Kano Model – Classifying Your Customer Requirements

May 11th, 2011

Tags: kano model, kano, voc, voice of the customer, voice of customer

The Kano Model was developed by Noriaki Kano who is renowned for his expertise in quality management.  Through practical application experience he developed his model for classifying and understanding customer requirements.  There are three classifications, namely Must Have, More is Better, and Delighters.

Capturing your Voice of the Customer (VOC) requirements is paramount to driving continuous improvements within your organization.  The Kano Model provides a tool for discussion to classify the requirements into one of the three categories.  Customer requirements are dynamic so the initial classifications may change over time.  The initial classifications provide guidance for what must be done to meet and exceed your customer’s wants and needs.

Let’s use the television as an example for understanding the classifications.

Must Have

To compete in the marketplace these requirements have to exist in the product, or the service.  In our television the Must Have requirements are things like connections for cable, stereo, and DVD players.  Don’t forget the remote control, which not too many years ago was a Delighter, which is now a Must Have.

More is Better

These requirements by definition are all about continuous improvement.  Things like picture quality, sound, size and weight ( larger, but lighter).


These are the requirements that win over the new customers and also keep your existing customers from changing brands.  Delighters are things like HD and now HD 3D, HDMI connections, WIFI, and internet with services for movies and more.

With your requirements classified you will be in position to prioritize your total improvement program across the supply chain.  Don’t forget that the Delighters of the recent past become the Must Haves of the future!

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