I have developed a tool I call the Value Proposition Explorer to clarify the space around an originally stated value proposition by broadening or narrowing the scope. The basic idea underlying the tool is to identify assets and capabilities that are really valuable and identify how value could be created by combining own and external assets and capabilities into new value propositions. The outcome of repeating this several times is a hierarchical list of value propositions, from which the company is able to select and assess business opportunities.
The tool should not be mixed with the idea of positioning a company in the right place of a value chain (One-sided business models) but a tool to break free from the value chain thinking. A value proposition can be directed not only to the company's existing customers, but other stakeholders, traditionally not considered to be customers (see Two-sided, Horizontal and Multi-layer business models). A value proposition does not have to be based on developed products and services (even though that is almost always the definition) but what one actor has to offer another actor:
P&G is constantly looking for ways to leverage its assets through its external business development and connect & develop initiatives. Based on the original value proposition of Pampers diapers you now find lots of co-branded or co-commercialized products such as bibsters, wipes, swim pants, underwear and concepts going upwards in the Value Proposition Hierarchy Explorer. At the same time P&G is offering to license technologies and IPR relating to developed odor controlling bio-component film to be used in human contact products, cleaning devices, medical supplies such as bandages and hospital bedding, and even to use the technology in airline cabine space to control odors and smoke.
Finding own, others' or joint value propositions
When searching for valuable assets and capabilities, it is important to not only focus on own business model and industry, but also the potential need of others:
• How can we strengthen own value propositions?
• How can we strengthen others' value propositions?
• How can we create joint value propositions with others?
What is a value proposition