FCB Grid, Richard Vaughn (1980)

The FCB Grid, also known as the Foote, Cone & Belding Grid, is a marketing and advertising framework developed by the advertising agency Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB). It was created in the 1980s by Richard Vaughn, an executive at FCB. The FCB Grid is a tool used to analyze and classify products or brands based on two dimensions: “Thinking” and “Feeling.”

The “Thinking” dimension refers to the rational or cognitive aspects of a product or brand, focusing on functional attributes, features, and logical appeals. It encompasses qualities such as product performance, reliability, durability, and price.

The “Feeling” dimension, on the other hand, emphasizes the emotional and affective aspects of a product or brand. It considers factors such as brand image, personality, aesthetics, emotional appeals, and the desired emotional response from consumers.

By plotting products or brands on a two-dimensional grid based on their relative strength in these dimensions, the FCB Grid provides a visual representation that helps marketers understand the positioning and communication strategies needed for different types of products. The grid is divided into four quadrants: Informative, Affective, Habitual, and Self-Expressive.

  • Informative quadrant: Products in this quadrant are high on the “Thinking” dimension but low on the “Feeling” dimension. They are typically functional and rational in nature and require informative and logical advertising to communicate their benefits effectively. Examples include household appliances, cleaning products, or financial services.
  • Affective quadrant: Products in this quadrant are high on the “Feeling” dimension but low on the “Thinking” dimension. They are emotionally driven and rely on creating an emotional connection with consumers. Advertising for these products tends to focus on evoking feelings, desires, and aspirations. Examples include luxury brands, perfumes, or entertainment products.
  • Habitual quadrant: Products in this quadrant are low on both the “Thinking” and “Feeling” dimensions. They are everyday, routine products that consumers purchase out of habit or convenience. Advertising for these products typically emphasizes convenience, simplicity, and habit formation. Examples include household staples like toothpaste, cleaning supplies, or basic food items.
  • Self-Expressive quadrant: Products in this quadrant are high on both the “Thinking” and “Feeling” dimensions. They offer consumers the opportunity to express their identity, values, or personality. Advertising for these products focuses on self-expression, individuality, and creating a sense of belonging. Examples include fashion brands, luxury cars, or lifestyle products.

The FCB Grid provides a framework for marketers to identify the appropriate communication strategies and tactics based on the positioning and characteristics of their products or brands. It helps in understanding consumer motivations, aligning advertising messages, and developing effective marketing campaigns.