What is an FCB Model? Why is it important for your Advertising Strategy?

FCB is a 2x2 grid model to interpret how your target consumers buy your product. Before we delve into the details, let us first understand the background of this theory.

What’s with the Left Vs. Right Brain ?

• According to a theory coined by Nobel laureate Roger Sperry, the left side of our brain takes care of rational decision-making while the right side cares about emotional attributes.

• Decision comes under the spectrum of the above 2 polar opposite attributes.

FCB model is designed with this theory in consideration.

What is the FCB Model/Grid?

Richard Vaughn from FCB (Foote, Cone & Belding) created the Model in 1980.

• FCB model is an approach to interpret consumers’ buying behavior and apply it to strategize advertising communications.


It divides decisions into 4 quadrants on the basis of:

1) Is the decision be taken rationally or emotionally? (X-axis)

2) How much money/stake is involved in the decision? (Y-axis)

Let's understand each quadrant in more details:


1. Informative Decision

Expensive products with a high level of tangible importance to consumers fall under the Informative Decision category.

• Potential consumer first learns about the product in detail. After gaining sufficient information he/she feels the need (by the virtue of the product specifications) to buy the product.

• E.g. Life insurance, Real estate, Utility cars, Mutual funds, Security systems, etc. falls under this category.



2. Affective Decision

Expensive products associated with emotional attributes such as love, belongingness, esteem, etc. fall under the Affective category.

• Potential consumer first develops a strong urge towards the brand or the product. Then he/she learns about the product specification (tangible details hold low value) and make the purchase.

• E.g. Diamond ring, Sports car, Expensive wine/liquor, Art piece, etc. falls under this category.


3. Habitual Decision

Everyday essential products with a high level of tangible importance to consumers fall under the Habitual Decision category.

• Potential consumer buys the product out of awareness created by marketing efforts then learns about the utility & quality and purely on the utilitarian aspect he/she feels regarding the product.

• E.g. Toiler cleaner, Soap, Bed sheet, Newspaper, etc. falls under this category.

4. Satisfaction Decision

Products of craving with a high level of consumer satisfaction based on emotional impulses fall under the Satisfaction Decision category.

•Potential consumers buy the product out of impulse in order to feel the desired pleasure. After using the product, he/she learns about the product first-hand.

•E.g. Cigarettes, Beer, Ice-cream, Clothes, movie tickets, etc. fall under this category. (Note: Now sizable strata of the population do check movie reviews before watching)


Summarizing FCB Grid along with additional Sextant Model.