Every startup out there wants to create a product that they firmly believe will be the next big thing in the market; the next Whatsapp or Instagram or Lyft and so on.
They work hard and put all that they have into making this product and they do not stop until it’s ready for launch in the market; and after all the effort and money that went into the product, most of them aren’t even able to recover the cost of production.
Because in the excitement of “creating the next best product” they forget to create a product that satisfies the need of their potential consumers.
They forget that no product can achieve any height of success if its targeted audience has no use of it. In the race of getting to the finish line, the product does not get enough time to develop properly, leading up to a disappointing performance in the market.
Brilliant products require time to grow up to their full potential. Uber, Amazon, Dropbox, Twitter! All these and many more successful businesses that dominate their respective markets were once delicate startups. Their owners nurtured them with time, effort, hard work, dedication and perseverance.
They all had their different ways to stand out in the crowd but there is one marketing strategy that all they adopted in the early years of their startups, which has become largely popular these days.
They all started with a Minimum Viable Product.
But what is a Minimum Viable Product?
Eric Ries, the man who made the term MVP popular through his sensational novel The Lean Startup, describes MVP as, “A Minimum Viable Product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort”
In layman’s language, “a Minimum Viable Product is the simplified version of a product with just enough features to catch the attention of the targeted consumers. Then build the product on the go based on the feedback received and launch the product when it is best suited for the consumers.”
After reading the above explanation, one may say that an MVP is nothing more than a minimalist version of a product created for the sole purpose of moulding it into the product required by the consumers.
But why is this approach becoming more popular now more than ever?
The younger generation no longer wants to play it safe by following the same old techniques and methods, they want to create their own path and they aren’t afraid to take risks. The sheer rapid increase in the number of startups in this last decade has proved that the young adults are more business-centric than ever.
They do not shy away from trying something new if it can provide them with better results, hence the adoption of this marketing strategy has picked up the pace.
So, let’s take a look at some attributes of the strategy which has revolutionized the industry.
A Minimum Viable Product is all about introducing the product in the market with just enough core features to make the product attractive to the audience. The point is to not crowd the user with features which do not enhance the performance of the product.
Remember people do not flock to a new and unknown product because of its countless features or attractive user interface; people prefer a product which provides a solution to their problems.
Hence, the focus should be on highlighting the core values of the product proposed to the consumers, in a manner that does not leave any space for confusion and chaos.
Launching a Minimum Viable Product instead of the final product helps the young companies to minimize the cost of development and marketing. It saves the company from the trouble of going back again and again to fix the problems.
A Minimum Viable Product can be created without much cost. Furthermore, the nature of the product allows the creators to fix the problems in the creating process itself. This saves the product from negative reviews from the final consumers and the extravagant costs of modifying the product afterwards.
Builds Customer base
Launching the product in the initial stages of the development in the form of an MVP helps to capture a fair share of the market by the time the product is ready for the final launch.
The anticipation created by the MVP, fruits well, upon the release of the product. The relationship between the creators and consumers is bridged by a Minimum Viable Product from the beginning. This provides a more of a personalized experience for the users who adopt the product after its beta stages.
Allows product evolution
The main purpose of adopting the strategy of Minimum Viable Product is to build the product around the needs and wishes of the consumers. Hence, the intricate design of a Minimum Viable Product presents the developers with the insight of what works and what does not.
On the basis of the feedback received, the team decides what features to add/remove, where to allocate the resources to get maximum efficiency and what price to put on the product when completed.
Nobody wants to invest in a dying cause. Apart from dreams, money is the biggest motivation out there and investors do not bank on dreams for sure. They need concrete proof that the money they are about to hand over for some new product isn’t going to end up as a liability for them.
Opting for the launch of a Minimum Viable Product can satisfy the investors and even pique their interest in the product furthermore. But it depends solely upon the feedback received by the Minimum Viable Product.
If the feedback is positive and promising, the investors have reasons to believe in the product. Otherwise, they might pull back the funding if they do not find the product to be profitable.
By far, the article gave insight to the advantages of building a Minimum Viable Product and you have to say that they are quite impressive and persuasive as well. But don’t be running off to make your own Minimum Viable Product just yet.
Every coin has two sides to it and every side presents a totally different story to the viewers. Yes, the advantages of building a Minimum Viable Product are tempting, to say the least, but the disadvantages are equally concerning as well.
To master any strategy, one must keep in view the downfalls that are privy with its implementation. The company that is capable of avoiding these negative traits by taking careful and measured steps earns what it bargained for.
But the company which is able to turn these threats into possibilities dominates the market.
Therefore, knowledge about possible mistakes that may cost the whole project, is paramount; mentioned below are some of these situations that arise when going for a Minimum Viable Product.
When a company decides to create a product, they start with a vision and then follow it up with plans and execution. There is saying that ‘if you look up and see your goal, then you are on the right track’
But what if, in the hype of executing plans, the goal can no longer be seen?
Well, it ends in chaos.
The purpose of a Minimum Viable Product is to create a better version of the planned product; but often the process of MVP i.e. modifying the product on the basis of feedback, changes the product entirely.
The original vision of the product gets lost somewhere and the product that emerges out is far from the initial image. Hence, an MVP shall be used very carefully and an eye on the diversions be kept at all times.
Inappropriate market study
Not all the products need to be launched in the form of a Minimum Viable Product.
If the product is of the category that already has heaps of competition, who are providing solutions for consumers’ problems already, then opting for an MVP would not be much beneficial for the company.
Minimum Viable Product helps the companies to propose their product in a heavily influenced market and find their footing without spending a lot.The companies who wish to adapt to the MVP marketing strategy shall study the targeted market and be aware of their position in it.
Hence, a detailed analysis shall be conducted to support or negate the adoption of the strategy.
Not using feedback
Minimum Viable Product is all about acting on the feedback received; if the developers aren’t paying attention to the information collected from the users of the MVP, then the product will surely not turn out as expected. A great product can be produced by an integrated team putting in great efforts only.
Mediocre efforts result in mediocre products only.
The strategy of Minimum Viable Product can be an asset to the company only if it plays upon its strengths i.e. consumer interaction. If the consumers do not receive the changes they suggested, for a better experience, then they might not adapt to the final product.
Creating a Minimum Viable Product is a tough task. It requires the right expertise and experience to create an MVP that serves the requirements of the company right.
An unbalanced MVP can end up increasing the work instead of reducing it. A Minimum Viable Product laden with heavy features can overwhelm the users, whereas, an MVP with not enough features can fail to grasp the attention of the potential users.
A striking balance between the core functions and additional features of the product will deliver results but that can only be achieved by a professional web developer with significant experience under their belt.
Lost competitive edge
In the midst of creating a miniature version of the final product and adding on features along the way (based on the feedback received), companies often forget that the product will be competing against the best.
They focus too much on consumer satisfaction and as a result, the final product is not able to survive in the market for long; for they lack that wow factor that sets them apart and arms the product with a competitive edge.
Minimum Viable Products shall be created, keeping the competition in mind. We live in a world where new technologies and products are hitting the market every passing minute. To compete with that kind of competition, a product shall have something that no other product has.
The competition is not only with the present, but with the past and future products as well.
As discussed, a professional, fit for web development can increase your chances of getting that competitive edge without wavering away from the goal.
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