What is the perceived value of your new product features ?

I’m currently working on an internal sales training regarding the next release of our API Management product. While preparing my material it turned out I was not fully satisfied with my notes and wanted to explain in a more graphical way which were the different types of features of our new release.

There are indeed three main types of features:

  • Features that create Value to attract customers
  • Features that ensure Quality for reputation and customer satisfaction and retention
  • Features that create Innovation to differentiate your product from the rest

After a few thoughts, I decided to leverage the Kano model which is very useful to position features on a map.

Kano was a Japanese professor who designed a model that describes three unique types of customer requirements:

  • The basic requirements (called by Kano “Must-be” quality): those are features that MUST be in your product. They are taken for granted by your customers and result in customer dissatisfaction when not fulfilled. They represent the price on entry of the market.
  • The performance requirements (called by Kano “One-dimensional” quality) : those are features that result in satisfaction when fulfilled and in dissatisfaction when not fulfilled. The level of satisfaction/dissatisfaction is proportional to the level of achievement/non-achievement.
  • The excitement requirements (called by Kano “Attractive” quality): those are features are also called “WOW Factor” or “USP” (Unique Selling Proposition). They delight the customer when delivered but don’t cause dissatisfaction when not achieved. This type of features incorporates a level of “excitment”, spurs customer imagination and makes him discover what he never thought of before.

This means you can classify your product features into one of those three categories. You might also have features that don’t fall into this classification that are called by Kano as follows:

  • Indifferent quality: These features are neither good nor bad and they don’t result in either customer satisfaction or customer dissatisfaction. They are often features that need to be done for internal architecture design and better code maintainability.
  • Reverse quality: I like this type of features because illustrates the paradox of  human nature. Those features generate dissatisfaction proportional to the level of fulfillment.  This usually due to the fact that the customers might not like it for personal reasons.

The other interesting aspect of the Kano model is that the “Excitement requirements” evolve to the “Basic requirements” and need to be replaced by new “Excitement requirements” through innovation to keep differentiating from competition.

The Kano model can be represented graphically as follows:

Kano Model
Source: kanomodel.com

To conclude, please check out this excellent video made by KanoModel.com

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