• Rahul Krishnakumar

    Delivery Manager - Enterprise Solutions

    April 12, 2023

Minimal Lovable Product – What is it and how to build one?

As organizations across industries are all about being agile, building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) has become the acceptable norm. With MVP, the idea is to present the required features in the minimal possible way to the users and see if it appeals to them before developing it further. Validating the concept before proceeding with a full-scale development saves time and effort. Shorter feedback cycles help design the product better. Most importantly, it goes easy on the pockets.

But customers today are surrounded by technology; they have unlimited products to choose from. Expectations have stretched beyond merely having their requirements met. Customers are ready to overlook a slight hike in price for the sake of a delightful experience that the technology can offer. It is now essential to shift focus from just functional additions from a business value perspective to having your customer find reasons to love it too. In short, it is time to evolve from MVP to MLP.

The concept of the minimum loveable product (MLP) was bought in by Brian Haaff, the founder of Aha, in 2013. He realized that it is better to invest in a product that the customer will love, which is what will bring business to the house.

MLP works on winning the empathy of the end users, who will come back wanting more because they feel valued. The “lovable” factor hooks in your customers, so they would prefer your product over others at any time. Inadvertently you have a community of loyal customers who give you a kickstart to brand awareness.

Evolving Your MVP Into An MLP

So how do we get the V (viability) replaced by L (lovability) when building the product? The first step for the product to be successful would be to provide a solution to a customer problem. MVP would be the fitting start to developing a product. Once you have a solution to a real user problem, you can consider integrating the lovable factor so the customers are pleasantly impressed with your product.

Market Analysis

Explore the market to get an insight into who might be your likely customers. You also will get to know other players in the market and your potential competitors. Discover their offerings, and work on how you can do better than them. You may be able to find ways to make your product more endearing to your customers.

Understanding your Customers

It would be best if you stopped assuming your customers’ preferences on what they would appreciate and what might be trivial. Instead, get to them and ask them what they like. Quantitative data analytics through surveys or other tracking tools gives a better idea of the customer journey when using your product. Getting their insights helps you integrate additions to your product that matter.

Keeping Things Minimal

When impressing your customers, it is also essential that you do not go overboard with features by offering everything in one go. Try to find the right balance when offering a minimum set of functionalities to impress them and the minimum basic features to solve their problem.

UI/UX Design Matters

Interface design can work wonders if you can get it right. A good interface design would have an excellent visual appeal and be easy to use and exciting. Your focus should be on ensuring that your product is user-friendly rather than trend friendly. The customer is the driver here. Make use of the information that you collected when performing market analysis.

Add Social elements

Adding elements appealing to your users is half the job done. Get creative with socially active apps. Encourage loyal customers to share your product over social media by offering rewards. Giving them a platform to share reviews, pictures, and experiences using your product adds to your brand value. Automating the sharing process makes it easier too.

Hook in your Customers

Customers tend to return if their experience is enjoyable, so make sure you give them what it takes to make the most out of their first experience. Responding to suggestions and acting on them gives the customers a sense of being valued, and they would want to come back.

If you want to create a product that your customers would love, you need to go beyond being just good enough. MLP adds flavor to MVP while still on track with being agile. But, you move on from being market fit to more customer fit. With the least effort and cost, you can set to build a community that isn’t just living with your product but loves it too.

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