What is a Minimum Marketable Product?
The concept of the Minimum Marketable Product (MMP) arises in the product development process following the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The functionality of the MMP is shaped by the feedback received from the MVP stage.
While the number of features may still be constrained, their effectiveness in delivering value to customers remains crucial. Moreover, these features often provide a competitive advantage, setting your product apart from others in the market, even if they are relatively few in number.
What Makes a Good Minimum Marketable Product?
An effective minimum marketable product (MMP) is centred around launching and marketing the product to users. To achieve this, a good MMP should possess the following characteristics:
- Solid User Experience (UX): Regardless of the essential features, a strong emphasis should be placed on providing a positive user experience. The UX plays a vital role in the success of the MMP.
- Intuitive Interface: Unlike a minimum viable product (MVP), an MMP requires a market-ready level of usability, which entails an intuitive user interface that offers seamless navigation. (Further distinctions between MVPs and MMPs will be discussed below.)
- Value to the User: The primary objective of an MMP is to be utilised by users. In order to achieve this, the product must have a clear value proposition, where users perceive a tangible benefit from its usage.
- Feedback Mechanism: The MMP is not the final version of the product. While its primary aim is to deliver value to users, it should also generate feedback and gather fresh information that can be utilised to guide the further development of the product.
An MMP includes key features and functionalities designed to address users’ needs and pain points. It is a functional product that incorporates essential features. Additional features may be incorporated later as the product scales to meet expanded needs or cater to different target markets. The ultimate goal of an MMP is to reduce the product’s time to market. For further insights, you may find the article “QUALITY Assurance for Better User Experience in Product Development” intriguing.
Minimum Viable Product vs Minimum Marketable Product
The terms “minimum marketable product” (MMP) and “minimum viable product” (MVP) sound quite similar, but they represent distinct product versions. So, what sets them apart? Which one should you focus on? Can you pursue both simultaneously? While their acronyms may be similar, there are key differences between the two.
At its core, an MVP is designed to test the product idea’s viability in the market, whereas an MMP aims to swiftly launch a user-ready version of the product. These product versions have different objectives. An MVP focuses on validated learning, gathering insights from user representatives and stakeholders to shape the product design. On the other hand, an MMP prioritises the public release of a product version. While there will still be room for feedback and learning to influence future iterations, an MMP is primarily intended as a functional product in the hands of users rather than solely a source of information.
Typically, an MMP follows an MVP in the product development process. From a software development life cycle perspective, an MMP represents the earliest outcome of achieving product-market fit. It is the initial version of the product that delivers value to users and potentially generates direct value for the business. The following comparison highlights the key differences between MVPs and MMPs:
It is important to note that MVPs can be marketed and released without significant changes, effectively blurring the lines between the two product versions. This flexibility allows you to tailor your approach based on the specific needs of your product and business goals.
In summary, a minimum marketable product is a version that includes features closely aligned with the overall goal of the product and makes a tangible impact on users. A minimum viable product serves as an effective method for discovering and confirming which features are essential for the product’s success.
When Should You Develop a Minimum Marketable Product?
In the development of numerous successful digital products, the progression often involves moving from prototyping or an MVP directly to the creation of a feature-rich market-ready version ready for launch. This raises the question of when a minimum marketable product (MMP) is a suitable option and when it becomes an unnecessary stage in the process.
An MMP becomes a viable choice when you possess a clear understanding of the essential features your product must have, aligning them with user needs and pain points. If a simplified version of the product can effectively address those needs, an MMP can be an appropriate approach. Furthermore, if your goal is to swiftly bring a product version to the market, an MMP can help you achieve that objective.
Should You Develop a Minimum Marketable Product (MMP) After a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
A minimum viable product (MVP) can take various forms, ranging from a hypothesis of the product idea to a written/visual wireframe or a basic digital product with a simple interface. Its purpose is to allow early users to evaluate the concept and provide validation. However, there is a distinction between testing the MVP with known individuals and launching it in the market. Once you have received validation for your startup app idea through an MVP, the next step in the development process is to build a minimum marketable product (MMP).
While an MVP focuses on gathering feedback from beta testers and early adopters such as friends, family, and acquaintances, an MMP represents the subsequent stage. This is where you make your product market-ready. The approach to building an MVP and transitioning from an MVP to an MMP depends on the type of MVP you have developed to obtain validation from your target users.
- No Product MVP: If you started with a mere visual representation of your idea, building the product MVP will be a longer process. You will need to assemble a product development team to create the MVP. Once the MVP is completed, designers and developers can be involved to build user interfaces, implement feedback, and facilitate MMP development.
- Product Mockup: If you have already validated your idea through a simple product prototype, this is a shorter approach. The MMP can be developed by improving the interface, incorporating MVP feedback, and enhancing the user experience (UX). Advanced technologies are not required, only the core offering.
- Single Feature MVP: This approach is ideal for MVP development and enables a shorter time to launch the MMP. If the idea has been validated through a specific feature, the focus should be on enhancing the overall experience and addressing customer needs. You can read more about Minimum Marketable Features (MMFs) here.
- MLP (Minimum Lovable Product): The MLP already includes features and functionalities that make users love it. Minimal changes or additions are needed to transform it into an MMP.
- EVP (Exceptional Viable Product): An Exceptional Viable Product is an almost complete version of the product MVP that can be directly launched in the market. There is a significant difference between an MVP and an EVP, as the latter is a highly polished version that does not require further conversion into an MMP.
- Paper Prototype: A paper prototype is a visual representation of how you envision the product MVP. However, it cannot be taken to the market as is. It requires MVP development and subsequent addition of marketable features, along with improved UX, before it can be launched.
By understanding the type of MVP you have developed and its validation process, you can determine the appropriate path to follow in order to transition from an MVP to an MMP.
The Benefits of a Minimum Marketable Product
The concept of a minimum marketable product (MMP) aligns well with the software development life cycle, particularly when employing an Agile approach and prioritising user needs. However, it is worth noting that many products thrive without including this stage in their development process. So, what are the benefits of investing in an MMP?
- Avoiding Over-Engineering: Embracing an MMP prevents the overloading of the product with excessive features. This approach adheres to good design principles, ensuring that the product remains focused and streamlined. By avoiding unnecessary complexity, the product becomes easier to use, reducing the likelihood of complaints related to usability.
- Improved User Experience: Simpler products tend to offer a better user experience. By keeping the features limited to the essentials, the product becomes more intuitive and user-friendly. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and a smoother adoption process.
- Faster Time-to-Market: Introducing an MMP allows your product to enter the market swiftly. By prioritising the essential features and functionalities, you can accelerate the development process and minimise time spent on non-essential elements. This enables your developers to concentrate on achieving product-market fit and scaling the product’s impact.
- Efficient Resource Utilization: Developing an MMP can be a quicker and less resource-intensive endeavour compared to a comprehensive product with extensive features. By focusing on delivering a functional version that meets market needs, you can optimise resource allocation and avoid unnecessary investments of time and effort.
By embracing the concept of an MMP, you can create a more streamlined and user-centric product, accelerate the time-to-market, and utilise your resources more efficiently.
How Can I Make a Minimum Marketable Product?
Entrepreneur Steve Blank’s advice to develop the product for the few, not the many resonates in the creation of a minimum marketable product (MMP). The approach involves focusing on the core features that appeal to your target audience, without adding unnecessary extras in an attempt to broaden the product’s appeal. To effectively create an MMP, consider the following:
- Define the Value Proposition: Understand the essence of what you aim to deliver to users. Clarify the unique value your product offers and how it addresses their needs.
- Identify Must-Have Features: Identify the essential features that directly address the pain points of your target users. Prioritize these features in the product backlog to ensure they are incorporated into the MMP.
- Prioritize UI/UX: The look and feel of the product must be solid to compete in the market. Pay attention to the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design to create a seamless and engaging interaction for your users.
- Emphasize Usability Testing: Since the MMP represents your first marketable product version, user response is crucial. Conduct thorough usability testing to ensure the MMP is user-friendly and provides users with the full value of the product. User testing helps identify any potential issues and allows for necessary improvements.
If you’ve not created your MVP yet, we’d recommend reading our guide on doing so first before developing the minimum marketable product (MMP).
What Makes a Successful Minimum Marketable Product?
A successful minimum marketable product (MMP) is known for its features that are easy to market and sell to the target audience, minimising risks during product launch. To achieve this, the following factors should be considered:
- Excellent User Experience: The user experience is paramount for an MMP to stand out. Unlike an MVP, which may not prioritise UX, an MMP ensures that the user experience is exceptional, enhancing its marketability.
- Demonstrated Future Benefits: An MMP should showcase future benefits to be marketable. It should clearly demonstrate the value it will provide in the future, and this should be outlined in the software MVP scope.
- Value Proposition: The value offered by the MMP is another critical factor. As it is a minimum version, it should address the users’ main needs and provide significant value through its core feature.
- Feedback Loop: Since the MMP is the initial launched version without additional features, it should have a feedback loop to gather valuable data for future product development. This feedback will inform the development of subsequent versions.
- Focus on Customer Needs: By prioritising customer needs, even a simple product can be successful. Adapting the MMP to address customer pain points will enhance its market appeal.
- Intuitive Interface: The interface plays a vital role in the MMP phase. It should be intuitive, providing a seamless and unique experience that enables easy navigation for users.
- Agile & Lean Approach: Embracing a lean and agile approach ensures that the MMP is developed with efficiency and adaptability. This methodology allows for successful MMP creation and provides flexibility to implement feedback based on demand and user behaviour.
By considering these factors and incorporating them into the development process, an MMP can be crafted to be marketable, ensuring a successful product launch.
What is a Minimum Marketable Product (MMP)?
The functionality of the MMP is informed by feedback from the MVP stage. While the features may be limited, the crucial aspect is their effectiveness in delivering value to the customer.
What is the Next Stage After MVP?
The subsequent stage following MVP is the MMP (minimum marketable product), also referred to as MMR (minimum marketable release). Though the terms may differ slightly, their essence remains similar. While an MVP aids in understanding customer needs, the MMP plays a crucial role in determining the viability of the idea for further progression.
The MMP represents a fully functional version of the product, prepared for release, and encompassing the essential set of features (which could even be limited to a single feature). Building upon the prototype and/or minimum viable product, the MMP serves as the initial iteration for wider release, delivering value to both users and the business.
As a crucial component of the product-market fit stage in the product life cycle (or even as the final step in the MVP stage), the minimum marketable product also serves the purpose of eliciting feedback for future iterations, particularly when expanding the product with additional features or targeting new markets. Ultimately, the MMP enables you to enter the market while the full and final version of the product continues to be developed. Check out this guide to creating your own Minimum Lovable Product.