Over the last 15 years, Grio has collaborated with companies of all sizes to create hundreds of exceptional software solutions. Though there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to building an app, we’ve discovered that starting your journey with your Minimum Value Product (MVP) is a great way to set yourself up for long-term success. In this blog series, we are taking our hard-won wisdom and sharing Grio’s ten essential steps for building a killer MVP.
In last week’s post, How to Build a Killer MVP, Step 2: User Discovery- Letting User Needs Inspire Epics, we explored how identifying users and their needs can help you create epics that set your MVP apart from the competition.
In this week’s blog post, we cover the third step for building a killer MVP: Market Discovery. We discuss how conducting market analysis can help you identify your primary market and find what differentiates your product from the competition.
An MVP, or minimal viable product, is a bare-bones version of your app. MVPs allow you to save time and money on development while testing the viability of your product, engaging investors and stakeholders, and going to market sooner. You can read all about the benefits of MVPs in our first post, How to Build a Killer MVP: Introduction.
In our previous posts, we have also covered the first two steps to building a killer MVP:
- Step 1: Agile Development Methods and Divergent/Convergent Thinking: Using Agile development methods and divergent and convergent thinking can help your team find and prioritize the best ideas for your MVP.
- Step 2: User Discovery- Letting User Needs Inspire Epics: Building epics based on users and their needs will help you create a viable, successful MVP.
Below, we introduce Step 3: Market Discovery- Using Market Analysis to Gain Leverage Over the Competition.
Goals of the Market Discovery Phase
Following thorough user discovery, it’s important to conduct market analysis to identify your primary market and determine the level of competition your app will have. Competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it helps validate the demand for your product. However, if there are existing alternative solutions in the market, you’ll need to identify what differentiates your product and find ways to ensure that your solution stands out.
To help you work your way through the Market Discovery phase, we’ve broken it down into four basic steps:
Step 1: Define Your Research Parameters
It’s tempting to jump right into your market research and see what’s out there. However, if you’re not asking clear, specific questions, you could spend several lifetimes studying market trends without ever finding the answers you need.
It’s important to create questions that pertain to your specific app, but, in general, you want to consider the following:
- What problem is your solution addressing?
- Are there other products on the market that are addressing the same problem? Or is your app a solution to a new problem?
- If there is competition in the market, what are the strengths and weaknesses of competing products? What sets your product apart from the others?
- What is trending in the market?
Step 2: Analyze Existing Solutions
Chances are, your app doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If there are other apps on the market that are also solving your problem, you’ll need to identify your key differentiators and leverage them as your competitive advantage.
Competitive Analysis for Apps and Software
Begin your competitive analysis by identifying who your competitors are. Once you’ve organized your competitors, you can use this checklist to begin your MVP competitor analysis:
- Identify the products they offer
- Learn which technology stacks they use
- Evaluate their onboarding process
- Analyze how they market their products
- Look at their social media presence, strategies, and go-to platforms
- Research their sales tactics and results
- Take a look at their product pricing, as well as any perks they offer
- Observe how they promote marketing content
- Perform a SWOT Analysis to learn their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
Step 3: Differentiate Your App From the Competition
When comparing your app to others, focus on:
- Quality of design
- Ease of use
- Response time
- Enhanced or extended features
- Other differences between your app and others
It’s important to be honest with yourself when conducting market research; having a clear understanding of your own app’s potential strengths and weaknesses, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, will allow you to create a much more successful product in the long run.
Alternatively, you may be offering a new solution to an existing problem, in which case you’ll have to introduce your unique value proposition to the market and leverage it against your competitors’ existing solutions.
Step 4: Embrace a Global Mindset
Although your initial focus should be targeting your key users in your primary market, don’t forget to analyze other markets, as a global mindset will help you expand internationally in the future.
Building a Killer MVP: Next Steps
Once you’ve conducted your market analysis, learn about Step 4 in our next blog post, How to Build a Killer MVP, Step 4: Planning Phase- Creating a Plan to Successfully Navigate Your Project Milestones.
Let’s discuss how we can transform your brilliant idea into a killer app.
Book a free MVP consultation with one of our industry experts today.
Learn more about Grio’s end-to-end app design and delivery plan, the MVP Blueprint.
If you missed other posts in this series, check out:
- How to Build a Killer MVP: Introduction
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 1: Agile Development Methods and Divergent/Convergent Thinking
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 2: User Discovery – Letting User Needs Inspire Epics
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 3: Market Discovery – Using Market Analysis to Gain Leverage Over the Competition
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 4: Planning Phase- Creating a Plan to Successfully Navigate Your Project Milestones
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 5: Design Phase- Taking Your Product from Paper to Prototype
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 6: Development Phase- Embracing Less Engineering and More Testing
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 7: “Breaking” Your App So Your Users Don’t
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 8: Release Phase- Making Sure You Practice Before Your Public Performance
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 9: Measure Phase- Determining Your MVP’s Success Using Key Performance Metrics
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 10: Maintain and Enhance Phase- Valuing the Cycle of Continuous Improvement Throughout Your App’s Lifetime