Kano Model

Six Sigma Pizza - Kano Model

What is Kano Model?

Kano Model is the tool used to prioritise the features or quality parameters in a product or service.

More about the Kano Model

This simple and powerful tool was first used by Prof. Kano in Japan to understand various customer needs and product features and to decide on what features to be provided and how to sequence or prioritise them. As per his model, any requirement for the product or service might fall within 3 categories, namely,

  1. Must be features
  2. Incremental features and
  3. Wow factors

Kano used the below plot to explain how these three factors operate.

This is a plot with the Presence of Feature in x-axis and Customer Satisfaction levels on the y-axis.

The ‘must be factor’ shown as the curve (1) in the diagram – When this feature is not provided in our product, customers will be highly dissatisfied. As you increase the feature customer dissatisfaction level will decrease. If you look at the curve carefully, you can appreciate the fact that this feature will not help us in gaining or increasing customer satisfaction. But their absence will cause high dissatisfaction. The curve never touches the x-axis – the line of satisfaction and end up within Quadrants III & IV. Hence, such features are also called as Hygiene Factors.

The second category is called incremental feature or one-dimensional feature marked as (2) in the picture. This is simple and straight. If we provide this feature poorly, the customer will be dissatisfied with us. As we increase our performance of this incremental features, customer satisfaction level will increase accordingly. Customers will become happy, as we keep incrementing the performance of this feature.

The beauty is about the third category – the Wow factors – marked as (3). These are the feature, which in their absence will not cause customer dissatisfaction. Look at the curve (3). It always remains above the line of satisfaction. But the presence of such a feature will delight the customers. Our customers will wonder saying “Wow!”. That’s why they are named as Wow factors or delighters. The curve goes exponentially up when we provide such features.

From the Marketing viewpoint, the wow factors are very vital to position the products in the market. Such factors will give a jumpstart to the sales. But we need to be more careful with this category. Look at a downward arrow marked as (4) in the picture. This arrow indicates that the wow factors won’t remain ‘wow’ for so long. As soon as the customer starts enjoying the benefits, they will ask for more and your competitors will also jump in. When these features are not followed through with planned successive add-ons (or related high-end features) we cannot retain the higher customer satisfaction levels and so the customers.

So, the tendency of wow factors is that they tend to become one-dimensional features soon and then become must be factors sooner”.