Delivering Customer Desires for Business Success

Pains and Gains: How to Give Your Customers What They Want

Understanding Pains and Gains

Pains and gains are two fundamental aspects of customer needs:

  • Pains: These are the problems or obstacles that customers need to solve using a product or service.
  • Gains: These are the benefits or enhancements that customers expect from a product or service.

Every business caters to two types of customers: those who have existing problems (pains) that they want to address and those who are looking for products that will improve their lives (gains). The products that cater to these needs can be thought of as “pain relievers” and “gain creators.”

Value Proposition and Its Importance

The value proposition statement is crucial to summarising how your product benefits your customers. It explains which pain the product alleviates or which gain it provides, emphasising the value for the customer. A clear and compelling value proposition statement is essential for targeted marketing, investor pitches, and product success.

Identifying Your Customers’ Pains and Gains

To find your customers’ pains and gains, you must put yourself in their shoes. Spend time with your target demographic and collect feedback. If you already have a customer base, gather insights from surveys and your customer-facing teams. Ask questions like:

  • What do your customers think, feel, see, hear, say, and do?
  • What is their environment like?
  • Whose opinions do they value?
  • What are their priorities and joys?

Create an empathy map that reflects these insights. Additionally, use your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) to understand your target customers better.

Matching Products to Pains and Gains

To effectively address your customers’ pains and gains, product developers and marketers must articulate how a product alleviates pain or creates a gain. Product developers use this knowledge to create new products or enhance existing ones. Marketers, on the other hand, need to understand how the product addresses customer needs to create persuasive promotional materials.

Using Jobs-to-Be-Done for Product Fit

To achieve product fit, you need to ensure two things:

  • An accurate understanding of your customers’ pains and gains.
  • A product that effectively addresses these customer demands.

Consider your target customers’ “jobs-to-be-done,” which are the tasks and objectives they need to accomplish. Jobs-to-be-done provide valuable context when targeting specific pains and gains. The closer your product aligns with these tasks, the more compelling it becomes to your customers.

Market Situation

Creating a Value Map

A value map is a powerful tool for matching customer needs to product benefits. It combines customer pains, gains, and jobs-to-be-done with a product’s capacity to provide pain relief and gain creation. By using a value map, you can clearly demonstrate how your product aligns with customer needs.

The Evolving Nature of Customer Pains and Gains

Customer needs are not static. To stay relevant, you must consistently update your understanding of customer pains and gains. Implement systems to capture and organize customer information regularly to avoid investing in products that no longer meet customer demands.


Understanding your customers’ pains and gains is the key to delivering products and services that truly resonate with them. By identifying their needs and aligning your offerings, you can create a compelling value proposition and achieve product-market fit. Keep in mind that customer pains and gains evolve over time, so ongoing research is crucial for staying ahead in the market.