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Kano Model

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

The Kano Model is a product development theory which is centered on customer satisfaction. The model was developed by Professor Noriaki Kano in the 1980s.

The Kano Model and analysis tries to define what is required for a product to exist, compete or excel in the competitive marketplace by way of feature and corresponding consumer response. The model is effective in the prioritization of features.

Customer responses to features are broken down into one of five categories in the Kano Model. These categories, though they have been translated a number of ways, are: attractive, performance, must have, indifferent and undesirable.

Attractive features are ones that excite the customers and often are novel features.

Performance features either add to the desirability of the product based of effectiveness of the implementation.

Must have features are those standardized by their presence in the competition and, therefore, consumers demand them.

Indifferent features are present, but don’t affect the customer positively or negatively.

Undesirable features are those the customer finds to work poorly or can’t understand how to work correctly. Sometimes, too many features can push then into the undesirable category just by way of complexity.

The Kano Model assumes a downward migration of features from attractive to must have. This downward migration occurs because features once new and exciting become normalized and gradually become expected as a given. An example of the migration of feature from attractive to must have is in Wi-Fi connectivity. Once the domain of add-in cards, dongles and work and home networks, Wi-Fi is now expected not just in consumer electronics but in every commercial space for customers or it can have a negative impact on business.

This was last updated in October 2018

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