look good
- Positive emotions: it makes them feel good
All of these are context specific and some take a little longer to figure out. You probably feel quite confident in how your gain creators meet their practical and financial gains already. But digging into the emotions behind B2B decisions is what helps you create irresistible signposts along your clients’ paths to purchase – even though it might be trickier.
This raises another important point. B2B purchases are usually made by a team of buyers. It’s important to consider each member of that team as an individual. The individual buyer personas in your team will have different gains, so you need to consider how your gain creators meet the gains of each one. They may overlap and are interconnected, but there may be some specific nuances that prove extremely useful.
It’s worth noting that your clients’ gains and pain are not necessarily diametric opposites. In fact, they may be entirely unrelated.
Looking inwards to find your gain creators
Once you’ve identified your clients’ gains, you can order them in terms of priority – from ‘nice to haves’, to gains with substantial value. Now you need to start at the top of these substantial gains and consider how your product or service creates this gain for your clients.
Sometimes the corresponding gain creators are obvious, like a new feature that improves practical performance. But, like any self-reflective task, this search for gain creators can be challenging.
You need to look at your entire set of products or services through the lens of your clients’ needs and aspirations. But you may be too close to see all your gain creators clearly. To ensure you don’t overlook any elements, consider these leading questions:
Does your product or service:
- Save money, time or hassle? Is it easy to integrate with existing systems and intuitive to use?
- Fully meet all expectations? In terms of design, features, price
- Go above and beyond to create a little bit of unexpected joy? Like a new feature
- Make life easier? Improved accessibility, reliability and usability, consistency of service
- Make them look good? With positive social consequences like raised status, or increased power
- Make them feel better? Relieved because a major step forward is made simpler, excitement as they take a step closer to realizing an aspiration by using your product or service
Look at all the angles
How do you find out what your clients need and want? You ask them, through a research partner.
Gains and gain creators are just part of the value proposition canvas – and that’s just one type of research. To get a 360 view on your company’s relationships with its clients, prospects and competitors – you need to apply the right research methodologies to suit your questions.
Custom recruiting using the NewtonX Graph ensures you only get answers from exactly the right people. Depending on exactly how you want to develop your brand personas, we create a research strategy involving the best combination of surveys, focus groups and interviews.
A good research partner provides actionable insights after analyzing the data – not just a set of raw figures. A really good research partner knows what to ask, how to ask it and – crucially – has access to the perfect people to ask.
Your subsequent identification of gains and gain creators is rooted in authenticity because they’re based on 100% verified evidence.
Using gain creators across your business
There are different ways to implement your custom findings on your clients’ gains and your gain creators:
- Communication: You can really get specific about how your products and services help clients meet their gains – from their perspective. By speaking to their underlying emotions, your messaging becomes extremely powerful.
- Product, service and feature development: By ranking client gains in their order of importance, you can direct your resources towards developing the most relevant gain creators. It’s also a great opportunity to identify a substantial client gain that you don’t yet support – especially if this is an entirely unmet gap in the market.
By basing your value proposition canvas on reliable insights from professionals, you deepen your understanding of your clients, which results in confident product-market fit. If you’re always meeting their needs and facilitating their goals, there’s no reason why your clients need to look elsewhere.