Minimum Viable Product

Minimum Viable Product

Building a startup is challenging. Ultimately, you want to transform your idea into a reality. You have to come up with a great idea, make the product, and invest in marketing to deliver the product to the market. This is the classic startup strategy.

But before you create your final product and make it mainstream, you must test it in the market with a minimum viable product (MVP). A MVP is the version of a new product that allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort. The truth is, it’s all about solving the problem by the most basic solution.

 

Think of the iMac, one of the best selling computers today. However, Apple started with the Apple 1: it was the first computer released by Apple in 1976 and was just a circuit board. It didn’t have a keyboard, monitor, or case. Thus, the iMac would be a viable product and the Apple 1 would be a minimum viable product. So think of it in this way; a Minimum Viable Product isn’t about making a bad first product. It’s about focusing on what’s most important and building that.

 

The most important step when marketing your MVP is to recognize the early adopters within your product range. These are the first users of your product, who are eager to solve the problem even though there is basic functionality.  When you know your customers, you will get feedback about your features or product much faster. Additionally, it will be easier to define a marketing campaign or sales process. It is also easier to scale when you know who to look for. Ultimately you’re selling the vision and delivering the minimum feature set to visionaries, not everyone.

Now, once you’ve found your early adopters, it’s time to use tools and techniques to market your MVP! The focus will be on 4 major tools that have proven to be successful:

  1. Explainer video
  2. Landing page
  3. Fundraising
  4. Ad campaigns

An explainer video is a short video that explains what your product does and why people should buy it. Furthermore, it is a simple 90 second animation and is successful in terms of it giving a hint of the product experience to the consumer. A notable example can be Dropbox and can be found here.

A landing page is a webpage where visitors “land” after clicking a link from an advertisement, email etc. Once you create a landing page, it is highly suggested to set up google analytics, set a chat room on the website and a service like Qualaroo to survey your visitors. Thus, you seek to extract the most data about the feedback and consumer base.

One of the most popular forms of fundraising in the modern era is to launch a crowdfunding campaign. There are many websites which make it easy and accessible to create these campaigns such as; Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Rockethub. These websites help you to validate if customers want to buy your product but work at the same time to raise money. Thus, it is the best way to find the early adopters of your product.

Finally, you can create an ad campaign. Google and Facebook will provide you with all the demographics to the particular target market. Therefore, you know which features are most appealing to the respective market. Additionally, they will present statistics like click-through-rates and conversions which is valuable information.

Overall, the tool that is chosen depends on your purpose for creating the MVP, therefore this step is very important to focus on and must be given time.

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you have any questions!

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