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How do I add Pain Relievers to my Value Proposition Canvas?

Pain relievers describe how your products and services alleviate specific customer pains. They explicitly outline how you intend to eliminate or reduce some of the pains that annoy your customers before, while, and after they are trying to get a job done. Typically, great value propositions alleviate only a limited number of severe customer pains but do that very well. Make sure you focus on pains you have identified in the customer profile.

Questions to ask

The following list of trigger questions can help you think of different ways your products and services may help your customers alleviate pains. Ask yourself if they:

  • Produce savings? E.g. in terms of time, money, or efforts.
  • Make your customers feel better? E.g. by killing frustrations, annoyances, things that give customers a headache.
  • Fix underperforming solutions? E.g. by introducing new features, better performance, or better quality.
  • Put an end to difficulties and challenges your customers encounter? E.g. by making things easier or eliminating obstacles.
  • Wipe out negative social consequences your customers encounter or fear? E.g. in terms of loss of face, lost power, trust, or status.
  • Eliminate risks your customers fear? E.g. financial, social, technical risks, or what could go awfully wrong.
  • Help your customers better sleep at night? E.g. by helping with big issues, by diminishing concerns, or eliminating worries.
  • Limit or eradicate common mistakes customers make? E.g. by helping use a solution the right way.
  • Get rid of barriers that are keeping your customer from adopting solutions? E.g. lower or no upfront investment costs, flatter learning curve, or the elimination of other obstacles preventing adoption.


A pain reliever can be more or less relevant to the customer. Make sure you differentiate between substantial pain relievers and nice-to-haves.

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