A Lean Prototype to validate a new product idea quickly and cheaply

Mobile device with Nimble screenshot

The Challenge

What if you could test and validate new product ideas more quickly, with less risk and wasted resources?

Giant Machines applied our own spin on lean prototyping to quickly and effectively test an early-stage concept in-market, which helped to define a promising path forward with minimal effort and cost.

Social media influencer

The Opportunity

Nano-influencers are an increasingly attractive partner cohort for brands seeking to create more authentic marketing experiences. Working with them is more affordable than working with high profile influencers and celebrities, and facilitates more authentic engagement with consumers.

But working at this level of the market poses a unique set of scale and reach challenges for both brands and nano-influencers.

How does a brand cultivate the right network of nano-influencers? How can nano-influencers get connected with the right opportunities?

Giant Machines saw the opportunity to address this challenge in a transparent, curated, and automated way. We hypothesized that a digital marketplace could solve these problems and be attractive to both brands and nano-influencers, but before investing significant resources in building what we thought might be a great product, we decided to take a lean prototype approach.

The Hypothesis

After conducting secondary research in the space, we developed an initial hypothesis to test:

We think that nano-influencers will sign up to participate in a two-sided marketplace when provided the opportunity to work with reputable brands, and receive free or discounted merchandise.

We set out on a three-week sprint to bring a lightweight product to market to test this hypothesis.

Two devices with Nimble screens
Nimble's advertisement

The Prototype

We ran a limited Instagram ad campaign targeting nano-influencers that directed viewers to a simple mobile site that we built to capture user-supplied information. The single video ad was run for half a day, testing the format, copy, and call to action, and the effectiveness of our site at driving conversions.

Iterating, Learning, Improving

Each sprint presented new opportunities to gather more observations, apply learnings, and refine our hypothesis—the core principles of lean prototyping. With each prototype, we tested new creative assets and messaging, and enhanced the Nimble website.

As early as Day 2, we saw marked improvements in the conversion on our site. We optimized our media spend while serving more impressions and driving a >550% increase in user sign-up.‍

Nimble's second ad

Using Lean prototyping to discover
& refine a direction

The interest our prototype generated amongst nano-influencers provided an early validation of our hypothesis and justified further exploration of the concept.

During our test, we had also implemented methods for analyzing and scoring nano-influencers, which we could then use as an input for testing the offering with the other side of the marketplace: potential brands looking to find the right partners for their products.

What's in it for me?

Giant Machines can help you bring a new product idea to life, test it, and improve it iteratively. We did it with Nimble, and we’ve done it for a number of clients to date. Contact us today to talk about how we can do it for you.

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