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Which MVP is Right for You?

Which MVP is Right for You?

Building a product involves risk. A minimum viable product (MVP) can be a major catalyst for success, allowing companies to quickly turn ideas into products, test in real world conditions, and launch with confidence. But which MVP is right for you? In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of building a minimum viable product, the different types of MVP, and the process to get your MVP launched.

Why do you need an MVP?

A minimum viable product (MVP) is a version of a product with just enough features to be usable by early customers who can then provide feedback for future product development. The basis of an MVP is to validate the assumptions made about a product and test the market need. The ability to get early confirmation from users not only gets them to buy-in, but it allows for an early entrance to a market, yielding a strong competitive advantage in the business landscape.

In addition, an MVP affords businesses the opportunities to:

Get funding/Attract investors: A well-built MVP will highlight your product to investors signifying your go-to-market readiness

  • Save time and money: An MVP can prohibit you from making costly mistakes with a full-fledged build, also saving time
  • Test product early; Solve user problems; Improve products: MVPs allow for early product tests to better solve customer problems and continually improve products
  • Gain valuable feedback: Customer feedback on your MVP helps to validate your idea and forecast demand for product
  • Develop products more quickly: With user feedback, the product team can quickly iterate and improve a product
  • Increased engagement with target audience: An MVP allows for increased engagement with an audience; In many cases building an audience before product is created to ensure a customer base
  • Gain market knowledge: Feedback gives valuable insights, allowing for a better understanding of the market being served

Types of MVPs

MVPs fall into two main groups: high-fidelity and low fidelity. Within these groups are several other types of MVPs organizations can pursue based on their needs and budget.

High-Fidelity MVPs

A high-fidelity MVP is a detailed clickable mockup of an app and seen as a more complex strategy to idea validation. High-Fidelity MVPs can:

  • Identify the most optimal growth strategies
  • Uncover early app adopters (first customers)
  • Help discover what customers are willing to pay for product
  • Allow you to enhance marketing strategy

Types of High-Fidelity MVPs

  • Concierge: Implies manual solving of customers’ issues without product release; Considerable time requirement; Provides good insight
  • Wizard of Oz: Similar to concierge; Owner does all the work with pretense that the product is automated enough to handle everything independently
  • Piecemeal MVP: Use existing tools and services within your project; Creates new user experience and function
  • Crowdfunding MVP: Best choice for businesses that need big investments, access to customers
  • Single Featured MVP: Cost-effective as it tests one feature; Offers clear understanding of one specific problem or solution
  • Digital Prototypes: Usually wireframes, mock-ups and prototypes; Make usability and functionality issues much easier to resolve early, before large investment
  • 3D Models: Expensive option; Ideal for manufacturing

Low-Fidelity MVPs

Low-Fidelity MVPs test if there is a big enough group of customers willing to buy your product and seen as a more early-stage approach. Low-Fidelity MVPs allow you to:

  • Better understand customer problems
  • Discover how valuable solutions can be for customers
  • Understand if certain problems are worth solving
  • Investigate most effective customer solutions

Types of Low-Fidelity MVPs

  • Landing Page: Creating a landing page describing benefits of product with different option selections for users
  • Explainer videos: Videos can help to describe a complex product; Engagement and analysis can be tracked
  • Forums: Allow you to directly interact with customers
  • Blogs: Helps to validate ideas and offers great communication with customers
  • Customer Interview: Unscripted questions to gain honest feedback about product, price, etc.
  • Ad Campaigns: Ads specific to your target audience to gauge the aspects of your product most appealing to your audience
  • Split testing: Great way to test 2 versions
  • Micro-Survey: High response rate as generally there are only 1 or 2 questions
  • Paper prototypes: Sketches of a user interface; Less cost, time and effort
  • Audience Building: Building an audience before product creation is a low-cost effort to gauge demand for product
  • Fake Door/Coming Soon: Get customers to sign-up for product before its available

Building an MVP

The average time to build an MVP may vary, but what is constant are the steps needed to be successful.

Step 1: Market Research

A great MVP starts with thorough market research. According to CB Insights, 35% of startups fail because there is no market need for their product or service. To command demand, a product or service needs to solve a particular problem. Initially, it’s important to first identify and understand the target audience.

First, by looking at the demographics, you can have a greater understanding of the age, race, gender and income of your potential customer. Further, you can create personas, which then offers information on the buyer’s personality, a snapshot of their motivations, what drives them to buy certain products, their preferences, and behaviors.

You’ll then have a better window into pain points and needs. By recognizing and understanding the customer earlier in the process, it helps to ensure greater chances of success later.

A true market and competitor analysis gives insight into target audience needs, pain points that are not being addressed, and exploits any weaknesses of your competitors.

Step 2: Feature Prioritization

For app features, it’s critical to limit your list to only what is necessary to take it to market. Focus on what functionalities you need to satisfy your target market, and reserve all others for future versions of your app.

Step 3: Design Process

Validation of your design can be realized with mobile app prototyping, which is simply a preliminary visual of your working product. Excellent mobile apps are both easy to use and beautiful to look at. A human-centric design that is consistent, simple, and minimal will be aesthetically pleasing and easy to use.

Step 4: Launch

Once the above steps have been completed, it’s time to launch. And though your app may be available to download, your work is far from over.

Step 5: User Feedback

After launch, gauging customer engagement will define the next steps in your process. Did your product solve their problems? What features did users respond well to? Are there improvements you can make to the UI?

Customer feedback is a direct and honest way to understand how to add value to your product, which may include adding or deleting features. In-app surveys, creating off-app communities, and beta tests are just a handful of ways to garner customer feedback.

To continually help increase the performance of your product and hopefully demand as well, don’t be afraid to encourage ongoing feedback from end users.

Ongoing: Make Improvements

By analyzing the results, you can then strategize the next steps to improve the product.

MVPs are the MVP

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to launching a digital application. Therefore, building a product is a very fluid and risky process. To optimize your chance of success, building an MVP is a great option. For those that go the MVP route, they can launch their products, acquire customer feedback, and continually improve their offerings with more confidence and less cost. In addition to vital product information gathered and continuous product enhancements, an MVP can also result in faster times to market for products, which can prove to a be a valuable competitive advantage in a crowded business landscape.

Let Apexon assist with your MVP. We’re ready to help you with your toughest and most demanding digital challenges. Ready to discuss? Our engineering experts are up for the task.

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