When you hear MVP in the Consumer Goods Industry we aren't talking about the Most Valuable Player, we are talking Minimum Viable Product. What exactly is Minimum Viable Product and how can an MVP Business Plan help you reach successes? Let's take a deeper look!
Before we can understand the benefits of a Minimum Viable Product Business Plan we need to understand what exactly Minimum Viable Product Means.
A minimum viable product, or MVP, is a product with enough features to attract early-adopter customers and validate a product idea.
In short you are taking a product that may still be in development to market to get customer feedback before going all in on the product. What do we mean when we say in development? It can mean a range of things from testing a new style of product that is still in refinement. You may be adjusting the ingredients in your product to find a balance between taste, quality and pricing point. You may even be working through packaging design and verbiage about your new product. The MVP Business Model can be hugely beneficial when you are a smaller company working with limited resources for a number of reasons!
You reduce your financial risk. Whether you are looking to sample a new flavor, start a new product line or add variations to existing SKUs; launching a product that is still in development can give you a good idea of how your customers will react before going all in on development, packaging and marketing, etc.
You get valuable feedback. You will get real feedback from your customers. When launching a new product we spend a lot of time talking in theocraticals, how will people use and enjoy your product, will they love the flavor, their experience, will they come back for more. When taking a test product to your customer base you will get real feedback from your real customers.
You Market Validate your product. While product validation is an entire topic on its own, taking a test product to market will allow you to quickly validate your product in the market. Do people want it, does it serve them as designed, can you produce the product at an appropriate volume.
You learn if your product is economical. It all comes down to the bottom line, and you may find your new product can't turn a profit. While calculating your Individual Unit Price should happen well before your ever take a product to market, you can't know the real economics until you start selling.
You have a safety net. When you taking the MVP approach to launching a new product you have the flexibility to listen to feedback and make changes. By being transparent about where your product is in development you can take an imperfect product to market, without the potential negative repercussions that come with launching a product that fails.
How can a food product possibly go to market with out being 100% complete? It may seem crazy to launch a food product or product line that is still in development but it is completely feasible!
You can start with simply talking about the new product line to see what feedback you receive, maybe the flavor isn't going to work, or the product just doesn't have a place in the market.
Take samples of your product out into the world! Set up a tasting table at your buyers store, or take your new product to sample at the restaurants that buy your foodservice products. Take your product and concept to an industry conference and get feedback from industry professionals.
How far into development should my product be? This is entirely dependent on you, your business, and the brand you are building. There is no one size fits all when is comes to the MVP Business Model. Keep your goals top of mind, what are you trying to achieve, what information are you trying to gain. By keeping these goals top of mind you can tailor your strategy to provide you with the most valuable feedback. MVP is meant to help you gain a deeper understanding of your product and customer connection, don't send a product out into the world because you just want to get it out there. Like every thing you do in your business you should be moving forward with focus and intention.