I don’t mean never build an MVP - there are many advantages in doing so:
- It forces you to focus on your selling proposition
- It teaches you to do more with less
- It compels you to listen to your customers
So by all means, build an MVP. We can do that for you if you don’t have a tech team. But you should at least have a CTO. But you shouldn’t market it as such. Focus on branding early on, don’t skimp on the details and aim for loveability. Build an image as you’re building your company.
But enough chatter. Let’s see the tips.
1) Talk to your mother
Or anyone not involved in your project, as long as they’re in the target audience. Get them in front of the MVP and ask them to explain to you what it does. Don’t prompt them, don’t suggest anything. Listen and take notes. You’ll use those later.
If you can repeat this with several people, it’s even better.
2) Do customer research
Based on your notes, create a SWOT analysis and develop a survey to further assess some of the Weaknesses you’ve identified. Make sure you have these questions answered:
- who is your customer? (where do they live, what’s their income level, what do they read, what passions do they have etc) - you can extract this data from Facebook Ad Insights and add whatever questions remain in your survey
- how are your customers solving their problems now? (hacking some other product, using an older solution etc)
- why do they buy?
- to save money
- to save time
- to save the planet
- to keep up with the Jones’
- to show off
- to belong to a group
- how do they make the buying decision?
- on impulse
- after close consideration
- by themselves
- after talking to a friend
- after talking to their spouse/partner
- after a lot of research
- where do they spend their online time?
- on social networks (FB, Twitter, Reddit)
- on news sites
- on meme sites
- on videosharing sites
- what about their free time?
- on the road
- at home
- watching tv
- watching videos online
3) Spy on the competition
Check out AdWords Keyword Planner to see if your competitors are big spenders. Use tools like SpyFu or WhatRunsWhere to spy on their ad messages. Look them up on AdsOfTheWorld as well, BuzzSumo, visit their websites and like them on facebook to make sure you’re exposed to their retargeting ads if they use any. Subscribe to their newsletter and read all their materials to get the hang of their positioning.
Make files for all of them. You’ll use them next up, when you get to...
4) Plot against your competitors
Start out innocently. What would you do to help them out? How could you improve something in their sales funnel, marketing or overall image?
The answers to the questions above will highlight their weaknesses. Dig for more. Test out their products/services and jot down what could be improved. Once you’re done, brainstorm over how you could exploit their weaknesses or use them in your pitch.
5) Be ruthless
In most cases, business is a zero-sum game. The customer you get is the customer someone else loses. Identify which competitor you can outperform and underprice and go after them. Yes, include sales and manual outreach in your launch campaign. You need a quick burst on users, because you have to…
6) Braze the chicken, cook the egg, eat them both
Every product launch is a chicken and egg dilemma - you need users on your platform to get users on your platform. It’s called Social Proof - people tend to go where others go as well, to minimize their risks. By being ruthless and driving business from a weaker competitor, you take care of this problem.
So, to sum up:
- Ask your mom
- Know your customers
- Spy on your competition
- Plot against your competition
- Dominate your competition
- Include Sales early on
Feel like we should include something else? Tell us in the comment section!