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Minimum Viable Product (MVP): Definition & How to Create It

Last updated: Dec 11, 2023

Minimum Viable Product (MVP): Definition & How to Create It
Cover image: Illustration of MVP to build new product with simple features.

What is MVP?

A Minimum Viable Product or MVP is a beneficial strategy in the product design process, especially for startup companies.

In an easier context, it is a new product with simple features designed to meet the basic needs of potential customers.

The concept of the Minimum Viable Product was first introduced through the book "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries.

According to Eric, an MVP is a product specifically designed to attract attention, ensure approval of the business idea, serve as a means to gather product-related feedback and conduct testing for customer experience. The Minimum Viable Product is a crucial part of the product development process.

This product concept prioritizes simplicity of features but with significant functionality and value, allowing businesses to provide products that meet customer needs with minimal risk.

Learn more about what is MVP, its purposes, and examples in the following review!

The Purposes of Minimum Viable Product

Before releasing a product, a brand needs to validate assumptions, collect user feedback, and analyze whether a product has the potential to succeed in the market.

By implementing the Minimum Viable Product, these goals can be achieved without the need for large-scale resource expenditure. The objectives include:

1. Testing the Product Directly to Users 

After a product has been designed and is ready for release, the digital marketing team will conduct A/B testing to test two or more variables and ensure that the released product is the best version.

Both MVP and A/B testing share the same goal of simplifying the product testing process to reach consumers sooner. However, to test the product directly with users, Minimum Viable Product is the right step to obtain real product feedback.  

2. Accelerating Product Launch

The presence of the Minimum Viable Product is highly needed by startups, especially to meet production needs at critical moments.

With this kind of product, startups can release a basic version of the product faster than a complex and time-consuming final version. 

These viable products can also help startup businesses understand market trends and needs, obtain user feedback earlier, and make necessary changes as soon as possible.

3. Reducing the Risk of Production Failure

With simple and basic features in the Minimum Viable Product, you can learn the needs and expectations of potential customers, allowing you to perfect the final product.

By introducing a product with simple yet fundamental features, you not only minimize the financial and operational risks associated with a full-fledged product launch but also gain invaluable insights into the needs and expectations of your potential customer.

4. Saving Budget

When it comes to managing a company's financial resources, the importance of cost-saving measures cannot be overstated. 

In this case, creating a Minimum Viable Product is the right solution for companies trying to save on their business budget. 

By providing a simple product, you can already receive feedback from potential customers without requiring additional costs.

The Characteristics of An MVP

As mentioned earlier, this concept often used to test innovations or plans with minimal budget and risk. Here are some key characteristics you should learn. 

  • Despite having simple features, Minimum Viable Products are usually attractive to users.
  • An MVP product is a temporary and imperfect product. Nevertheless, it must convince users that its features and advantages will continue to evolve.
  • An MVP product tends to be iterative because they are improved based on customer feedback.
  • They are often developed to save resource usage.

Types of Minimum Viable Products

In the business world, there are several types of viable product commonly used to attract the attention of potential customers. Explore those types below:

  • Piecemeal: A product that combines specific services or products to expand the market reach.
  • Product Design: Products in the form of designs launched to receive feedback. They can be websitesweb apps, software, or other digital-based platforms.
  • Physical: The most common type that allows consumers to touch and try the product directly. Examples include food, drinks, devices, accessories, and more.
  • Concierge: Prioritizes direct customer service as part of testing product hypotheses.

Strategy and How to Create an MVP Product

Now that you understand what is MVP product, you should also learn about how to create a Minimum Viable Product to trim down your business production expenses.

1. Do Market Research

The first step is conducting market research. This research aims to ensure that your product meets the needs of the target market.

To do this, you can conduct surveys, analyze target audience databases, and thoroughly research competitor products. You can also perform research such as:

  • Primary Research: Comprising quantitative and qualitative research focused on direct consumer information.
  • Secondary Research: Market research using data available on trusted research platforms, such as journals, news, or ebooks.

2. Ensure the Product Adds Value

You don't need to make your product as perfect as possible. Instead, focus on providing solutions, added value, a unique selling proposition (USP), and business value in line with what consumers need.

Based on the market research conducted earlier, concentrate on addressing user opinions, desires, or expectations in product development to make it even better. Consider to tailored to the target market's problems to highlight the solution provided by your product.

3. Identify Value Proposition

Illustration of Value Proposition Canvas in Business
Figure 1: Illustration of Value Proposition Canvas in Business

Another crucial aspect is determining your business's value proposition. With this value proposition, you can test whether the developed product can meet the needs or demands of potential customers in terms of features, benefits, and user experience.

4. Create a Marketing Funnel

You also need to master the step-by-step stages that your target audience must go through in the marketing funnel before making a purchase.

From efforts to increase brand awareness, interest, and consideration, to purchase, all aspects should be thoroughly analyzed in advance.

5. Highlight Features in the Minimum Viable Product

Once you've understood the needs of the target audience and potential customers, you need to ensure that this MVP product can solve the problems faced by potential customers.

So, how do you do that? You need to create hypotheses based on the capabilities and to what extent the product incorporates the following characteristics:

  • Relevance: Does the product align with the core idea?
  • Production cost: Does product development successfully trim production costs?
  • Value: Does the product effectively address the needs and issues of the target market?
  • Development Scale: Does the product have room for improvement in the future?

6. Release It

Once the above testing is completed, it's time for you to release the product. Before doing so, remember that this is a temporary product created not to maximize profits but to gather opinions and feedback from potential customers with various backgrounds. 

Therefore, the most important point is not how much profit is gained but how your product receives responses from the target market.

7. Implement Build-Measure-Learn (BML)

After successfully launching the product, the next step is to implement BML, which stands for Build, Measure, and Learn. 

It is a strategy used to create a product or service by measuring customer satisfaction indicators, both from the customer journey and customer experience.

Once you understand the BML cycle, compare the results of this cycle with the initial product hypotheses to determine the appropriate future strategy.

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