What is the Kano Model?

The Kano Model is a method for prioritizing product features on a roadmap according to the likelihood that they will satisfy customers. Product teams can compare the costs of implementing a feature that is likely to be popular with customers to decide if adding it to a roadmap makes sense.

Kano is one of several frameworks that help product teams prioritize their initiatives. Kano, for example, can help teams identify which features are most likely to delight and satisfy customers. Kano Model is often used by product managers to group new features into categories and then prioritize them. These feature categories could range from those which may disappoint customers, to those which are likely to satisfy and even delight customers.

The Kano Model is different from other frameworks for prioritizing features because it focuses on the customer’s reaction to each feature. The Benefits vs. Cost Models, for instance, may use customer satisfaction as one of their scoring criteria, but they might also use other criteria, such as increased revenue. The Kano Model is a model that looks at how satisfied users will be with a new feature.

What is the History of the Kano Model

In 1984, Dr. Noriaki Kano created the Kano Model. He was a professor of Quality Management at the Tokyo University of Science. Dave Verduyn describes that Dr. Noriaki created this framework when he was researching factors that contribute to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The model identifies 5 categories of possible customer reactions to a feature. These range from dissatisfaction to indifference and even what some call Customer delight, or excitement features.

How Does the Kano Model Work?

The Kano Model allows product teams to create a list with potential new features that are competing for resources and space in the roadmap. The team will weigh these features based on two competing criteria.

  1. They can satisfy their customers.
  2. Investment is required to implement these strategies.

It can be considered “Customer Delight” vs. Implementation Investment is an excellent way to think about it.

When should you use the Kano Model?

The Kano Model is a useful framework for product teams who have limited resources and time but want to prioritize which features they should work on next.

This is the best approach for teams that need guidance in determining which features are absolutely necessary, which features should be prioritized for investment, and which features will delight customers the most.

Kano Model Takeaways

This model provides a useful framework for product teams who are looking for a systematic way of prioritizing features. It also helps teams interested in prioritizing features they think will delight customers.