Research in Engineering Design

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 459–467 | Cite as

A rapid Kano-based approach to identify optimal user segments

  • Reynir Smari AtlasonEmail author
  • Arnaldur Smari Stefansson
  • Miriam Wietz
  • Davide Giacalone
Original Paper


The Kano model of customer satisfaction provides product developers valuable information about if, and then how much a given functional requirement (FR) will impact customer satisfaction if implemented within a product, system or a service. A limitation of the Kano model is that it does not allow developers to visualize which combined sets of FRs would provide the highest satisfaction between different customer segments. In this paper, a stepwise method to address this shortcoming is presented. First, a traditional Kano analysis is conducted for the different segments of interest. Second, for each FR, relationship functions are integrated between x = 0 and x = 1. Third, integrals are inserted into a matrix crossing segments and FRs, where FRs with the highest sum across the chosen segments are identified. Finally, the functions of the chosen segments with the smallest interval, define the FRs appealing to the biggest target group. The proposed extension should assist product developers within to more effectively evaluate which FRs should be implemented when considering more than one combined customer segment. It shows which segments provide the highest possibility for high satisfaction of combined FRs. We demonstrate the approach in a case study involving customers’ preference for outdoor sports equipment.


Kano model Customer satisfaction Innovation Segmentation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reynir Smari Atlason
    • 1
    Email author
  • Arnaldur Smari Stefansson
    • 2
  • Miriam Wietz
    • 3
  • Davide Giacalone
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Environmental TechnologySDU Life Cycle EngineeringOdenseDenmark
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  3. 3.SDU Innovation and Design Engineering, Department of Technology and InnovationUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark

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