An Annotated Guide to Completing the Business Model CanvasPart 3: Channels


The title of this section can be misleading; when we refer to “channels” in this segment, we aren’t necessarily talking about the physical distribution channels or the supply chain for your products. Instead, in this instance, “Channels” refer to the methods through which you will establish and grow your relationships with your customers. It’s important to define the Channels, after Customer Relationships because the Channels are meant to support the customer relationships, not define them. The chosen Channels should allow customers to learn about the organization’s value proposition, provide access to the products/services, and provide after-service care.

When filling out this segment, you should ask yourself “does this channel support building the types of customer relationships that I defined for my business?” For example, if your customers are B2B and they require rich relationships with dedicated customer account managers, it’s unlikely that a social media page or a Yellowpages listing will support that customer relationship in a meaningful way. Instead, for this type of rich, close-knit relationship, an organization might need CRM software, or a B2B-specific call centre with highly trained customer service reps.

Four our cleat company example, appropriate channels might include:

  • Self-serve company website designed to facilitate purchases
  • Customer service call-in centre
  • Pertinent social media channels (with moderation)
  • Pop-up stores at rec centres/malls
  • On and offline advertisements
  • Tradeshows

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