A rapid Kano-based approach to identify optimal user segments


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.

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Correspondence to Reynir Smari Atlason.

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Atlason, R.S., Stefansson, A.S., Wietz, M. et al. A rapid Kano-based approach to identify optimal user segments. Res Eng Design 29, 459–467 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00163-018-0282-y

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  • Kano model
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Innovation
  • Segmentation