How to efficiently test new product ideas
Marketing Minute

How to efficiently test new product ideas

Here's a new marketing nugget that's all about finding your product-market fit using minimal viable products (MVPs). This one's a game-changer when testing new products, so let's dive in!

Imagine you're looking to grow your business by expanding your product line. Should you launch product A or product B? Here's a smart way to decide.

TL;DR 🎯

When describing new products there's a term called 'minimum viable product' or MVP, that's a basic version of what you sell (kind of like a prototype).

Testing two wildly different MVPs at the same time is like having your cake and eating it too. You get to see what customers really dig, without putting all your eggs in one basket. Remember, variety is the spice of life (and business).

So, why 2 MVPs?

Think of it like painting part of a room two very different colors to get a feel for what you like before fully committing. By testing MVPs that are as different as night and day, you learn a lot about what hits the sweet spot for your customers.

Quality matters, but...

Your MVPs should be like a decent hotel room – not a penthouse, but not a dingy motel either. If it's too shabby, no one's buying. Too fancy, and you're waiting time and money on what may be the wrong choice. Find that Goldilocks zone in the middle.

How to Pick Your MVPs 🎯

  • Meaningful difference: Choose MVPs that are different enough to give you clear insights on what the winner is and why.
  • Balance your bets: It's ok to put a bit more polish on the MVP you're betting on, but don't completely neglect the underdog.

Why it works 🤔

This approach is like having a crystal ball. It's all about learning as much as you can, as fast as you can, without breaking the bank.

How to Pull It Off

  1. Ideal scenario: You're exploring uncharted territory? MVPs are your best friends. Think of something like a new cosmetic or supplement.
  2. Know your crowd: Make sure your test customers represent your real audience. You don't want to end up selling steak to vegetarians.
  3. Build, test, learn: Start with MVPs that have very different assumptions to ensure they're different enough to get clear results and see which one resonates with your customers.
  4. One Shot Might Be Enough: If one MVP clearly outperforms the other, you might just have found your winner.

But keep in mind...

This is still in theory land. Like those diets that promise you'll look like a movie star – take it with a grain of salt since it works better with some products than others.

Also remember that this is more impactful for unique, novel products to your audience. Often if there are existing alternatives out there you can use those to accelerate your learning and lower the barrier to entry. For example, are there existing products you can quickly rebrand and test with your audience to see if it's worth investing more in?

If you have an existing audience (e.g. on Instagram), you can mock up new products to share in posts and see how your audience responds. This is increasingly easy to do with emerging AI products that create stunning, realistic images of products. Experiment and see what works.

And that's how you use MVPs to hit the product-market fit jackpot. Until next time, keep innovating and testing those waters!

Want to learn more? 🤓

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can dig into the nerdy details in the original marketing study.

Quote of the week 💬

"The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else."

- Eric Ries

About the author
Gabriel Mays, the Co-Founder and CEO of POPSMASH
Gabriel A. Mays
Gabriel Mays' Website
Co-Founder & CEO at POPSMASH
Before POPSMASH, Gabe was a Director at GoDaddy and founded two startups. He was also a Marine Corps Captain, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. He lives with his wife and two kids on Cape Cod, MA.

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