How to Validate Your D2C Venture in 6 Weeks

Validation is a critical component of business building, especially for D2C ventures; here's how to do it.

New business ideas will always have unpredictable elements, and without evidence-based foresight, taking that next step can feel like a shot in the dark - that’s where validation comes in.

Whether it’s B2B, B2C or D2C, validation is a critical part of building any new business. It provides reliable proof that customers want your concept, that you can build it, and that it’s profitable - all before you make heavy investments in time, money or resources. 

At Bundl, we validate our ventures using lean experimentation techniques that enable us to:

  • Get answers fast
  • Operate on a lean budget
  • Adapt concepts based on real customer data

Let’s take a closer look at how you can use some of these same techniques to validate your D2C venture in as little as 6-8 weeks.

Validating a D2C venture

Focus on the customer

No matter what type of venture you want to validate, it’s always a good idea to start with your end customer in mind. This approach is especially valuable in the case of D2C ventures because it provides:

  • A full acquisition funnel view - Important metrics like ad click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates are a lot easier to track when there’s no third party involved.
  • Detailed customer data - Dealing directly with customers enables you to get loads of relevant data through simple landing pages and smart surveys. 
  • Faster results - Cutting out the middleman means you’ll have fewer variables to test. This will enable you to move on to the next phase in a fraction of the time.

Make sure you have the right team

Having the right people on your team is crucial to getting the most out of this six-week track. We recommend a small dedicated team, consisting of:

A venture board 

Venture boards usually include profiles like Steerco members, Head of Ventures and managing partners. They can provide strategic guidance, help track KPIs and provide a connection to your broader corporation.  

A core team

Your core team should include venture builders, venture analysts and a track lead. This part of your team will take ownership of the roadmap, execution and strategy. 

An expert team

Expert teams include profiles like designers, growth hackers and fly-in experts. They’ll join the track on an ad-hoc basis during different phases.

Know what you want to validate

The methodology we’re about to outline is largely based on customer feedback and can be used to validate different parts of your D2C venture, including your:

  • Value proposition - e.g. Is your offer attractive to customers?
  • Target audience - e.g. Who is your customer?
  • Problem-solution fit - e.g. What benefits or features best meet our customer’s needs?
  • Purchase intent - e.g. How many people are willing to buy your product/service?

Now that you know a bit more about the importance of customer data, what you can validate and the profiles you’ll need on your team, let’s look at the different steps involved in the process on a weekly basis. 

Week 1: Research

Depending on the size, phase and variables of your D2C venture idea, your research can be completed in a week.

During this phase, you’ll be researching things like new market trends, strategic business insights and target audience personas. Knowing what’s going on in the market and the needs and preferences of your potential customers will help you formulate solid assumptions to be tested later in the process. 

Some of the typical exercises we go through during this phase include industry verticals mapping, market sizing and competitor analysis. It can also be helpful to speak with industry experts and get inspiration from promising startups in your space. 

Here are some of the key questions you should tackle before moving on to the next step:

  • What does the customer journey look like?
  • How are competitors selling a similar product/service?
  • Could we get inspiration from other industries?

Week 2: Creation 

This week is about creating value propositions around the idea by defining your target customers, offerings and key assumptions in a 3-day value proposition sprint.

During this phase, we use a sprint format to turn new ideas into detailed concept mockups, complete with pricing structures and messaging, ready to be validated with potential customers. By the end of this phase, you should have a complete assumptions map to help set up your experiments in the next phase. 

Here are some of the key questions you should tackle before moving on to the next step:

  • Which value props can we build, starting from the current information?
  • Which assumptions need to be validated?
  • How can we validate the assumptions?

Week 3: Preparation 

The time necessary for this part depends on the experiments, but usually, it takes around a week. During this phase, you’ll be turning the assumptions outlined during your value proposition sprints into tangible experiments to validate your D2C venture.

Experiments can take place either on or offline and can include things like functional landing pages, smart surveys and 1-on-1 interviews. To learn more about the types of experiments you can use, check out our 50+ Lean Validation Experiments report. 

Here are some of the key questions you should tackle before moving on to the next step:

  • How do we reach our target audience best?
  • What tool will provide us with the most reliable data?
  • Who will execute the experiments?

Weeks 4 & 5: Validation Run

The Validation Run phase allows your experiments to gather highly valuable customer data. In two weeks, you are going to closely check on your experiment performance during which you’ll be evaluating the first results of your experiments and making adaptations for further testing.

During this phase, you’ll be tracking the desirability of the value proposition, the viability of your business case, and the feasibility of the product/service. By gathering customer feedback on things like price point, buyer intent, cost-per-click, click-through rate, and preferred features, you can start building insights that then can be used to update your value proposition, business case and go-to-market pitch.

Here are some of the key questions you should tackle before moving on to the next step:

  • Are the experiments running smoothly?
  • Are we getting the data that we need?
  • Are there intermediate pivots that we need to take?

Week 6: Evaluation 

After the validation run, it's time to get together with your team to discuss the next steps in your venture and decide on the storyline and materials you’ll be presenting to your corporate management.

The goal during this phase is to evaluate the results of the validation, set out the next steps of the venture idea, and craft a compelling pitch narrative, concluding in a detailed “ask” for your funding and resources.

Here are some of the key questions you should tackle during this phase:

  • Which experiments were successful?
  • Which commercial story and target audience should you pursue?
  • What are the next steps for the venture, and what resources are needed?

What you can accomplish in 6 weeks

By the end of your six-week track, you’ll have gathered enough information to know what your next step should be: 

  • Build - Your results show great promise, and you’ll be moving forward with your venture.
  • Pivot - The data shows you’ll need to make some changes before launch.
  • Kill - Your results show low interest, and it’s time to move on to new projects.

If you decide to move forward with your venture, you’ll have several key deliverables that will facilitate further development, including:

  • A problem statement 
  • A first value proposition 
  • A customer journey
  • A first mock-up
  • Market validation proof
  • Market traction proof
  • A compelling rationale 

Early validation can help you achieve a better product/market fit, reduce risk and unlock the funding you need to take your venture to new heights. We can help you validate your venture and build a business case in just eight weeks. 

50+ lean validation experiments.

Prove your business ideas with these validation experiments.

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