Kano Model Analysis – Delivering Products That Will Delight

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Kano Model Analysis - Delivering Products That Will Delight

The main aim of any organization is to ensure the fulfillment of the satisfactory needs of customers. Also, The Kano model is a theoretical concept or a tool used for determining Product Development and customer satisfaction. 

Noriaki Kano developed it, so, a Writer and an educator in the field of Quality management in 1891. The Kano model was also called the Customer Satisfaction Model.


Noriaki was a Japanese researcher who mentioned some ideas and techniques regarding Customer satisfaction and Product development. Hence, This design of ideas is called the Kano model. The Kano Model covers the following premises.

  • The Dimensions of the Kano Model
  • Five categories of customer preferences
  • The Nature of Features of the Kano Model
  • Determining the need for product features through customers by Questionnaire

The Dimensions of the Kano Model

  • Satisfaction
  • Functionality

Satisfaction and Functionality

It is a common term used in the field of marketing. So, This term is to measure the expectation of a consumer about a product or a service provided by a company.

As far as my knowledge goes, Satisfaction is a subjective concept, which means it’s different for every person. For, e.g., A boy would be happy about

purchasing a bike for him on the other hand. A boy would never be satisfied even if we get him a car.

So, Noriaki designed the Kano Model intending to determine Customer Satisfaction. Kano Model proposed a series of Satisfaction from Total Satisfaction or Delight to Total Dissatisfaction or Frustration.

Meanwhile, In the above diagram, there are different levels of Satisfaction, and it changes with every customer.

But Satisfaction also depends upon the Functionality of the product. Hence, Functionality can be Investment, Sophistication, or how well a product feature has implemented or how much we have invested in it. Whether it is a waste of time and resources, or we must focus more on it. 

 If we take Investment as an aspect of Functionality, then the more you spend on the up-gradation of your feature more, it will add to the Satisfaction of the consumer.

E.g., If you want to buy a car that has all the necessary elements, but the company has also invested in other new features like a high-quality stereo system, then it would increase the Functionality of the car and eventually will add up to the Satisfaction of the customers.

Also, Here we took Investment or cost as an aspect of Functionality. The Functionality is mainly dependent on the Product features. So let’s study the four features proposed by Nairoki as per customer preferences. 

Four categories of customer preferences

1.   Must be Feature

2.   Performance Features

3.   Attractive Features

4.   Indifferent Features

Must-Be Features

These are the essential features that a product must have to enter the market. So, In simple words, these features are the Basic requirements that a customer expects from a particular product.

They are also called the Threshold Features. Here the term Threshold is used because these features are regarded as an “ENTRY TICKET” of a product or firm.

So, Customers take these features for granted. Because these features fulfill only the customers’ basic needs, but if these features are absent in a particular product, then it leads the consumer to Total Dissatisfaction.

E.g., If a car doesn’t have a steering wheel or a handbrake in it, it would not get entry into the market because they are the essential features that a vehicle should have.

Performance Features

These attributes are more than enough for the fulfillment of the needs that they are expecting from the product. Hence, In the Kano Model, these features are explained as attributes that increase the customers’ enjoyment level. Due to this, they are called Satisfiers. So, These Performance features are those features that are directly concerning the Functionality of the product. Also, The more we provide, the more our customers will get satisfied.

Performance attributes are the metrics that are the bases of the Business aspiration or Decision. So keeping these features in mind, a company prioritizes its Investment, resources, etc.

The price of a product that a customer is willing to pay is also directly related to the performance attributes of the product. Also, The higher the performance attribute, the higher the price the customer is willing to pay for the product.

For example, If we compare a Ferrari with a TATA Nano, we can say that Ferrari costs higher because of the increased performance features of the car. At the same time, Nano doesn’t have any extra performance features.

Attractive Features

The Kano Model also includes certain Attractive Features or so-called Exciters. Excitement features are mostly unforeseen by the customer. They come as a surprise for the customers. Usually, customers feel satisfied with a product when their requirements or basic needs get satisfied.

But if a customer gets an additional feature which they had never expected, then this raises their satisfaction level. Attractive attributes are those features that sometimes generate a ‘WOW’ expression from the customers.

Kano Models Attractive attributes also give a competitive edge or advantage to a specific product above other products and put your product on a pedestal.

For example: When the iPhone came with the technology of Virtual Assistant called “SIRI” that was a wow feature for all the customers, and it instantly created a hype in the market about their product.

This unique feature gave them a competitive advantage in the market by leaving behind all the competing products.

But this feature of the Kano Model also leads to an increase in the level of functionality. Because to provide these kinds of features, significant investments are required. But in return, these features have the potential to generate higher profit margins.


The Kano Model describes these features as one whose presence doesn’t matter to the customers. To these features, we feel indifferent because customers don’t care about the existence of these features as they provide no satisfaction to them.

An organization needs to analyze the features which customers didn’t care about and stop wasting their money and resources on that Features.

The Nature features of the Kano Model

In this section, I will tell you about the nature of the attributes we studied. Now that we have learned about the Features of the Kano Model.

We all should keep in mind the fundamental fact that nothing in this world is static. Everything changes after a given point in time. In simple words, we can say that it is a Continuous moving cycle of the world.

Keeping that in mind The Features of the Kano Model are also not static. The customers don’t feel the same about every feature in the future as they think now. It is not like a Feature that might excite them now would stir them in the future also.

The Features that are now Attractive may change to performance and eventually to Must-be. 

Considering the example of Activa ( a Two-wheeler)- When Activas was launched, the only feature they had was they were cost-efficient, and they made transportation easy. But nowadays Activas are started having speakers in them, Inbuilt chargers efficient storage facility, A broader seat, etc.

So If you understood the above given an example you would conclude that the features then are now considered as a Must-be Feature.

It happens because of various factors like the Industrial Revolution, Technological up-gradation, Capitalization, Changing Trends, Change in

Preferences, and habits of the customer. But one of the critical factors is the emergence of competitors and their experiments to achieve the highest functionality of the product.

So the takeaway here is that any Analysis we do at a given time is valid for that situation only. Nothing is constant. Because as humans, we always want change then even the minutest change would provide us satisfaction.

Determining the need for product features through customers by Questionnaire

As an organization, we should also take considerations, recommendations, and suggestions from our clients or customers. About the features, they liked or didn’t liked and was that feature capable enough to provide them satisfaction.

Why we should do all these self-analysis processes is because sometimes people don’t think about a product or service in the same way as they feel. it is essential to prepare a standardized questionnaire to have a record of customer preferences and suggestions.

This Questionnaire method also helps us to determine customers’ perception of our product features.

There are two questions we need to ask to evaluate customer preferences or perceptions:

  1. One is how they feel if they have the feature 
  2. Second is how they feel if they don’t have the feature

The first question here is an aFunctional question that has a positive outlook. While the other question is a Dysfunctional questionable which has a negative outlook.

The most possible answers for the above two questions are :

  • Guess, I like it      
  • or, I expect it
  • Also, I am neutral
  • I can tolerate it
  • I dislike it

Based on the answers given by the customers for the above question for each category we evaluate their decision. This step is also called EVALUATION.

I expect it+I dislike itMust-be
I like it+I dislike itOne-dimensional
I like it+I am neutralAttractive
I am neutral+I am neutralIndifferent
I dislike it+I expect itReverse


The Kano model is a theoretical concept or a tool used for determining Product Development and customer satisfaction. Noriaki Kano developed it, a Writer and an educator in the field of Quality management in 1891. The Kano model was also called the Customer Satisfaction Model.

Also Read our blog Calculate Customer Value, Satisfaction & Loyalty


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