Minimum Loveable Product (MLP) vs. Minimum Marketable Product (MMP) vs. Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

You’re working on an app, you’ve completed the app concept validation process, and you’re ready to move on to the next best step.

So what’s the next best step? 

Let me tell you:

It is to develop a compressed version of your product in order to test it.

Because basically, when creating or updating an app, it’s the user’s issues and their feedback that are kept in mind.

However, at this point in the app development process, you can find yourself stuck deciding between specific options such as MLP, MVP, and MMP/MSP for a product with minimal features to test.

No worries, though. 

I am here to help.

In this post, I will talk about the differences between MVP, MLP, and MMP/MSP so you can choose the best one according to your needs.

Let’s get right into it:

What is Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?

The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the version that helps a team to collect the most amount of validated information about customers, with the least amount of effort. An MVP is a tool for gathering data and learning about the market’s needs and desires.  It’s the bare minimum of what you can release and expect a response.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Think of it as a short ‘’behind the scenes’’ clip before the launch of the movie.

It provides the most basic features to validate your concept and determine where to take the project to make it successful and popular.

When we think about “minimum products,” the MVP is the first thing that comes to mind.

It’s usually the go-to choice, the standard of “minimum” products.

I know, the film industry doesn’t use it as much.

MVP is a term you’ll see in many articles about the app development process, if not in all of them.

The cost and speed of production are two factors that make the MVP beneficial. 

However, in the trio of good-cheap-fast, the MVP is the cheapest and quickest. That is to say, it isn’t good enough to be considered for a complete launch

With MVP, it’s the app’s concept that’s not proved to be good enough, not the app itself. 

It does, though, allow you to see if your concept is viable and if there is a demand for an app like this.

As the project progresses, you can (and almost certainly will) have several MVPs, with each of them improved based on the feedback from your test group on the previous version. 

When you’ve gathered enough MVPs and identified the core collection of features that your customers are willing to pay for, you’ll have your Minimal Marketable Product (MMP) ready:

What is Minimal Marketable Product (MMP)?

A Minimal Marketable Product (MMP), also called a Minimum Sellable Product (MSP), is the best version of the MVP you will come up with after a lot of trial and error. It has a simple set of features, but those features are the outcomes of the early adopters’ mill. Aka, a set of features that meet the needs and pains of users.

Minimum Marketable Product (MMP)

This can be the trailer of the movie.

As a result, you can be confident that consumers will pay for these features at some point.

An MMP enables you to launch the app sooner and at a lower cost than a full version.

Maybe even start earning a profit while more app upgrades and updates are being completed.

An MMP is helpful because it eliminates the need to constantly think about how users will respond to your final product when it is released.

The scalability of MMP also allows you to adapt to changes on the fly.

What’s the catch, then?

According to a BuildFire research in 2021, App Store had 1.96 million apps ready to download and there are 2.87 million apps to download on Google Play Store.

If you just look at one single category, there are dozens, if not hundreds of options.

If you only provide a few simple features, you’ll most likely find yourself in a trap.

Unless, of course, your concept is a complete game-changer, as the Marvel Studios.

A concept that has zero-to-little competition, or ways to gain users through influencers and brand advertising.

Sounds rather utopic to me.

All of these features are probably already included in other, full-featured applications.

It’s 2021, after all.

So, if you’re developing a mobile app for an existing market, you’ll need to create an MLP rather than an MVP.

What is Minimum Lovable Product (MLP)

A Minimum Lovable Product (MLP) is also a condensed version of what you have in mind. It does, however, have a little more than just functionality. Maybe not in terms of quantity, but definitely in terms of quality.

Minimum Lovable Product (MLP)

This is the movie. There is more to come if it gets positive feedback.

An MVP, MLP (and MMP) all have one thing in common:

They just give you a taste of what’s to come. 

An MLP, on the other hand, is built to be loved right away, while an MVP is stripped of all that isn’t a functional aspect.

The trick with the MLP is to concentrate on the most important features rather than the absolute minimum required of an app in its class, and make those important features shine out.

That means not only making them operational and functional, but also enjoyable.

As a result, well-designed.

You need an emotional response from your early adopters. Emotion drives commitment, whether it’s good or bad.

Users who are engaged are excited to interact with the brand, are involved in what you’re trying to accomplish, and want to be part of it. 

Users would want to share the functionality that an MLP provides. It heavily relies on the emotions of consumers as emotions have a huge impact. It can also be a deciding factor in crowded markets.

I hear you asking ‘’this sounds not so different from MVP’’:

What are the differences between an MVP and MLP?

An MVP is a method for testing concepts.

It’s usually only needed in the early stages, and you can skip it if your concept isn’t entirely unique and already exists.

You don’t need to validate the concept by creating a minimum product if there are already similar apps. Some surveys and research will help in assessing the innovative aspect.

Creating an MLP, on the other hand, will take longer than creating an MVP.

The cost will be higher as well.

However, if you can emotionally connect your early adopters to your product, you’ll have a better chance of achieving your long-term goals.

An MVP is about progress — taking small steps toward a better future.

An MLP is more like a revolution:

You take your early adopters, give them the bare minimum of features (but the most important ones), show them your end goal, make them love it, and then get them to rally behind you, spreading the word and providing feedback on how to get there.

On the technical side, the difference is often found in making a design investment.

Many businesses overlook usability and emotionally engaging design when launching an MVP.

This helps to launch the product more quickly and at a lower cost.

But keep in mind that it can also cause the MVP to get lost in a sea of similar but already fully developed applications.

-> When introducing a new idea to the public, an MVP is the right choice.

-> In most other cases, MLP is what you need.

Minimal Marketable Product vs. Minimum Loveable Product

The distinction between an MMP and an MLP is more precise than that between an MVP and an MLP since an MMP is an MVP that has been updated several times, and therefore, it’s of higher quality.

However, the fundamental difference remains the same.

An MMP is the bare minimum that the customers are willing to pay for.

The trailer.

An MLP is something that customers would fall in love with and eagerly await a full release.

The movie.

To some extent, an MMP is a sellable product in its present state. After all, that’s why you’re launching it.

If you’re lucky enough, you might get some ROI sooner with an MMP.

You won’t be able to sell an MLP right away, though.

Or, more accurately, you shouldn’t even try to.

Users are more likely to interact with an MLP as the “lovability” increases.

This involvement will build an emotional bond with your early adopters, increasing the likelihood of them being loyal customers.

And the importance of loyal customers can never be overstated.

Conclusion

Quick summarry:

MVP

  • Fastest to develop
  • Minimum features to test the idea
  • Built on the idea
  • Cheapest
  • Non-marketable (designed to test the idea)
  • Business-oriented
  • Addresses the need

MMP

  • Fast to develop
  • Minimum features to sell the product
  • Built on several MVPs
  • Relatively cheap
  • Marketable
  • Business-oriented
  • Solves the problem

MLP

  • Fast to develop (but can be slower than MVP)
  • Minimum features to entice an emotional response
  • Built on the MVP concept
  • The price depends on the features selected
  • Marketable and remarkable
  • User-oriented
  • Solves the problem and creates an emotional connection

Because of the benefits that MLPs have,  you might wanna consider working with them. This is the method of development that I have found to be the most successful.

After all, a loveable product is both viable and marketable.

Users will rarely crave to buy a product unless they have a genuine need for it and it fulfills that need

 As a result, there is no “MLP vs. MVP” battle.

These concepts don’t conflict because the minimum lovable product is always viable.

Customers would (hopefully) gladly pay for it because they love it, making the minimum lovable product marketable.

Alican Bektas

Alican is the Product Manager of UserGuiding, a code-free product walkthrough software that 2000+ companies trust in their user onboarding.