Kano Model – definition and meaning

The Kano Model is a theory of product development and customer satisfaction that identifies five product quality categories. How they affect customers’ perception of the product determines the five qualities. It is an insightful way of understanding the five types of customer requirements for goods and services.

Noriaki Kano developed the Kano Model in the 1980s. Prof. Kano is a lecturer, writer, and consultant in the field of quality management.

The Model continues to be an essential tool for companies across all industries. Kano Model Analysis is a vital skill for accurately targeting customers and potential customers over time.

According to KanoModel.com, “the Kano Model is an insightful way of understanding and categorizing 5 types of Customer Requirements (or potential features) for new products and services.”

Kano Model – customer requirements

Prof. Kano, who developed a model for customer satisfaction, determined five characteristics of customer requirements:

Threshold Attributes

We also call them Must-Be Qualities. Consumers take these attributes for granted when they are present. However, when they are not present consumers don’t like it.

Consumers view these attributes as basic and expect them. If the company asks its customers which attributes are important, they will probably not mention them. They won’t mention them because they are ‘givens.’

Imagine the Ford Motor Company asks you what attributes are important when you buy a car. You won’t say that it needs wheels. However, if your car had no wheels, you would be upset.

Kano Model
According to MicroTool.de: “The Kano Model describes the connection between customer satisfaction and the realization of customer requirements.”

Performance attributes

We also call them One-dimensional qualities. When these attributes are present, consumers are happy. However, they are likely to be unhappy if the attribute is not fulfilled.

For example, if my shampoo claims to have 10% more for the same price, I will be happy. However, I will be upset if I then find out I only got 6% more.

These are attributes that consumers often mention. Also, companies compete using these attributes.

Customer satisfaction rises if they are present, and rises further if they are better than those of rivals.

Excitement Attributes

We also refer to them as Attractive Qualities. Customers are happy when they are present, but not unhappy when they aren’t.

Customers do not usually expect them. Therefore, they do not usually talk about them.

Indifferent Qualities

These attributes do not affect customer satisfaction. In other words, they neither make customers happy when present nor unhappy when not present.

Put simply; these qualities are neither good nor bad.

Reverse Qualities

When these qualities are present, customers are unhappy, i.e., they do not like them. However, their absence does not lead to satisfaction.

Video – Discovering hte Kano Model

This Innovative Turorials video says that you can learn the Kano Model in less that eight minutes.