3 examples of Kano model and how to use in projects

Kanban , Ishikawa , Kaizen. It seems that Japanese nouns and names always appear when it comes to process improvement.

Now it’s time to talk about Noriaki Kano , a professor at the University of Tokyo and creator, in the 1980s, of the model that bears his surname.

Used in product development, which can lend your concepts, without problems, when modeling a process .


Because the goal of the Kano model was developed to help companies prioritize customer satisfaction . Now, satisfying customers and making them see more value in their deliveries is one of the biggest goals of the processes, correct?

Let’s see, then, how these ideas from the Kano model can help your company satisfy its customers, whether with products, services or processes.

See more: Get customer satisfaction survey questions right

The 5 requirements for customer satisfaction in the Kano model

Kano defined a methodology to be able to delight the customer by delivering something that goes beyond their expectations. In this context, the requirements of the Kano model are classified as follows.

For each of them, we will give 3 examples.

1- Attractive requirements:

If they exist, the better. But if they do not exist, it does not mean that the customer will not be satisfied. They can attract more consumers and differentiate your product or service, but they are not essential to your success.

Example of Kano model for attractive requirements:

  • Restaurant offering free parking on site.
  • A car with a 5 year warranty instead of 1 year.
  • An airline that offers double miles.

2- One-dimensional or performance requirements:

If they are present, they bring satisfaction to the customer and, moreover, the more intense, the greater the satisfaction. In other words: the higher your performance, the more satisfied your customers will be.

Example of a Kano model for one-dimensional requirements:

  • The tastier the foods, the more satisfied the customers.
  • The more economical, the more satisfaction a car will bring to the customer.
  • Comfort is directly proportional to customer satisfaction.

3- Mandatory or necessary requirements:

Without them, the customer will certainly be dissatisfied. He waits for them and demands that they be present. They are intrinsic characteristics of the product or service, without which it will be considered extremely unsatisfactory.

Sample Kano model for mandatory requirements:

  • Every restaurant has to be clean and hygienic, without it, no customer will be satisfied.
  • An unsafe car, which poses a risk to its occupants, does not have a mandatory requirement that any consumer requires.
  • Would you take off on a plane from a regular airline whose paint was peeling? While this may not affect your performance or safety, for an airline, appearing to be safe in every detail is a mandatory requirement. Now, if you had to take a bus to the neighboring city, it probably wouldn’t make a difference to you.

4- Indifferent requirements

Features that do not affect the degree of user satisfaction whether or not they are present and with any degree of performance.

Example of a Kano model for indifferent requirements:

  • What does it matter to a restaurant customer if their inventory management system is from company A or B?
  • What is the difference for a car driver if the color of the internal electrical cables he does not see is blue or green?
  • Will a customer be more satisfied with an airline due to its fuel consumption?

5- Reverse requirements:

In this case, its existence is perceived negatively by customers. Thus, it has a reverse effect on your satisfaction.

Example of a Kano model for reverse requirements:

  • A restaurant so crowded that it generates huge queues, may be good for the owner, but dislikes customers.
  • Likewise, the smaller the internal space, the lower the satisfaction of vehicle owners.
  • The fewer options and variety on an airline’s menu, the less customer satisfaction.

See also: What is ITIL methodology: more customer satisfaction

Kano diagram

This graphical representation helps to better understand the Kano model, when placing the requirements on Cartesian axes, see.

Note that in order to use Kano’s methodology properly, it is necessary to seek a balance between these factors, in order to achieve the best performance, with the greatest amount of attractive and performance requirements, the correct presence of mandatory requirements and the inexistence, within the possible, from the reverse.

But it is important to remember that for the methodology to work, it is necessary to collect data and understand how customers perceive each of these described variables and what is their expectation about them.


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