Are you looking for a guide on MVP product launch?
Statistics show that 20% of startups or small businesses fail in their first year, while 50% of startups fail to sustain their business after five years. Minimum viable products are one way to ensure you do not waste resources on a product that end-users do not want.
Developing an innovative software solution requires a thorough understanding of programming languages, development frameworks, and supporting tools, besides backend integrations, domain knowledge, compliance requirements, etc.
If you don’t have a professional team with this relevant expertise to take on the task, then submit a request for a complimentary discovery call, and one of our tech account managers who managed similar projects will contact you shortly.
We now discuss how to conduct a successful minimum viable product (MVP) launch.
MVP Product Launch
Go through the following steps to launch your minimum viable product in the market:
Perform Market Research
Validate your product idea to ensure it fits the market needs. Study your target market, including user pain points, demographics, competitors, etc.
Analyze how your product proposes a solution to the users’ underserved requirements. Conduct interviews and surveys. Create a hypothesis and test it so it is not based on false assumptions.
A good hypothesis is easily testable, measurable, and either true or false. Assess the key benefits and differentiators that set your product apart from others in the market.
For example, this could be the hypothesis for a fintech product idea: Users need a mobile app that offers personalized investment plans.
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The benefits and differentiators of your proposed fintech app could be real-time expense tracking, AI-based investment recommendations, etc.
Similarly, in the healthcare market, patients might be facing issues in appointment scheduling and swift communication with doctors. They need a telemedicine solution to ease the appointment booking and consultation process.
Therefore, you plan to offer a healthcare app solution offering video consultations, integration with EHR (electronic health record), secure patient portal, etc.
42% of startups fail because of no market needs. An elaborate market research and product idea validation help you identify your product-market fit, define your value proposition, and map your business model.
Form an MVP Launch Team
You require a competent team to undertake your MVP development process and plan your MVP launch. You should hire for the following roles:
- A UX/UI designer;
- Front-end developers;
- Back-end developers;
- QA engineers;
- Knowledge experts (if required, for instance, for niche markets like medical, legal, fintech, Non-Profit, etc. );
- Cybersecurity experts to ensure application security;
- Specialized engineers, such as data analysts, AI developers, blockchain developers, etc., if required by your project specifications;
- A project manager;
- A business analyst;
- A marketing strategist.
Finalize and Develop MVP Features
You need to develop an MVP with core essential features to attract enough customers and justify your business idea among the early adopters. The key to finalizing MVP features is keeping a perfect balance between ‘minimum’ and ‘viability’.
Many startups go with the minimum possible features and wonder why the target audience is uninterested. Failure to meet user expectations is the main reason minimum viable products fail. Establish the viability of your proposed solution by offering strategically planned features that enhance user experience.
Your market research would help you prioritize MVP features. Prioritize the most essential functionality in the product backlog. Include feature descriptions that detail the purpose and function of the initial product release.
You can also include user stories explaining how users interact with these features. This helps understand the context and purpose of features from users’ perspective.
For example, essential MVP features for the fintech sector could include the following:
- User registration and authorization;
- User account dashboard;
- Expense tracking;
- Budgeting tool;
- Secure payment gateways.
Your developers will now start the design and development of your MVP.
To develop an intuitive and interactive design, your MVP development team should perform the following:
Statistics show that 88% of online users stop returning to a website after a bad user experience. Your designers should perform the following to create a good user experience.
- Create user-friendly workflows that help developers accomplish tasks quickly. This includes information architecture, i.e., structure and organize content in a way that makes the best sense.
- Create low-fidelity wireframes and prototypes to visualize the app layout and design.
- Define interaction design – how users navigate through features, interact with UI elements, etc.
- Perform user journey mapping that explains various touchpoints and experiences of users throughout the product interaction.
- Create a responsive design using CSS frameworks like Bootstrap.
A pleasing user interface can increase your conversion rate by 200%. Ensure you achieve all the benefits of a good UI design by going through the following:
- Create aesthetically pleasing user interface elements, considering color theory, typography, graphic design principles, etc.
- Create icons and imagery that enhance user experience and interaction.
- Ensure UI design is consistent with the brand’s identity.
- Develop animations and illustrations.
- Develop interactive MVP prototypes using tools like Adobe XD, Invision, Proto.io, etc.
The skills, tools, and technologies for MVP development depend on your chosen tech stack. Popular development tools include the following:
Some common programming languages that developers use include the following:
- Swift or Objective-C for iOS app development;
- Kotlin or Java for Android development;
- C#, Java, Python, etc., for a desktop application.
Develop UI components and layouts using the following:
- Frameworks like React, Vue.js, and Angular.
Develop business logic and perform back-end integrations, including third-party services, databases, servers, etc., using the following technologies:
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- Frameworks like NodeJS, Express.js, Django, Ruby on Rails, etc., for a mobile or web backend.
- REST architecture or GraphQL (query language) for API development.
- ADO.Net, JDBC (Java Database Connectivity), ODBC (Open Database Connectivity), etc., for database connectivity, depending on your tech stack.
- Design a data model and database schema;
- Write queries, scripts, etc., for efficient data storage and retrieval;
- Use SQL and NoSQL database technologies, like PostgreSQL, Cassandra, MongoDB, etc.
- Keep track of changes made to the code files;
- Solve code conflicts;
- Use version control tools like Git, TFS, etc.
Your QA engineers should ensure the developed MVP meets quality standards and functional requirements. They need to conduct the following, including some others:
- Usability testing;
- Accessibility testing;
- Unit and integration testing;
- Security testing;
- Performance testing.
24% of companies have experienced an immediate return on investment after adopting automated testing. Your app tester can use the following tools:
- TestRail for test case management;
- Jira for bug tracking and reporting;
- Selenium, JUnit, etc., for automated testing;
- JMeter for performance testing;
- BrowserStack for cross-platform testing;
- Postman for API testing.
Develop Your Marketing Strategy
Plan how you would introduce your product to the target audience. This includes creating a buzz before launch, attracting the right customers, and gathering feedback from early users for future iterations.
Create an interactive and compelling branding page highlighting the intent and features of your MVP. Include the distinct benefits of using your product and detail how users can use it properly.
Leverage social media platforms and create valuable and relevant content, such as blog posts, videos, infographics, etc. Share your content, engage with target audiences, and build a community around your product.
Tap into influencer marketing if it aligns with your business goals and the type of your end-users. For instance, influencer marketing works well with products in markets like health, lifestyle, entertainment, etc.
Influencer marketing today is now a $21.1 billion industry. You can connect with bloggers and influencers with a sufficient online presence. Ask them to use, review, and present your product to their online community in return for compensation.
You can also explore email marketing. Ask users to subscribe to your email newsletter. Offer early bird discounts. Keep users updated on new features, etc. The global email marketing market is growing continuously to reach $17.9 billion by 2027. 77% of email marketers have experienced an increase in user engagement over the past year.
Engage in online communities, discussion forums, etc., related to your target market. Share your product idea, launch dates, etc. You can also send your product whitepapers and launch teasers to sites like PRNews to introduce your product to the right audience.
Decide on the Type of MVP Launch
There are multiple ways to launch your MVP. These approaches are soft launch, hard launch, and silent launch.
Your choice of launch approach depends on your product, target audience, and business goals.
The soft MVP launch refers to introducing your product to a small group of people in a controlled manner. You follow a beta version or invite-only method while introducing your MVP to a limited audience.
You should go for a soft product launch when
- You want to gather feedback from a small group of early adopters before launching your product to a broader audience.
- You are yet in the phase of finalizing product features and feel your MVP has a few limitations.
- You want to validate your product idea and assumptions without spending too much on a full-scale launch.
- Your product targets a market with stringent regulatory requirements, and you want to mitigate proactively any potential compliance issues.
If you plan to launch your MVP to a broad audience, gather ample feedback from users, and gauge your product’s viability in the market, then go with the hard launch.
Assess the following before hard launching your MVP:
- The core features of your product are stable and ready to meet users’ needs.
- You are confident with the value proposition of your product and that it can attract a significant number of users without extensive features.
- You are able to handle a large influx of users, support queries, resolve potential deployment issues, etc.
- You want to create hype and intrigue customers into knowing your product via elaborate launch campaigns on multiple channels, promotional events, etc.
With the silent launch or stealth launch, you make available your product to a selected group of users in an anonymous manner. You do not officially announce the launch but roll it subtly for end-users to engage.
You might want to go with a silent launch for the following reasons:
- You do not want to attract attention to your product idea.
- You play in a competitive market field and do not want to reveal the innovative capabilities of your product to competitors.
- You want to refine your product idea before a formal launch.
- The release is a minor addition to a product, and it does not justify investing in marketing, etc.
Launch Your MVP
You have built and tested your MVP and launched your marketing campaigns, and you are now ready to launch your product. Keep in mind that things can go wrong. What you could do is have plans for post-launch sprints to recover from issues without disturbing the launch goals.
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Have a post-deployment team on standby to monitor application performance and modify configurations in case of issues.
It is essential to define your MVP launch goals and measure the success of your MVP launch strategy based on them. You should choose KPIs (key performance indicators) that align with your business goals.
For example, you might plan to measure the following:
- Number of daily active users;
- Conversion rate (number of downloads/installations, signups, placed orders, etc.);
- Average session duration;
- Feature adoption;
- User retention (subsequent visits), etc.
Your product launch team should utilize tools to analyze these metrics efficiently. Some metric monitoring tools include the following:
- Google Analytics: It can help track website traffic, user activity, bounce rate, etc.
- Amplitude: It offers user behavior tracking, retention metrics, funnel analysis, etc.
- Hootsuite: It helps manage and track social media engagement and metrics related to social media posts.
Do not forget the prime objective of your MVP launch – user feedback collection for future product development. Collect the opinions of initial customers on your MVP idea and features. Assess the user input to identify the areas of improvement and follow the Build-Measure-Learn approach.
You should include all your learnings in your next iteration plan. Prioritize and refine features according to the gathered market feedback. Improve and enhance your MVP for the next release.
Utilize tools like SurveyMonkey and Qualtrics to distribute survey forms and receive user feedback.
Planning an MVP Product Launch?
Developing a glitch-free product is imperative for a fruitful MVP launch. Strive to strike a perfect balance between the minimum and viable to attract and retain customers. Moreover, have robust plans in place for marketing, deployment, and post-deployment maintenance.
As you can guess, a successful MVP includes many tasks that require skills and expertise. You need expert developers, testers, DevOps engineers, business analysts, and a project manager. If you feel your current product team falls short of the expertise required for MVP design, development, testing, and launch, we suggest you look for a development partner.
DevTeam.Space can help you with MVP project development and management via fled-expert developers and project managers. We match developers with the domain knowledge and skills required for your software development.
Moreover, senior developers with experience in building similar products manage these developers and the overall project. You can rest assured that vetted and top-quality talent develops your MVP solution.
If you wish to know more about how you can outsource your complete MVP development project to DevTeamSpace or hire individual developers and designers to strengthen your current team, get in touch with us via this quick getting-started form.
One of our expert account managers will contact you shortly to discuss further details on team development, project management, onboarding, etc.
An MVP launch introduces the minimum viable product or a product with essential core features to the target audience with the intention of validating the product idea and gathering user sentiments regarding the product.
The main characteristics of an MVP include the following:
It offers only core features essential to establish the product viability in the market.
It has a focused value proposition and offers specific benefits to users.
An MVP encourages a rapid development model and shortens the time-to-market, etc.
MVP development follows an iterative approach. Subsequent iterations are planned according to the user feedback data to release a product that best meets the user requirements.
The steps of a minimum viable product design cycle are idea generation and conceptualization, market research, feature prioritization, MVP design and development, testing and launch, feedback collection and metric monitoring, and product refinement and enhancements.
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Alexey is the founder of DevTeam.Space. He is among the Top 26 mentors of FI’s ‘Global Startup Mentor Awards’ and is a Band Of Angels Technology Expert.Hire Expert Developers