Jump to content
  • 0
Sign in to follow this  
Rupinder N

Kano Model

Kano Model


Kano Model - is a product development theory which categorizes customer requirements with respect to product features into below five segments.

1. Basic (must be quality) - as the name suggests, these are the basic expectations of a customer. If present, the customers are neutral, but if absent, it would lead to customer dissatisfaction.
2. Performance (one dimensional quality) - features that result in satisfaction if present and dissatisfaction if absent. These are the stated needs of the customer.
3. Excitement (attractive quality) - features that result in satisfaction if present and neutral if absent. These are the delighters for the customers. These needs are usually unspoken and are the differentiators for competing products.
4. Indifferent - features that the customer is indifferent to as their presence or absence neither causes satisfaction nor dissatisfaction to the customer.
5. Reverse - features that result in dissatisfaction if present and satisfaction if absent. These are the features that should not be present in the product.

Kano model is used to assess the product features on a periodic basis as the customer demands keep on changing. E.g. something that is an 'Exciting' feature today, will eventually become a 'Basic' feature tomorrow.



An application-oriented question on the topic along with responses can be seen below. The best answer was provided on 9th July 2019 by Natwar Lal.


Applause for the respondents- Rajkumar V, Vastupal Vashisth, Manjula Pujar & Natwar Lal


Also review the answer provided by Mr Venugopal R, Benchmark Six Sigma's in-house expert.




Q. 174  Kano Model helps identify the attributes in a product that a customers think of as "Threshold, Performance and Excitement". The attributes shift over a period of time i.e. what is Performance today may become a Threshold requirement and what is Excitement today may become Performance. How does Kano Model help an organization? What kind of decisions can one take based on Kano Analysis? Explain with examples.


Note for website visitors - Two questions are asked every week on this platform. One on Tuesday and the other on Friday.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

6 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

I will not spend time on explaining what is Kano model. I guess most of us already know what it is. For the uninitiated, Kano Model helps capture the customer experience w.r.t. a particular product or a service. This experience is classified into following

1. Delighters: Customer does not expect it but is super excited if it is present

2. One Dimensional Requirements: Customer expects these and his experience is directly proportional to presence or absence of such a feature

3. Basis Needs: bare minimum features to be present in the product or service

4. Indifferent: customer does not care about these features

5. Reverse: if present leads to bad customer experience


Ok, now coming to the more important aspect - how does Kano model help organizations? Simply stated, an organization would know the features that they must have, good to have, should not have in order to give a good customer experience. The interesting part about Kano model is that it will help capture the customer experience at any given instance. But if you were to do it again, the customer experiences change. It has been observed that something that is a delighter today will become a one-dimensional and a  basic need over time. Therefore, to keep pace with the changing customer requirements, it is imperative for the organization to keep doing Kano Model. Else they run the risk of being thrown out of business by competitors.


To understand the full journey of the Kano Model, one would have to take a longer time span and see how customer expectations have changed. I will 3 examples to explain this

Example 1 - Consider a mobile phone say around 10-13 years ago, a time when touch screen phones have just started hitting the Indian market.

10-13 years ago - A stylus to use on the touch screen was a delighter (and so was the touch screen itself). 

1-2 years since the launch of touch screen: stylus had become the one dimensional requirement

last 7-8 years - no stylus. It has become obsolete. 

Example 2 - Consider a mobile phone say around 10-13 years ago, when mobile telephony was discovering ways to transfer data and files from one device to another and the cloud storage was in the clouds :)

Infrared Transmission: when it first hit the markets, it became a rage. It was a delighter to have a phone which could use IR to transfer files. After some time, it was available as a feature in all the phones. But not, it is not seen, because it has become obsolete. 

Example 3 - CD Players

When the good old music cassettes were still popular, Compact Discs came on to the scene. It was a delighter to have a CD player in the car and there were very few models of car music systems that used to offer CD players. Then CD players became a one-dimensional requirement. Every music system used to have a CD player. Then another delighter was the 3 CD changer (or multi CD changer) in the car music systems. After some time it became a Must Be for a car music system to have a CD player. Customers were no longer excited to have it but were very dissatisfied if it was not present in a music system. Today, we no longer see music systems with CD players (as they have become obsolete).


Now, if a company or an organization could gauge the customer needs (using Kano Model), they would provide those necessary features in their products and stay relevant. Sony walkman is just one example where Sony corporation failed to understand the changing customer requirements and the product failed miserably (obviously after touching the sky). 

Alternatively, Kano Model can also be used to do a competitive analysis and make one's product better than the competitor's by providing a new delighter.


Key here is to use the model at different time periods to capture the pulse of the customers' expectations



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1

Benchmark Six Sigma Expert View by Venugopal R


Most of the Excellence Ambassadors will be quite familiar with Kano Model and I expect to see very good responses. However, for many organizations, Kano model remains as a concept than being converted as modus that is exercised regularly. I am outlining the key steps for building the Kano plot. One of the simplest ways is to of depicting the features of a product or service as a ‘scatter plot’ on the Kano template.


It is important to indicate the date of preparation of this Kano scatter plot. While preparing this plot, the process of judging the location of each feature is very important and should be as objective as possible, and as seen from the shoes of the customers.


The key steps in this process would be:


a) Decision on the features to be evaluated– decide the scope of your study

b) Identification of source of inputs (select customers) – decide to pick your customers within certain limit, for e.g. a particularly demographic or a representing a section of the target market

c) Structured method of gathering data – Questionnaire based survey; possibility of mock demonstration of features

d) Analysis of the findings; Plan suitable sampling to capture possible variation on the response to same features and to decide its positioning on the Kano plot.


The entire process of the exercise has to be well documented, so that the process can be repeated at later point of time to understand the shift on responses from ‘Performance to Threshold’ and ‘Excitement to Performance’

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

How does Kano model help an organization?what kind of decisiones one can take based on Kano analysis? Explain with examples.


It helps an organization to know what is to be fulfilled as a basic and performance requirements during the development of product itself. Also with this model an organization can think of providing an excitement feature to be competitive among other similar products in the market.



Let us take an example of water tap in a house / Hotel to understand the categories in Kano model.


Basic/ performance need is that we have to operate it with ease and there shall be no leak at closed condition. Also it should not get corroded over time, here comes the selection of material with which the tap is to be made.


Now comes the excitement that the manufacturer is adding. Taps are made with lever type operation to avoid multiple turns using thread. Furher it is sensor driven, We no need to even open / close the tap, it will sense and allow the water to flow when you show your hands and stops when you remove your hands. It is slowly converting into basic / performance requirement.


With the Kano model, an organization can clearly plot the customer needs and expectations to be fulfilled. Also in identifying indifferent feature , the organization can be cost effective by deciding whether to provide it or not.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Kano Model:  Dr Noriaki Kano created Kano Model in 1984 for product development and customer satisfaction and to explain different categories of customer requirements and how these requirements influence the customer satisfaction. 


Any product or service given by any organisation will only be considered by customers if it solves important customer problems effectively. its not necessary that all customer requirements will deliver more satisfaction. you can have two different customer needs of equally important and you will be more satisfied if one goes well and you can be neutral if other goes well. it may be possible a customer can be more satisfied with the need of less importance and can be neutral with the need of more importance. 


Kano Model has two axis( Refer Fig 1) , the horizontal axis represents the degree of implementation or execution, on the right side it is fully executed an don the left side its not done at all. the vertical axis represents satisfaction level of customer , on the top customer is fully satisfied and on the bottom side customer is very dis - satisfied. 


Dr. Kano gave total five categories of customer needs by using these sets of axis which are explained below:


1. Performance Attributes: these attributes are one dimensional and are on the top of customer's mind when they are making choices and evaluating between competitor present in the market. ( Refer Fig 1), Performance of these attributes gives more satisfaction and if they fail to perform customer will be very dissatisfied., because these are liner in nature and it will be better to execute them fully so that customer is more satisfied. in other words you can call them as satisfiers to customers. 

for example : the battery life of a mobile , if it goes well then customer is satisfied otherwise dissatisfied or the average claimed by a car manufacturing company is 24 and its actually coming 14 then customer is fully dis-satisfied, or the resolution in your new TV is not as per claimed by the company then customer is not satisfied. any mobile company is claiming its mobile can be used for gaming purpose but it starts to hang in simple application then customer will be fully dis- satisfied. it means that you will receive more satisfaction by customer if you are able to able to execute fully these performance attributes.


2. Threshold Attributes: these are the basic attributes and customers take them for granted and expects them to be in the product or service they are having. if these are doing well then customers might be just neutral but if these are not performing well then it may leads to customer dis-satisfaction (refer fig 1). in other words we can call them as " Must-be's" because they must be included. 

for example : lock of the door of the car that we are considering to buy, cleanliness of the hotel room that you booked for your trip.


3. Excitement Attributes: (Refer fig 1)these are the unexpected surprises or delights for the customer. in others words these are termed as the " WOW - factor" or the different offers that any company gives on its product to attract more customers. these are called Delighters because they do exactly what they are. they attract more customer and sometimes it happens that customer leaves some of its needs when they see such type of delighters. for example offer of 2 lac off on purchasing a brand new car so in  this case customer can overcome some of its needs to grab that opportunity, or to give more service time for more period of time or for kilometers. giving road side assistance also comes into this delighters. normally these type of delighters comes on festive seasons because customers wants to buy new things. if these are not given at any point of time then there is very less that customer will be less satisfied.


4.  In different attributes:  (Refer fig 1), these attributes are those types that presence or absence of them does not matter to customer satisfaction. customer will be neutral if they are present or absent. for example some advanced application in mobile phone that is not used by maximum people. they provide little value to your product because majority of customers dont care about them. 


5. Reverse Attribute:   ( refer fig 1) this is the rarest category out of these 5 and these items are those that you dont want to offer. these requirements are of such types that their presence leads to dis-satisfaction of customers. Reverse Attributes found very rarely. Microsoft's little " paperclip helper" is a very small example of this because most of people was annoying because of it.  


there is presence of grey shades between five categories which are defined above. it may change from person to person and its very important to keep in mind that  Kano Model is not only absolute because whatever one is describing it as an excitement attribute , it might be possible that the other one describes it as the performance attributes. these is very often and its very simple fact that there is a little difference between customer to customer and their requirements.


Kano model helps any organisation to take decision which can fulfill requirements of customers and one can take decision with the help of Kano Model.


As every one knows that customer needs and expectations are very dynamic in nature and for any organisation it is must to understand their nature of business and understand the pace of change of industry year by year to be in this competitive market. if you are not going with change then you will be replaced by someone else, there are many examples of it like Nokia, Blackberry, HMT Tractors. 

Time is a very important factor which plays a very important role in Kano Model ( Refer Fig 1). As the time passes industries changes, technologies changes and customer requirements also changes. for the excitement attributes we should know that how long they will last . generally its a saying that whatever is exciting ( Excitement Attributes)  today will be definitely asked for tomorrow ( Performance attributes) and can be expected the next day( Threshold Attributes). there are various examples of this transition and companies can take decision by seeing all these factors. its reality is that it forces companies to bring innovations continuously ( Excitement Attributes) to keep themselves in this competitive edge.

for example when touchscreen was offered by Apple then it was excitement attribute for the customers buy as the time passed it became threshold attribute and now every mobile company producing mobile phone with touchscreen. 

another example is of headphones that was used to give  with every mobile phone and now a days also companies used to give  but Xiomi has changed this scenario by giving more features and quality product. As Xiomi does not provide any headphone with new mobile phone but still number one company to sell its smartphone because of its performance and excitement attributes. Customers are more satisfied even without headphone and its presence does make any affect. Other examples are of AC in  car now days becomes threshold, Wifi in a hotel and camera in  your mobile phone and remote control for your television. 


Kano model helps organisation to collect data on the base of voice of customer and helps to classify that data into different categories to launch a new product in the market to satisfy more and more customer to be in the market. 



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Kano model helps to understand the level of customer satisfaction. Most of the times analysis done after taking Voice of customers VOC. Three requirements of customer to be understand are

1. Expected requirements of customers  (Basic must have)

2. Expressed requirements of customers

(comforts, avoided characters )

3. Exiting requirements of customers

  (Unexpected by customer , Value added services)


Kano model helps organization to understand customer better and design product and give service as per different segment of customers.

It avoids unwanted options or improve options to make project/ service as better brand.

It helps to know current trend and current expectations of customers which may not be same as it  was few years back 

Kano model helps us to decide improvisation of product or service by making few changes and also  forecast of future.


I'm trying to give different example

That is  of call centre services.

Here soft skills are  expected requirements to communicate with customer.which helps organization to maintain its standards

How well   customer's query is answered  by understanding concerns of customers is expressed requirements.

customer feels more confident about service 


       Irrespective of type of industry KANO MODEL helps to know the customer and present and future trends Accordingly proper plans and projects can be chosen.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

The chosen best answer is that of Natwar Lal. Read all the other answers for multiple examples and greater clarity.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
    • Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
    • Most Online

    Newest Member
  • Create New...