Previously Unknown Dissatisfiers

February 18, 2008

A frequently discussed feature of the Kano Model is the nature of dissatisfiers. These are elements of a product or service so elementary that a customer might not ask about them (“Does this car have wheels?”) but that would result in great dissatisfaction if missing.

You’ve done a great job as a product marketer/manager when you introduce something new and it quickly becomes a dissatisfier. Consumers used to be happy with cars without cupholders, computers without GUIs and television with only three channels. (To balance all that out, Coke was a nickel).

Is there something you could introduce to your product or service that your customers haven’t thought of or asked for? That, once sampled, they would not be willing to do without? Look for small things that they live with, little disruptions in workflow or usage that are a pain but that no one thinks much about. What in your product is like balancing a cold drink between your legs while driving and spilling it occasionally? (For a Treo running Windows, maybe it’s the crash and reboot every couple of days).

BTW, here’s a cool tutorial on the Kano Model (go to ‘Launch Tutorial’ in the bottom right).

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