The Strategic Imperative of Minimum Viable Brand (MVB) for Startups

Technology startups often embrace the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach to validate product hypotheses efficiently, utilizing minimal resources. It is now crucial for these startups to expand their strategic toolkit by incorporating the concept of Minimum Viable Brand (MVB). When formulating their go-to-market strategy, startups should craft an MVB based on customer insights.

Here is a framework for defining and developing a MVB: the “6 What’s”. Let’s understand the “6What’s” with an example of a brand from the beauty products category:

1) What we stand for – our brand essence

  • We epitomize a commitment to transforming everyday experiences with innovative, premium products. Our brand is synonymous with cutting-edge solutions that redefine industry standards and resonate with consumers seeking unparalleled quality and sophistication.
  • Example, Radiant, natural beauty enhanced by high-quality skincare products.

2) What we believe in – our defining values

  • Our core belief centers around creating a lasting impact in the market by fostering a culture of continuous improvement. We believe in setting new benchmarks for excellence, pushing boundaries, and ensuring that our products not only meet but exceed the expectations of our discerning clientele.
  • Example, Embracing the essence of self-care. Bringing the luxury and efficacy of professional skincare to daily routines. Every individual deserves to feel confident in their skin.

3) What people we seek to engage – our target audience

  • Our target audience extends beyond demographic boundaries; we aim to engage a sophisticated consumer base that values not just products, but experiences. We focus on building relationships with decision-makers, thought leaders, and trendsetters in various industries who can appreciate and endorse our commitment to excellence.
  • Example, Men and women who prioritize skincare, seeking premium products for their daily beauty regimen.

4) What distinguishes us – our key differentiators

  • Our differentiation lies in our relentless pursuit of perfection. From our state-of-the-art research and development to our meticulous attention to every detail, we set ourselves apart through the seamless integration of innovation, craftsmanship, and a commitment to delivering an unparalleled customer experience.
  • Example, Unique formulations, attention to detail in product design, and an overall luxurious appearance in both packaging and products.

5) What we offer – our overarching experience

  • Our offerings represent the pinnacle of industry standards, providing bespoke solutions that cater to the diverse needs of our clientele. We offer a curated selection of premium products, each meticulously designed and crafted to fulfill not just functional requirements but to elevate the overall user experience.
  • Example, Exclusive, high-end skincare products crafted with precision and using premium ingredients.

6) What we say and show – our logo, look, and lines (messaging)

  •  Our messaging revolves around the narrative of excellence, innovation, and sophistication. Through strategic communication, we articulate the unique value propositions of our products, emphasizing the intricate details, advanced features, and the transformative impact they bring. Our visual language and marketing collateral echo the premium nature of our brand, reinforcing the aspirational qualities we represent in the market.
  • Example, Beauty is an art, and our products reflect sophistication. We communicate this through the carefully chosen ingredients and the elegant presentation of our skincare line.

These six elements encapsulate fundamental principles that should be clearly communicated and universally understood within an organization before finalizing and introducing a new product. Furthermore, the Minimum Viable Brand (MVB) should adhere to the guiding principle that focus is imperative for the viability of a new product. It is essential to position a brand distinctly for a specific target customer. Brands that embody a clear identity and unique positioning attract individuals who are most likely to become loyal, high-quality customers.

In a nutshell, an MVB offers a balanced blend of structure and flexibility that can help startups create a compelling brand narrative. Establishing the MVB can be accomplished through focused work sessions involving company leaders, creative resources, and potentially an external facilitator to provide an unbiased perspective. Therefore, as you dedicate effort to developing the MVP, it is imperative not to overlook the importance of defining the MVB as well!

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