If you have been hanging out with us, you know we’re a big fan of minimum viable products (MVPs).
But wait, we’re not talking about MVP today… who wants to sound like a broken record?
If you have already built your MVP, launched it, and got some great feedback. Congrats!
You’re probably planning to build more features so you can make the product more robust and attractive. We’re talking minimum marketable product (MMP) and minimum lovable product (MLP).
MMP and MLP are stages along an agile iterative process to help you continually refine and improve your digital product. As you develop new features, you’re also collecting user data and feedback to inform subsequent iterations so your product can address the untapped market needs.
Creating an MMP and MLP allows you to reduce the time to market and lower the cost of building all the bells and whistles (which users may or may not want.) You can gather user feedback to inform ongoing improvements while generating revenue to fund future development.
But how should you decide what incremental features to develop for your MMP and MLP?
7 Criteria to Help Decide What Features to Build After Your MVP
Your post-MVP product features should help you achieve one or more of the following:
1. Clarify the Purpose of the Product
Every successful product has a feature that users don’t want to live without. This feature, or a piece of it, is probably already part of your MVP. It’s time to flesh it out and strengthen the functionality that makes your product unique so you can attract and retain more loyal customers.
2. Increase Consumer Awareness
When you go beyond your MVP, you need to create features that help you expand your footprint and build brand awareness. The features of your MLP must be relevant to your audience and resonate with them. You can also consider ones that are innovative and press-worthy to capture attention.
3. Gain a Competitive Edge
By now, you should have collected enough feedback to understand why users like your product and how it compares to others on the market. Develop features that will address the shortcomings of current solutions and help you stand out from your competitors.
4. Improve the User Experience
In today’s consumer world, delivering an outstanding user experience is key to driving adoption and retaining customers. Your product’s features should enhance users’ interaction and engagement with your content so they can gain more value from your app.
5. Build Emotional Connections
As your product grows up, it should go beyond basic functionalities and become enjoyable to use. Connecting with your users isn’t just a “nice to have” in today’s competitive market. Your MLP’s features should help you nurture relationships, cultivate loyalty, and retain customers.
6. Get Users Hooked
“Lovable” is the operative word in MLP. You want to create features that users will become obsessed about. You can also develop features that gamify the user experience (e.g., earning points) or store user information to streamline tasks while increasing the friction of switching from your app to a competitor’s.
7. Drive Revenue
While your product may not turn you into a billionaire overnight, it should start generating revenue at this point. As such, you should prioritize features that offer enough value so people are willing to pay for them and keep using them — which is essential for a subscription-based business model to succeed.
8. Add the Wow Factor
It’s also time to make your product memorable so you can gain a foothold in the market. Introducing the wow factor doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. It’s more about launching features that are outside of the box and bold while delivering a solution that’s unique and spot-on.
9. Consider Scalability
At this stage, you need to focus on growth. Your MLP’s new features should allow you to scale up to handle the full-fledged traffic when you promote the product. For example, if a functionality will slow down a process significantly when the number of users increases, it may not be a good candidate.
Putting Theory into Practice
All these criteria make sense… but how can you apply them effectively to your post-MVP product development process? Here are some pointers to help you create a successful MMP and MLP:
• Collect information from customers and base your decision on timely, accurate, and data-driven insights.
• Focus on customers’ needs and solve their challenges in a way that’s relevant to them.
• Never stop doing market research and user testing to validate your ideas as market conditions change.
• Prioritize your backlog to make sure you’re working on the most important feature in every sprint.
• Ensure that new features address customers’ needs while aligning with your brand message.
• Expand from solving one specific problem to supporting your long-term vision and business goal.
• Master one feature at a time. It’s better to be known for one thing than to have a bag of half-baked features.
• Prioritize features strategically to meet market needs instead of chasing bright and shiny objects.
• Focus on urgent issues that disturb your customers most to maximize your time and effort.
• Keep analyzing user data to inform future improvements.
• Don’t forget to surprise and delight your customers!
Ready to Develop Your MLP?
While “minimum,” your MLP should deliver a complete experience.
Creating an MLP that hits all the sweet spots — balancing user needs with your timeline and budget while addressing the competitive landscape — requires discipline, skills, and commitment:
• You must have the discipline to focus on customer needs when you decide how to allocate resources.
• You must have the skills to develop innovative features that will strengthen your market positioning.
• You must commit to not only creating an excellent product but also to your long-term vision.
As you plan your MLP, don’t skip the key steps in the product development process.
Establish a clear product strategy and create prototypes to validate your ideas. Design an audience and revenue model to guide your go-to-market strategy and ensure long-term success.
Take a value-based approach to the development process to deliver value every step of the way so you can monetize the MMP and MLP as you add features and refine its functionalities.
Managing all the priorities as you grow your MVP isn’t a walk in the park. It takes innovative thinking, experience, and the right skill sets. And we’re here to help. Get in touch to see how our team can help you take the next step with your MVP.
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