Uncovering the Hierarchy of Consumer Needs


Personal Cleansing


Client Challenge

An understanding of how consumers prioritize product benefits is important at all stages of the product development cycle. Different data collections methods have been proposed to uncover these benefit hierarchies.

P & K Solution

We conducted an on-line study comparing four methodologies, with 200 respondents per method, to evaluate 30 benefits drawn from the Personal Cleansing category.
The methods compared:

  • 5-Point Importance Rating
  • MaxDiff
  • Select and Rank
  • Kano

P & K Findings

The results showed that while the hierarchies across the four methods were reasonably consistent, discrimination in relative importance was greatest with MaxDiff. The Kano model, on the other hand, provided a more nuanced interpretation of importance due to the two-dimensional consumer reaction inherent in the method: each benefit is evaluated from both a positive perspective (how would you feel if the benefit was present) and negative perspective (how would you feel if it was not present).

For each method, segmentation resulted in similar differentiation among consumer groups with regard to their attribute priorities. However, the Kano model, once again, provided more insight into the degree of importance, including “attractive” (or delighter) attributes for each segment.

Client Action

While there are pros and cons to each method, we recommend the Kano Model as it allows for uncovering additional insights into benefit importance.

Kano Quandrant Map