Methodology/approach: Utilizing Kano Model and willingness to pay; it presents a framework for classification of environmental characteristics of products/services (i.e. offers) in two dimensions. The framework is connected to design management; i.e. design itself and external communication; where strategies for companies are given. The integration of the classification and the strategies is applied to three environmental characteristics against Japanese markets.
Findings: The classification framework was proved to be effective as it generates much richer implication than other existing methods. In addition; it works well especially for environmental characteristics. Generation of strategies was also found to work effectively. They suggested some potential of using quality-engineering oriented methods/tools to deal with customer perception in the early phase of Ecodesign.
Research limitation/implication: The results imply the needs for research on further utilizing quality-engineering approach and methods in the early stage of Ecodesign. This would be effective as how customers perceive offers has been neglected in the research and practice of Ecodesign and the focus of Ecodesign has been rather in its technical aspects. This research; in a broader sense; exists in integration of marketing and design disciplines.
Originality/value: This paper has brought light into the arena where customer aspects in Ecodesign are addressed and has proved some potential for qualityengineering approach and method to tackle the aspects.
Keywords: Kano model; design management; offer development; communication to customer; willingness to pay; sustainability