Building a great product is not child's play! We undergo lots of effort and time to bring it as a perfect fit in the market compared to other similar products. But, sometimes, this question will strike your mind often when you're launching something. Are we building a product just for a market fit or satisfying our customers by building a product that genuinely helps them solve their issue? So, if you couldn't find an answer to this question, this article will help you. Read on.
The product manager should always develop a product that should make the customers talk about it everywhere. That is, the customer feels the product as a part of something they're super comfortable with, not that one product that merely satisfies them. And that's why it's not a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) but a Minimum Lovable Product (MLP).
Why not Minimum Viable Product?
I'm not a big fan of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) because I feel it is highly unsatisfying and unlikely to earn trust from humans. Of course, MVP has developed much in popularity in a few years. Still, a little obsessed with getting a product to market earlier and reducing risk; sometimes, teams get pushed to build the bare minimum to achieve product commitment. But the results were unsatisfactory in common from both the customer and product team.
We could do this in a better way.
Yes! When we first developed Hellonext, our entire team decided to build a product that people love! Not just a product but every single feature we built for them. We learned the tough way that we need more than only a bare minimum to succeed! We found the more effort and bold investments turn the product that people love, and that's how we grow!
MVP vs. MLP
Let's start with standard definitions. People often think an MVP to be the minimum functionality of a product wants to attain viability in the market. In reverse, MLP provides the minimum with a product needs that satisfies the customers. Both are about moving quickly yet iterating as you learn. But only one concentrates on providing a highly valuable product from the beginning.
I accept the problem starts when we begin selling. But pushing a product directly to the market works when the customers have no other alternatives. Customer needs have evolved and so have their choices (a lot of choices), especially when it comes to technology products. You need to earn trustworthy customers because they will be the one who stands for you and give meaning to your product every time. Earning them is what a Queen Gambits play! And, I know you can do it! Focus on fulfilling your product vision in the first place.
To make you clearer about building an MLP and its benefits, let's compare it with the various aspects of the product and look at the underlying assumptions and differences more meticulously.
MVP: Your primary goal is "evaluating." You provide the minimum for your product to be practicable for use, and you intend to further build it after knowing viability and gathering initial feedback.
MLP: Your primary goal is to provide "problem-solving value." You offer the minimum to gain customer love, and you will thrive it over time based on your product strategy and significant feedback from customers.
MVP: You probably might not take significant time to learn from your customers' issues. Instead, you release a solution quickly with your anecdotic assumptions and evaluate in response to the results.
MLP: Here, you will spend quality time learning your customers' issues deeply. So you can focus on the right solutions from the beginning of your product usage.
MVP: You don't iterate the market value for your product. You release initial functionality to figure out the best fit and learn who might need your solution.
MLP: You develop and publish based on a deep understanding of what the market for your product will be. You concentrate on meeting your customers' needs first and will plan for expanding it over time if there are some other needs you can solve exceptionally.
MVP: You will never take this part seriously! You will have a blind belief that there are only less similar products out there. You have some information that you think will help your product uniqueness, so you need a quick test as you go.
MLP: You will have a clear insight into your customer's alternative options, and they will select the ones that satisfy their needs. So, you'll find the real thing of uniqueness about your product and generate loyalty right away.
The Customer Experience
MVP: You avoid the primary CX needs and take decisions as you think this will be good because you are not much focused on your initial solution. You are aiming to accomplish functionality that can be easily replaced if needed.
MLP: You know CX is everything. You will make vital decisions because you always look at the customer's point of view. You know their needs, so you challenge yourself for the best result. You are fully committed to your vision and providing a possible solution.
MVP: You spend less time, investment, and resources on the product. Your team focuses only on the deliverables and may even be planning for multiple MVPs at once.
MLP: You'll be more dedicated and invest the quality time, money, and product members necessary for your product to serve users early on.
MVP: You need customers to at least adjust your product while you evaluate. But you forget to take care of their loyal connection with what you deliver.
MLP: You want your customers to love and trust your product. And also, your success is all about how customers are delighted with your product and the solutions you offer.
Developing a product is a great chance to do something valuable. And you deserve to be happy doing it. It is a precious thing because everyone in this world will not get an opportunity to solve their customer problems!
No matter what it is you are creating, thriving excellence and striving for love is always the better option! :)
How do you prioritize your customer love?
Pro tip: This article covers the various prioritization methods that would help you build an excellent product that your customers love! Check it out!