Developed in the 1980s by Professor Noriaki Kano, the Kano Model is a theory that looks at the relationship between product development and customer satisfaction. Customer needs are always changing, and Professor Kano created a way to analyze those needs, while evaluating the value of a product or service’s features. Considering the Voice of the Customer (VOC) during stages of product development will help determine what the customer expects from the product, and what will satisfy their wants and needs. The Kano model classifies customer preferences into the following five categories:
- Must-be quality: These are features that are required by the consumer. These will most likely be features that the consumer ‘take for granted’; they don’t actively seek out the feature but will notice and be disappointed if the feature is missing.
- One-dimensional quality: These include attributions that when delivered results in customer satisfaction, but if it is not delivered the result is dissatisfaction. A common example of this would be fulfilling or not fulfilling promises that were marketed to sell the product.
- Attractive quality: Thesecharacteristics result in consumer satisfaction when fulfilled but does not result in dissatisfaction if not fulfilled. Often times these are added features that are not expected by the consumer, but the consumers are pleasantly surprised to find them.
- Indifferent quality: This quality is less about customer satisfaction and more on the side of product development as the consumer won’t notice whether or not the feature is delivered. For instance, if a factory is producing breakfast cereal, choosing the thickness of the cardboard would be considered an indifferent quality. These characteristics will be determined by factors like cost and shipping durability.
- Reverse quality: These are qualities that highlight the differences of satisfaction among consumers. Adding these features could cause dissatisfaction with some consumers but may increase satisfaction with others. A common example of this is an increase in technology; welcomed by some but is a pain for others.