Minimum Viable Product is one of the most talked about concepts in startup world. However, there is a growing trend to launch with Minimum Lovable Product (MLP) which is all set to change the way we think about product development.
Minimum Viable Product is not always relevant for all businesses. When you launch with Minimum Viable Product, you are assuming that there is no need to understand if your users will love it or not. They can always be added later through a series of product updates. What a lot of new age startup founders fail to consider is that this approach works well for products which have a linear growth path and once the product has been accepted by the audience, more users will come on board irrespective of what new features are being added. In such cases, you can launch with Minimum Viable Product and then give it an upgrade as soon as you start creating positive cash flow from operations.
Minimum Viable Product or MVP was coined by Eric Ries , author of The Lean Startup . An MVP is a version of your product that allows you to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort. It doesn’t have to be pretty or complete, it just has to work—the key being “minimum.” The goal is to start learning as soon as possible.
MVPs are used by startups for testing ideas, measuring demand and gaining validated learning about their customers early on in their development process.
A Viable Product Identification System (VPRIS) is a product information management system that captures, manages and delivers the right information at the right time. VPRIS provides us with an effective way to implement our strategies consistently across every geographical market we do business in.
Data collected from VPRIS will allow us to identify our most successful products and increase our product lines. This system also allows us to track the traffic of every product we have on display in a physical store location, how long it remains on display and its effective selling period. By having this information at our disposal, we can determine which stock should be kept in physical stores for extended periods of time based on popularity of a certain product or demand rate percentage. We can even prioritize special order requests with this data at hand. In addition, using data collected from places like Amazon, eBay and other online retail platforms, we are able to recognize which products are trending up or down in sales either locally or globally.
To be able to successfully build a product with an MVP, it is essential that you know the main components of an MVP.
- A plan for what will make your product great if enough people want it. This is called a “Hypothesis.” e.g., “90% of those who see our product will buy at least one unit.”
- Your assumptions about these elements must be testable and measurable so you can determine whether or not they’re true—your customers don’t just have to tell you if they like something, their actions have to validate it as well. e.g., using Google Analytics data on number of visitors and page visits or Ad campaigns targeting users from specific demographics.
- A prototype of your MVP, which you can use to secure funding and beta testers (or even launch) e.g., an iPhone app wireframe, fake storefront on Shopify or Facebook page with minimal info.
There are some people who believe that it is not necessary to write down the assumptions but I think they should be written nonetheless since it will help you remember them while building your product. If you’re developing an app then you might consider using this template provided by Eric Ries , author of The Lean Startup .
The following example illustrates how assumptions could look when applying ‘Lean Marketing’ framework for a new mobile social network:
- 10% of current network users will invite their friends and family to join the new social network.
- 15% of invited people will create a profile on our new social network within one week.
- 20% of the people who created a profile will actively use the app by publishing at least 2 posts per week.
- 30% of those who published 3+ posts per week will recommend this product to their friends and family, thus creating a viral loop effect which results in 100 000 registered users after two months of launch.
A Viable Product Is Not Always The Best Product because of the need for a viable marketing strategy. Well defined marketing strategy is needed to get the best product/brand/service out there.
The Marketing Mix is Product, Price, Promotion, And Place. We are confident that we have a good product and at the right prices but working on our promotion plan will be key to reaching new customers.
We believe our Setting foot in Social media as a platform for marketing efforts will surely help us gather more followers and improve our social presence. In order to be competitive, it is essential for us to significantly expand our following base by leveraging every available social media channel effectively, especially those with viral potentials such as Instagram and Facebook.