The Ability of a Brand to Go from Viable to Valuable
MVP. Sounds exciting. You want that title. Right?
Well, unfortunately, I am not going to talk about being the most valuable player. Instead, my thoughts are about a minimal viable product (MVP). I know that is nowhere near as sexy. And as you know, you don't want me talking sports. LOL!
Anyway, I want to draw attention to the words--minimal...viable...product—MINIMAL in particular.
The concept is great, you spend as little as possible and generate the most revenue (and hopefully profit too). Some companies do it right, they silently launch an MVP and then use the profit to make it better so they can charge more and capture more market share. But you see, the keyword there is "some".
I've had a few conversations this last week, where this topic has come up. And almost every time it goes like this.
- Them: We just need to get to market.
- Me: True. What is your goal with launching this? How is it different from your competition or others offering a similar concept?
- Them: Well, we’re offering it.
_______ or like this __________
- Them: We can make it better later.
- Me: Yes, any product or service that you offer should always be refined and updated to fit current demand.
- Them: The market rate is this, so that’s what we’re going to charge.
- Me: Great. And are you going to offer the same level of quality and service as those examples at launch?
_______ or like this __________
- Them: Just give me something simple...I want this, and this, and this. That's simple and easy.
- Me: It's easy to say those things are simple. Have you talked to the people creating or developing this to know if that is actually the case or if we need to launch in a phased approach?
- Them: It’s easy, they can do it.
I know you don't do this, and I'm willing to bet that you know someone who has. The reality is no one really wants "minimal". No one really wants to settle. Your clients want the most value for the best price. Instead, think of this situation from the perspective of a minimum valuable product. It’s when you create the minimum iteration of a product that genuinely provides real value. It refocuses the original idea of producing a new product or service on the highest return on investment versus risk, which is what viability focuses on.
Value has two areas of consideration: value to the client and value to the organization.
VALUE TO YOUR CURRENT AND POTENTIAL CLIENTS.
Yes, your target audience may define value differently than other markets but that is what needs to be identified. Let's start with what is client value? Client or customer value is the level of satisfaction that your client experiences toward your business. That satisfaction can come from products or services that you offer, the free content that you provide in your marketing, the experience they have when trying to do business with you (sales funnel) or as a client, or even the price they paid.
To dive a little deeper, let's look at what the word value means. Something held to serve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something. A person's principle or standards of behavior. Estimating the monetary worth of something. Offering value far exceeds offering viability.
Now back to your clients. What needs and expectations does your target audience have about this new product or service that you want to launch? How different or similar is it to what is already available? Can you be objective when looking at what you are creating versus what is already in the market? Just because something is new to your organization doesn’t mean it’s new to the world. This is key because whatever you launch will be compared to what already exists, even if it is completely different. The way people process something new is through an analogy so your new product or service will be perceived as like another brand's product or service. It's ok to say "yes and...". Yes, it is like that, and here is what is different...
If you provide enough value, then you earn the right to promote your brand to new clients or upsell existing clients. That phrase of "earning the right to promote" may not sit well with everyone. After all, we're in business to make money. But loyalty and repeat business is earned, it's not guaranteed. So simply put, always provide value.
VALUE TO YOUR ORGANIZATION.
What value does the project provide to your organization? Let's start with what is organization value? Organizational value is the benefit that an organization receives from an initiative, a service, or a product that it provides. Some examples can include: reducing costs, improving efficiency, strengthening brand reputation, or increasing revenue or profit. Because a business cannot stay in business without revenue, what it values is different than what a client or customer values.
Back to viable versus valuable. If an organization is only functioning from what they value, then viability is the priority to reduce risks at all costs. The challenge with releasing a minimum viable product is that it could harm or cheapen your brand's reputation. If a brand is focused on bridging the gap to create a win-win situation and build long-term value, then it will focus on value. A minimal valuable project should add value to your brand reputation, even if it is not in a final format.
So, stop thinking in terms of minimalism or cheap and start thinking in terms of most valuable.
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