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Thursday April 24th 2014


Marketing – The Kano Model

The Kano model is a theory of product development and customer satisfaction. Kano is useful for:

  • Predicting customer satisfaction
  • Product analysis and design decisions
  • Internal customer satisfaction
  • Product positioning


Kano classifies customer preferences into five categories:

  • Attractive Quality: These attributes provide satisfaction when achieved fully, but do not cause dissatisfaction when not fulfilled. These are attributes that are not normally expected, For example, a thermometer on a package of milk showing the temperature of the milk. Since these types of attributes of quality unexpectedly delight customers, they are often unspoken.
  • One-Dimensional Quality: These attributes result in satisfaction when fulfilled and dissatisfaction when not fulfilled. These are attributes that are spoken of and ones which companies compete for. An example of this would be a milk package that is said to have ten percent more milk for the same price will result in customer satisfaction, but if it only contains six percent then the customer will feel misled and it will lead to dissatisfaction.
  • Must-Be Quality: These attributes are taken for granted when fulfilled but result in dissatisfaction when not fulfilled. An example of this would be package of milk that leaks. Customers are dissatisfied when the package leaks, but when it does not leak the result is not increased customer satisfaction. Since customers expect these attributes and view them as basic, then it is unlikely that they are going to tell the company about them when asked about quality attributes.
  • Indifferent Quality: These attributes refer to aspects that are neither good nor bad, and they do not result in either customer satisfaction or customer dissatisfaction.
  • Reverse Quality: These attributes refer to a high degree of achievement resulting in dissatisfaction and to the fact that not all customers are alike. For example, some customers prefer high-tech products, while others prefer the basic model of a product and will be dissatisfied if a product has too many extra features.


The Kano model offers some insight into the product attributes which are perceived to be important to customers. The purpose of the tool is to support product specification and discussion through better development team understanding. Kano’s model focuses on differentiating product features, as opposed to focusing initially on customer needs. Kano also produced a methodology for mapping consumer responses to questionnaires onto his model.

Illustration of features or needs vs satisfaction


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