KANO

Custom Solution

Kano Model

Classify features by attractiveness to users

As part of the Feature and Pricing Suite for SaaS, the Kano Model is a time-tested tool that helps you differentiate potential features according to users' needs. Developed in 1984 by Professor Noriaki Kano, the Kano Model is used for:

  • Understanding users' perceptions when each potential feature is included and excluded from the software offering.
  • Categorising what users perceive as must-be, performance, attractive, and are indifferent to.
  • Aligning product development and marketing, by focusing on the features that generate user acquisitions and expansions.
Kano Model

What is the Kano Model?

Feature Classification Table

Feature Classification Table

Learn the detailed distribution of responses and the category assigned to each feature

Through analysing every respondent's feelings toward the inclusion and exclusion of each feature, the features are categorised to represent the largest proportion of respondents.

In this example, data history is assigned as a must-be feature, as the category reflects 43% of respondents.

Feature categorisation matrix

Feature Categorisation Matrix

Understand the categorisation of software features at a glance

The Feature Categorisation Matrix averages the respondents' functional and dysfunctional scores to allow you to compare features across four quadrants - must-be, performance, attractive, and indifferent.

The example shows that out of the 12 features investigated, four features (i.e., Feature 5: Online support, Feature 10: Free tutorials and guides, Feature 6: All OS compatible, and Feature 2: Cloud storage) are considered must-be features and should be included in all offerings.

Recommended further actions

The Kano Model helps you achieve product-market fit by classifying your software features according to their attractiveness to users. The following table summarises Conjoint.ly's recommendations to assist you in perfecting your software offering:

Functional score

HighAttractive featuresPerformance features

Low dysfunctional score & High functional score

  • Seen as delighters, these are never expected but cause joy when they occur. User satisfaction increases exponentially as the feature is developed further.
  • Consider these features as add-on options or part of the premium offerings to boost user satisfaction.

High dysfunctional score & High functional score

  • The more these features and the higher their performances are, the more satisfied your users are.
  • After must-be features, these are the features that deserve more resources for development and marketing as they may greatly increase user satisfaction.
LowIndifferent featuresMust-be features

Low dysfunctional score & Low functional score

  • Users are indifferent to these features. Their level of functionality does not affect satisfaction at all.
  • Avoid allocating unnecessary resources to these features as they contribute little to your user satisfaction.

High dysfunctional score & Low functional score

  • These are the hard requirements. Your product will fail if these features do not meet the standard, but you won't receive praise for including them.
  • You should prioritise these features and ensure they reach the expected level to avoid user dissatisfaction.
LowHigh
Dysfunctional score

Developed by Professor Noriaki Kano in 1984, the Kano Model is used as a research methodology to discover the relationships between a product feature and customer satisfaction. As shown below, the model outlines four different relationships between customer satisfaction and performance.

Kano Model Diagram

These relationships allow a product feature to be categorised into one of four categories, summarised in the following table:

CategoryExplanationExample
Attractive featuresSeen as delighters, these are never expected but cause joy when they occur. Customer satisfaction increases exponentially as the feature is developed further.Subscribing a video-on-demand service and finding that you have been given access to a premium music subscription - for free!
Must-be featuresThese are the hard requirements. Your product will fail if these features do not meet the standard, but you won't receive praise for including them.Imagine a document processor without the save function? You would be very disappointed as you expected that to be included.
Performance featuresThe more these features and the higher their performances are, the more satisfied your customers are.What would happen if your cloud storage provider offered you 10TB storage at the same rate you're currently paying for 5TB storage. The extra storage will leave you more satisfied.
IndifferentCustomers are indifferent to these features. Their level of functionality does not affect satisfaction at all.Your new accounting software subscription comes with a free umbrella.

To discover users' preferences, the Kano Model survey presents each respondent with a pair of functional and dysfunctional perception questions. A functional question asks how the respondent feels when the feature is offered, whereas a dysfunctional question asks about the feeling when the feature is excluded. Take the example Kano Model survey or check out the survey flow section for the samples of Kano Model questions.

Each feature is assigned a category according to the following matrix based on the responses.

Dysfunctional
Like itExpect itNeutralTolerateDislike
43210
Like it4QuestionableAttractiveAttractiveAttractivePerformance
Expect it3ReverseQuestionableIndifferentIndifferentMust-be
FunctionalNeutral2ReverseIndifferentIndifferentIndifferentMust-be
Tolerate1ReverseIndifferentIndifferentQuestionableMust-be
Dislike0ReverseReverseReverseReverseQuestionable

For example, when a respondent expects Feature 1 to be included, and dislikes when Feature 1 is excluded, Feature 1 is categorised as a must-be feature for the respondent.

Then, Conjoint.ly generates the Feature Categorisation Matrix and Feature Classification Table based on continuous and discrete analysis, respectively.

Want to learn more about the Kano Model? Check out the free template set up with a case study for classifying attributes for a new smartphone.

A Kano Model survey consists of the following stages:

Stage 1: Screening questions

The survey begins with screening questions to filter potential survey respondents and ensure only the desired audience is re-directed to complete the survey. Some commonly used screening questions include demographics, usages, and behaviours.

How would you best describe your usage, or intended future use regarding the enterprise software?

No Use or Plans

Plan to Use

Using

Heavy user

Stage 2: Functional and dysfunctional questions

Next, qualified respondents are asked a pair of functional and dysfunctional perception questions for each feature. A functional question asks how the respondent feels when the feature is offered, whereas a dysfunctional question asks about the feeling when the feature is excluded.

Functional:

Please consider the following feature regarding the enterprise software.

Unlimited online support

How would you feel if the feature was included in Soundwave?

Love it Expect it Indifferent Tolerate it Unhappy
Dysfunctional:

Please consider the following feature regarding the enterprise software.

Unlimited online support

How would you feel if the feature was not included in Soundwave?

Love it Expect it Indifferent Tolerate it Unhappy

Stage 3: Additional diagnostic questions

Lastly, the survey ends with additional diagnostic questions, such as gender, location, and current software usage, that help you perform the subgroup analysis for more in-depth insights.

How many people are employed at your company?

1-50

51-200

201-500

More than 500

Which of the following enterprise software are you using?

Software A

Software B

Software C

Software D

Software E

Software F

Brand X

Brand Y

Soundwave Co

None of the above

Take a sample Kano Model survey to experience how the respondents go through the decision-making process. Or book a call to discover your users' needs now!

Looking to perfect your SaaS offering?

Whether you are looking for insights on your user needs, adopting new users, expanding to a new market or reducing churn rate, Conjoint.ly's team of experts are here to provide you with solutions on time and on budget.

Let's get your research going!

Complete solution for pricing research

KANO
Features and claims
Feature and Pricing Suite for SaaS

Kano Model

Ensure product-market fit and maximise your user acquisition and expansion, by differentiating software features according to your users' needs.

FPM
Features and claims
Feature and Pricing Suite for SaaS

Feature Placement Matrix

Place product features into appropriate tiers according to users' perceived importance and willingness to pay.

FPS
Features and claims
Feature and Pricing Suite for SaaS

Feature Placement Simulator

Construct the features and pricing architecture that maximise your software's revenue and adoption, with insights into impact of features and pricing adjustments on preference share, revenue, and more.

FPV
Features and claims
Feature and Pricing Suite for SaaS

Feature Placement Validator

Test multiple pricing page designs and validate the pricing page for the maximum conversions and the minimum dropouts, with insights into the attractiveness of CTAs, marketing copy and content, visitors' plan choices, reaction time, preference share, revenue projections and more.