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App Development
7 minutes read

The Minimal Marketable Product Explained

By Robert Kazmi
By Robert Kazmi
App Development
7 minutes read

The minimal marketable product (MMP) is the logical step after you’ve built a digital product that is robust enough to offer value to your target users. Once the overall value of a digital product has been tested, many companies often decide that it is a good moment to increase scale and go all in into the market. They are probably on the right track.

It is common to see this concept confused with the minimum viable product (MVP), something similar yet very different. There are important differences that you will need to consider if you want to move from a minimum viable product to the next stage in the product development process. 

Often referred to as a minimum marketable product, an MMP is useful for companies that are ready to hit the market. However, to get to this point it is necessary that you and your team identify, test, and validate some crucial aspects. By doing so, you will be able to reduce risks, offer more than just the right features, address the right target users, and help ensure market success from both the business and technical sides of your product.

If you probably think that this sounds similar to an MVP, don’t worry. In this post, we’ll explain the differences between a minimal marketable product and a minimum viable product. Once you understand the differences between these concepts, you and your team will be able to make the most out of them. Most importantly, you will be able to delight your users with the right product.

The Minimal Marketable Product

No matter the type of software your company is working on, a digital solution isn’t just something your development team works on during a period of time. Many companies make the mistake of thinking about their apps or other products as repositories of features that, once ready, can be offered to users. The reality is that developing an app or any other software solution is a process that never ends, and it usually involves implementing constant changes.

Just like any company undergoing growth, a product has to undergo different stages depending on the moment of its lifecycle it is in. Sometimes this means fixing bugs and the maintenance cost associated with Quality Assurance. However, on other occasions, it will mean adapting the product to its level of market maturity, and this involves much more than adding a few extra lines of code.

A product has to undergo a rigorous product development process in which it adapts to different requirements, not just in terms of technical aspects but also in business-related matters. This process is not a linear one, and it usually does not follow a playbook. Additionally, consider that it doesn’t just simply end after crossing a finish line. Development continues as long as the product exists.

There isn’t a clear definition of the different stages that make up a product development process. However, almost everyone can agree that building a minimum marketable product (MMP) is a key stage when building software. This usually occurs when a minimum viable product has been tested and is ready to be deployed full scale into the market.

What Is a Minimal Marketable Product?

A minimal marketable product results when a product is ready to hit the market. Ideally, it has received some feedback from users and is ready to launch, scale, and grow. Most companies will first launch an MVP before fully deploying their solution in the market. By doing this, they can identify key features and avoid becoming one of many over-engineered products that do not reflect actual user needs. In this early MVP stage, the challenge does not lie in adding lots of features but in adding the right ones and being Agile.

Building a solution that delivers value to users is important, and so is hitting the market in order to grow. This is a very important milestone in the life of any product and it is easy to fail if the right aspects have not been considered. When doing so, it is important to reduce risks and increase the chances that your product will succeed. There isn’t a magic risk reduction tool to do so, but developing a product thinking about market conditions can help with this. That is why companies usually build an MMP after an MVP.

Not surprisingly, these two concepts are often confused. A minimum viable product (MVP) is a product that contains the minimum features to deliver value to users. On the other hand, a minimum marketable product (MMP) focuses on features that help deliver a powerful User Experience so that the audience can adopt it without any critical frictions. It would be safe to say that its goal is to grow its market share.

One can think of a minimum viable product (MVP) as a precursor of the minimum marketable product. This last is often built on validated learning that has been done through thorough research, testing, and validation. 

Activities related to validated learning when building an MVP often revolve around strategies involving target users, but they can also extend to competitors. By analyzing competitors, any company can improve its product development process and reduce time to market, among other things. Analyzing competitors is also a great way to identify what users value the most and avoid mistakes others have made.

When it comes to an MMP, market aspects become more important, as these will allow growth to happen. Market aspects that need to be considered when developing an MMP include but are not limited to: 

  • Turning early adopters and testers into customers
  • Launching the product
  • Addressing actual user needs and expectations
  • Communicating clearly a strong value proposition
  • Outdoing competitors through differentiation and quality
  • Creating advertising campaigns

The Difference Between a Minimum Marketable Product and a Minimum Viable Product

A minimal marketable product differs from a minimum viable product in several ways. Nonetheless, if you only want to understand their most important difference, keep in mind that a minimum marketable product focuses on gaining customers, whereas a minimum viable product wants to validate an idea, even if this means only working with early adopters.

This sounds very simple, but it sums up the most important differences between these two concepts. After an idea has been tested, the logical step is to grow the user base, and this needs to be understood by the product development team so that the right aspects are considered.

Growing isn’t about adding just another cool feature. It is ultimately about understanding what your customers want and how they want it. This can be done through the use of validated learning and by delivering a powerful User Experience that will make customers not only try but also use your product. 

One can even think of an MMP in terms of a minimum marketable feature, that is, the aspect of your product that will turn a regular customer into a believer of your brand. If you can identify what that feature is, you’ll be able to focus on what really matters.

Winning the Market With an MMP

There are many different things to consider when building a digital product. No single formula exists to make things work in your favor. Nonetheless, you can always maximize your chances of winning. 

An MMP will help you hit the market in the best possible way. To make the most out of it, it is important that you first build an MVP, otherwise, you risk the chance of successfully improving your product so that it is able to bring in the highest possible number of customers.

Finding an experienced app development partner can help your company build a minimal marketable product that users love.

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