Definition: The FCB grid or Foote, Cone and Belding model is an integrative approach to interpret the consumer’s buying behaviour and its implication for adopting suitable advertising strategy. It is depicted on a matrix with the help of four significant factors, i.e., thinking, feeling, high involvement and low involvement.
In 1980, Richard Vaughn, along with his associates, suggested the FCB Model. He was the Senior Vice President of FCB (Foote, Cone and Belding) Advertising company at that time.
This model was designed with the help of the theory of the right or left brain. As the right brain of a human body indicates the emotional attribute, so is the feeling factor of this model does. Also, as the left brain signifies the rational behaviour of human beings, the thinking element on the left side of the matrix does the same.
Content: FCB Grid
FCB matrix works on the four significant factors arranged in a pattern.
Here, the thinking to feeling aspect stretches from left to right on the x-axis, while the high to low involvement moves from top to bottom on the y-axis.
Let us now see how the quadrants formed vary from one another:
Informative (Quadrant 1): The expensive products having a high level of importance to the consumers and requires intense thinking for decision-making, lies in this category.
The prospective buyer first learns or gathers complete information about the product; then, he/she feels the need of buying it; and later makes the final purchase.
Affective (Quadrant 2): The valuable products which hold an emotional attribute and requires consumer engagement are considered to be affective products.
The buyer follows a feel, learn and do order. That is he/she first develops a connection with the brand or the product; gains complete knowledge of it; finally buys it.
Habitual (Quadrant 3): This category of products includes everyday essentials. Thus, the customer experiences a low involvement but analytical decision making while purchasing these items.
The buyer first obtains the product; tries it out and determines whether it solves the purpose or not; then develops a trust in the brand.
Satisfaction (Quadrant 4): The products whose purchase is driven by the emotions; however, the buying decision does not require much consumer involvement, lies in this quadrant.
The consumer buys the product; feels positive or negative about the purchase; and then learns about the product.
Given below are some product descriptions, and the quadrants they belong to:
Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance ‘Early Retirement Life Goal’ Advertisement: It shows how one can plan for retirement from work before the age of 60 years, by opting for this early retirement plan.
This product lies in informative or; high involvement and thinking category, i.e., first quadrant.
Tanishq’s festive collection ‘Virasat’: The brand highlighted in its advertisement, the significance of the ancient tradition of buying and worshipping gold jewellery, on the auspicious festival of Diwali.
Thus, it truly belongs to the high involvement and feels section, which is categorized in the second quadrant as an affective product.
Ghadi Machine Wash: This product is featured as a specialist for cleaning clothes in the washing machine, which not only saves user’s time but is also cost-effective.
This is a routine product and its selection is based on low involvement, though it requires thinking; thus, it lies in the third quadrant.
Sunfeast Dark Fantasy’s ‘New Meetha’ campaign: The product advertisement shows the fulfilment of the sweets craving by having this indulgent biscuit. It is posed as an alternative to regular Indian sweets.
This product brings satisfaction since it is a low involvement and feeling class, lying in the fourth quadrant.
Product Categorization on FCB Grid
FCB grid possesses a high significance in deciding the category to which a product belongs.
The marketing strategy for the products and services can be better determined if the company is aware of the importance a product holds for the buyer.
Let us instantly have a look at the different product and their categories:
- Quadrant 1 – Informative: The products of high value, mostly purchased once in a lifetime, requires a lot of thinking and buyer involvement. These include property, land, insurance, family car, investments, security system, etc.
- Quadrant 2 – Affective: These products are valuable, but their purchase decision is more influenced by the buyer’s emotions, rather than analytical thinking. Some of these are bridal dress, jewellery, cosmetics, antiques, perfumes, etc.
- Quadrant 3 – Habitual: The regular use items such as a household cleaner, gasoline, detergent, newspaper and many more are stated as habitual products.
- Quadrant 4 – Satisfaction: Ice creams, confectioneries, fast food, soft drinks, casual clothes, entertainment and greeting cards are the products whose purchase or consumption brings satisfaction to the consumers.
Advertising Strategies in Relation to FCB Grid
Since all the advertising campaigns are done with a purpose to reach out to the targeted audience, it becomes essential to understand the level of consumer’s expectation and engagement.
The FCB grid demonstrates the buyer’s decision-making process and thus, helps the organizations to direct their marketing efforts in the right direction.
Following are the various types of strategies which can be used for advertising products lying in the specific quadrant:
As we know, that the products in the first quadrant are mostly once in a lifetime or value purchase, the consumers need to acquire sufficient product information.
Personal selling is a great option to have direct consumer interaction and also to resolve their queries.
Long and Informative Advertisements
Most of the products in the first quadrant and some in quadrants two and three require long and engaging advertisements to connect with the prospective buyers.
The habitual products require such marketing strategy to form a sharp brand image.
The strategy of direct marketing works for all kinds of products; however, it is prominently used for advertising the informative and affective products since the buyers need to get assured of whatever they buy.
When it comes to high involvement and feelings dominated products, building up strong public relations can do wonders. Therefore this integrative marketing approach is highly used for affective products advertising.
Such ads focus on connecting with the audience by emphasizing and strengthening brand values. Such advertisements not only develops consumer’s affection towards the brand but also provides a high degree of satisfaction.
Thus, most of the products in quadrants two and four are advertised through this strategy.
The products which are of low involvement for the buyers are advertised on television or radio. This helps the products lying in the quadrants three and four, to reach out to the prospective mass buyers.
Many of us buy the products with free offers or trial packs to avail the deal. Such a strategy is frequently used to make the consumer try the new range of products belonging to the third quadrant.
Various schemes such as discounts, gifts, loyalty points etc. are used by the companies to pitch the products of quadrants two and four.
Point of Purchase Advertisements
These advertisements are most commonly put up at the departmental stores, malls and other stores, to promote the products of quadrants two and four.
These are the places where the advertisements can immediately capture the attention of prospective consumers.
Word of Mouth Publicity
Being applicable for the products in the quadrants two, three and four, this is the most reliable product promotion strategy.
The existing consumers publicize or talk about the products to create a buzz or increase the demand.
Feel Good Advertisements
This concept of joy marketing is majorly applied to the products lying in the fourth quadrant.
The reason behind it is the satisfaction or happiness consumers feel on having a product requires brand connectivity and emotional embracement.
While waiting on the signals, we often bang across the roadside advertisements that are displayed on the billboards.
Such a strategy fascinates and develops an immediate need for the fourth quadrant products.
Now when you know the significance and applicability of the FCB grid for advertising your products, your marketing can never go wrong.
Ananthula Sathish Kumar says
very decently presented the new concept in the area of purchase behaviour and advertisements.
highly appreciate the author
Prachi M says
thanks a lot
Ayon Bhadra says
Nice and Lucid article. Kudos to the author.