What do I do when I cannot find the perfect accessory to match an outfit? Or, my favorite ramen restaurant has no reservations for 3 weeks? What if I am sick of the bookshelf in my bedroom but don’t want to spend the money to buy a new one?
If you are a Millennial like me, the answer here is simple, you DIY.
To me, and many other Millennials, DIY is no longer something for grandparents or seen as a tacky, old and stuffy hobby. We have brought DIY back. In fact, did you know that more than half of DIYers are under 35, and spending more than $1,000 a year on projects? The desire for this comes from us wanting to actively participate in what we are consuming. Studies show 4 out of 10 Millennials are interested in co-creating products with a company. This is because, we all like to have specific attributes as it relates to look, feel and function of products. Also, being able to have a hand in the items I create gives me a sense of pride for doing it myself. DIY allows me to control the quality and makes things more authentic to my unique taste and personality.
What is really driving the difference between a grandmother’s DIY and the Millennials’ DIY is technology. A recent study found that nearly half of the participants believed that technology is the future of DIY. Today, the online world is chalk-full of tutorials, blogs and personal reviews of the best ways to make products your own. Take Pinterest for example, this social platform is built on the idea of sharing ideas with others who have a common interest. YouTube is where everyone knows they can turn to find the perfect instructions on how to DIY anything. I have even found in-store technology is making it easier for consumers to explore the idea of how to DIY a product.
Our generation is willing to DIY, but be careful how you approach us with your tutorials, videos and ideas. To reach us, brands should be sure to not only choose the proper channels, but also choose the best products to highlight. However, it should not feel too forced or fake. Then, there is a chance we might shut down your content and possibly your brand. Despite the challenges with making authentic connections, there are many brands that stand out to me as doing it right when it comes to DIY.
Take Lowe’s: I like how they created an entire section of their YouTube channel devoted to showing consumers like me how to do their projects. Studies show that 88% of DIYers watch how-to videos online. 65% of this group would be more likely to buy from a brand that provides videos for DIY Projects. They have a series called, “Bloggers Vs. Builder Grade Bath” where an interior designer/ blogger is presented with a $1,000.00 budget to see what they can do to a bathroom. The videos have generated hundreds of thousands of views and allow anyone to interact with Lowe’s further by leaving comments and questions they have. HGTV is also doing it right with content when it comes to DIY with shows like “Fixer Upper” and “Bath Crashers.” I may not be interested in buying a home now, but I’m always open to all sorts of tips for when that time comes for me. By promoting consumer engagement, Lowe’s and HGTV keep the conversation going and increase brand awareness with social sharing.
Velcro® is another brand that has reinvented themselves. Back in the day they made the straps to my light up sneakers. But now, they have content geared toward the DIYers that is easy and simple to do. Ideas are posted for everything from organizing tips to crafts. They even cast a brand ambassador and TV personality, Sabrina Soto, who is an expert in design and lifestyle. She helps to provide a lot of the DIY projects and crafts located on the website.
So, to all the brands trying to engage the coveted Millennial, you are probably wondering how you can catch the interest of a DIY lover? Take it from this DIY fanatic (currently wearing a J.Crew inspired bracelet that I made myself): it starts with being creative and thinking about how your product can take on a DIY identity. This could include having a custom made product tutorial on your website for me to watch. Or, having a video on a social channel showing how to use a product in an innovative way, that I could share with my friends. I also like hands on instruction offered in your brick and mortar to open up conversation. This provides some encouragement to try it on my own. Whatever your approach, just remember that your DIY efforts need to simultaneously allow me to customize things with my own creativity as well as naturally tie back to your brand. After all, I’m not going to be taking hair styling lessons from my local pizzeria, no matter how innovative they may be.