How to create an app concept is all about strategizing and validating your idea framework. In case you’re unsure on where to start, you can always consult a professional development agency to bring your idea to fruition.
How to create an app concept?
Often entrepreneurs and inexperienced business owners think that having an app concept is enough. And moving forward with the idea without any clear plan and resources often ends up with grave repercussions.
Many times an idea possesses a brilliant potential, but through improper business strategy and execution, most are unable to take off, let alone taste success.
Even worse, business owners don’t feel it important to validate their idea. This is why we advise all our clients to thoroughly conduct an idea validation framework process.
What is idea validation for an app concept?
Although idea validation is an essential step for every business strategy, it is specifically used in the software and app development sector. Importantly, as the majority of ideas today fail, validating your idea makes it even more crucial.
Idea validation is the process of gathering information to make sure whether a business owner, or app project owner, is making a sound decision on whether to carry the idea forward or not.
Before you start putting all your funds and efforts in proceeding with development, you need to ensure if your idea checks all the relevant fields.
What is the CMOLDS’s idea validation framework?
How to create an app concept starts with the idea validation we use here at CMOLDS. Here are the steps we follow to ensure the client’s idea is viable before giving it a clear pass for development.
An idea that solves a problem
The foremost step we take is to see if the client has appropriately thought through his/her app idea. And understanding the prerequisites of this step is essential by asking the following questions.
- What problem does your idea intends to solve?
- How will users benefit from it?
- Will the product create a new habit or replace an existing one in the users?
- Does your idea answers the “why” for your audience?
- Would you acquire a competitive advantage in the market with your idea?
- How dedicated are you with your idea?
Answering the above questions honestly will determine if your idea holds the potential to be a market success or not.
Understanding your market and competitors
Conducting a thorough research is an important part of idea validation at CMOLDS. We ask the clients to name their potential customers and industry competitors that puts their app concept in a prominent spot.
Here are the market specific questions you need to consider answering.
How much number of clients you think will support your idea? Is it profitable enough to last? Market size tells you if your idea holds enough juice to produce a decent ROI over your investment.
How many competitors do you have in your niche? If you have no competitors, that’s a thing to worry because competitors actually act as a relative point for your idea validation.
It’s possible this idea might have crossed the minds of your competitors, but they discarded realizing there’s no market or demand for that.
If you have competitors, do you feel confident enough to capture a portion of their market share and make money?
Carefully examine your strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities and threats you may face upon entering the market with your product. See if opportunities can give you a chance to create a USP for your app concept.
Create detailed buyer personas
Once you’re sure that your market will allow you to enter and establish your own foothold, it’s time to understand your target audience and create their personas.
Besides the basic demographics like gender, age group, and location, write down your users’ online habits, motivations for using similar apps as yours, mutual interests, common channels used, and why would they use your app.
The above aspects aren’t fixed, you can even add further considerations in the list if your feel they’re important. At times, you might even feel the need to create more than one buyer personas.
At CMOLDS, we strongly believe in collecting as much information about the client’s target audience as possible. Not only because it helps us to understand them better, but also helps in creating the significant features of the app as well.
The hypothetical information collected will help in the design, determine customer acquisition value, and create and enable powerful marketing campaigns after the launch.
Making a lean canvas
Often, clients feel the need to devise a full-fledged business plan including their users’ profiles. However, for validating ideas, a lean canvas is considered a better alternate.
For a better understanding, consider a lean canvas as a small business plan—a quick, yet powerful prospect to create the benchmarks for an MVP.
Generally, a lean canvas is divided into problem, solution, unique selling preposition, channels, customer segments, costing, and revenue channels. The idea is to offer you some valuable insights regarding your idea validation.
You can use a Google template to create one. While speaking of idea validation, these should be your core areas of focus.
Is the problem your application wanting to solve significant enough? Are there enough complaints or people in the market demanding solutions for this problem? Will people be ready to spend their money on your idea?
Can your idea explain if it’s actionable enough and how it shall solve the problem listed in the above section?
Unique selling point
How is your idea different or better than your competitors next door? What will make users choose you over others in the industry?
With all the market research you did in the 2nd step of our idea validation process, creating and filling your lean canvas shouldn’t be a difficult job.
Socialize with people in your sector
One major thing that most companies miss out is that idea validation goes way beyond the conceptual correspondences. Today, people expect you to come out and talk to them about your product.
In short, a thoroughly practical exercise assuring if your business goals and idea validation aligns well with the needs and wants of your target audience.
Obviously, the number of people you need to speak to depends on the size of your target audience. Still, try to stay relevant and avoid speaking to every other person walking on the street. You need to speak to people who broadly or somewhat closely match the buyer personas you created above.
Consider using social media to reach your target audience. If you’re targeting B2B customers, LinkedIn is the best medium out there, for B2C prospects, interview through Facebook.
Moreover, upon qualifying for a phone call or remote interview, you can use tools like Skype, Zoom, etc.
Interacting with your audience, or even general users in some instances, can provide some valuable feedback you’ll find it useful for design and marketing purposes. Feedback and insights also tells us what we’re missing in our idea or future products and services.
Socializing with people has the power to influence your decision, you never know when you might feel the need to pivot, improvise, or shift your project in a completely different direction.
How is your minimum viable product?
At this point, you should be content enough that your idea is appropriately validated. If you feel there is more work to be done, then proceeding with the following steps isn’t advised as they’re more tedious and time consuming.
Think what you need to include in your MVP. Moreover, a nice depiction of your MVP will answer various questions including design and development cost. This is to help you analyze if your startup could survive or its own or needs an investment.
You can define your MVP by the following steps:
- List down all the features you intend to incorporate in your application
- Separate the features that are essential, those that your users will download your app for
- Bifurcate the remaining features as preferences and optional, something that you can upgrade your tool on later in the future
Once you’re done defining your MVP, consult some developers on the actual development and costing.
Related content: How to Pitch Your App Idea to Your Development Team
Prepare for the big launch
Understandably, we’re not going to dwell on the nitty-gritties of this phase, as this discussion is mainly about creating an app concept. So how exactly you’ll market your product isn’t a matter of concern at the moment.
However, creating a top-notch plan for the launch event is something we’re going to pivot around.
As for now, you just need to see which marketing channels seem the best fit for your business and buyer personas.
This is important because the mediums our clients prefer to choose are useful in figuring out the customer acquisition costs. An anticipated number is fine, we don’t need to find out the exact costs for now.
Secondly, most entrepreneurs make the mistake of not thinking through their marketing strategies at the concept development stage. Often, they’re more content with completing the development first, and then creating marketing campaigns for their product.
Handling this part in the idea validation framework is an important consideration in how to create an app. As a business owner or aspiring entrepreneur, you need to have these things in front of your mind to better prepare for the actual execution later on.
Creating financial projections as a heads-up
Lastly, creating financial projections is the ultimate phase in our app idea validation framework. A financial model will be created which shall inform you whether it’s worth proceeding with your app idea or not.
Obviously, everyone is here to make money, so is your mobile app, for you. And to understand the applicability of your financial model at a holistic level, you need to ensure that the value per customer is higher than the cost per acquisition.
If you’re able to clear this phase, you’ll proceed on to develop full-fledge projections. Generally speaking, the financial projection will comprehend the financial viability of your idea, and acknowledge if your product will cross the breakeven point and start generating a positive cash flow for your business.
This concludes our guide on how to create an app concept for both startups and established businesses alike.
If you have an app idea, regardless of the industry or market niche, consulting a professional agency for your idea validation and subsequent development action plan is advised.
At CMOLDS, we’ll ascertain whether your app idea is worth working for. Even if not, we always have alternate digital ideas that should assist you in meeting your business and target audience needs in the best manner possible.
Imran Abdul Rauf is a Digital Marketing Strategist, employed at CMOLDS, and specializes in content marketing, email marketing campaigns, lead generation, and other aspects of digital marketing. A content enthusiast by the day, and hardcore gamer by night, Imran is also a regular guest contributor at some of the top tech and digital marketing platforms.