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Why A Minimum Viable Brand Matters

The next ‘killer’ innovation? Exciting! But, before you cross every “t” and dot every “i” in your business plan or go for the big cash infusion, you may want to take a crack at selling it into the marketplace.

Watching for obstacles in our path - Thomas Marketing Services Corp.

27 Hours to Maine: Part 2 —
Through Times of Uncertainty.

The sunrise peaking through the early morning haze was welcome sight after a long and chilly night of
3-hour watches wearing layers of winter gear, and
dead sleep catnaps.
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It had been quite a night, replete with a becalming and an autopilot failure that added the unforeseen challenge of manual piloting on top of crucial lookout duties, 
the North Star our guide as the auxiliary diesel noisily thumped us along through lumpy seas.
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But, the absolutely brilliant offshore
light show of stars, meteors, and galaxies you never see in the city brought on as overwhelming feeling of wonder, well-being, and gratitude, and more than made up for any discomfort. Good work if you can get it,
as my dad used to say.
___________________________________________
 
As the warming sun illuminated the seas ahead,
we made required course corrections to account for running tides, and enjoyed yet another piping hot cup of Starbucks and a daybreak snack from the bakeries owned by the Skipper’s wife.
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In the light of the new day we could better see the many fishing boats and drag nets, tankers, and tugboat-guided barges plying the shipping lanes crossing our run-line. One thing you discover on the open seas, and especially in the darkness of night, is it can be tough to gage distances and direction of other vessels. Sometimes rapid and calculated course adjustments are required to avoid potentially voyage-ending obstacles. Knowing your current position is crucial to getting out of trouble — and proceeding with greater control. 
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27 Hours to Maine continues –
please click the “How” in the Nav above or use the Quick Link in the text on this page

Why? According to Harvard Business School’s Shikhar Ghosh, the traditional “waterfall” entrepreneurial approach, replete with its “perfect business plan and revenue projections,” has yielded a 75% failure rate in startup businesses.

Enter the Lean Startup model first evangelized by Eric Ries in the 2011 book, The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.

In short, the lean startup model forgoes the long development cycles and stealth product development cloaking historically employed in new businesses and within innovation groups of large businesses. Its methodology provides a strategic framework to field and continually improve products under “conditions of extreme uncertainty” using rapid scientific experimentation and validated learning to field a “minimum viable product.”

Once launched into controlled markets or regions, products and services can be continually improved using real world feedback rather than ivory tower intellect or gut instinct (some use extensive NDAs in the early sales process to protect competitive information, as has Domo, who recently ‘launched’ with $100 million in sales).

Lean Model Overview

A pragmatic, sometimes gut-wrenching process, it nets faster time-to-market cycles and more complete and valuable products by using the Internet and allied technologies to capture feedback and measure … everything!

Importantly, it reduces costs and builds share and momentum based upon what customers want, and not just what businesses think people need. As such “revenue projections” become actual revenue — reality instead of blue sky.

And that’s why it matters.

Quick link — 27 Hours to Maine: Part 3: The Goal Comes Into Sight (sidebar story continues)

Thumbnail Thomas Marketing Services Corp_ Minimum Viable Brand Infographic 3.2015

Click image for a larger view.

Minimum Viable Brand

In the period since the lean startup model was first proposed, the Information Economy made possible by the Internet and broadband has transformed into the Purpose Economy.

From social media to websites, email, and online shopping, people are no longer impressed by the mere existence of user-accessible technologies. What’s more, chances are good that their needs, the “what” they desire, can be fulfilled by more than one company.

As such, the “why” a business does what it does, and why it matters have become key dynamics in the purchase decision process.

The role of a minimum viable brand developed via the TMS MVB program is to engage people by answering these emotive questions authentically, and simply. We succeed as a brand only when it’s internalized and adopted as part of customers’ personal or professional brands.

Because ultimately, that’s what we’re asking of them. Especially if we expect repeat purchases or plan to extend the product line.

And then, to encourage them to tell (at least) two friends about the new aspects of their identity … because they perceive it to be in their best self-interests to spread the word.

> Why MVB — for Lean Startup Entrepreneurs

> Why MVB — for Enterprise Innovation Groups

> What’s In The Box: The TMS MVB™ program

A limited number of 2015 TMS MVB™ starting slots are available. Please call or contact Tom Lanen at (508) 233-2105 for on-the-spot information.

 

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