Multi-Channel Marketing

10 Characteristics of the DIY Consumer

DIY Consumers are not just crafty house wives with a Pinterest board. And, DIY consumers don't just do-it-themselves. DIY Consumers are savvy, modern shoppers who want a tailored shopping experience. They cover a large demographic, and care more about buying unique, quality products than pinching pennies.

Zach Williams by Zach Williams

Putting together an accurate DIY Consumer profile can be tricky because they include buyers from multiple generations, incomes and geographical regions.

When I'm helping clients profile their consumer, I hate it when assumptions are made about who that consumer is and what makes them tick. I want facts, figures, interviews, anything concrete that can help us get inside their head.

With that being said, I love the opportunities available for brands to target the DIY Consumer. But I think marketers are making a lot of assumptions about who they are and what motivates them.

DIY Consumers are not just crafty house wives with a Pinterest board. And, DIY consumers don't just do-it-themselves. DIY Consumers are savvy, modern shoppers who want a tailored shopping experience. They cover a large demographic, and care more about buying unique, high-quality products than pinching pennies.

Based on what we're seeing in shopping trends here are 10 characteristics that define the DIY Consumer:

1. Saving Money is Not the Only Reason They DIY

I think the biggest misconception with DIYers is that they are solely driven by the desire to save money. Although saving money does play a factor, our recent survey of DIYers shows that only 39% of DIYers are DIYing specifically to save money.

People are being driven to do DIY projects because they feel like they can handle the task and just because the enjoy the work.

As a marketer, this is music to my ears because I have a greater opportunity to market the traits of my client's products that make the products valuable instead of worrying about competing on price.

2. Quality, Value and the Experience Matter More than Price

A recent Google study revealed that 47% of home improvement projects were done because people take pleasure in doing DIY projects.

Whether it is general repairs, home enhancements or more elaborate improvements, people take on DIY projects because they flat out enjoy it.

When people enjoy something, they are more willing to spend money on it. This is why we've seen such a rise in demand for media outlets like HGTV, The DIY Network and even aspects of Martha Stewart's brand. People want to have a positive home improvement experience which means they are willing to pay more for products that will help make this happen.

3. They Cover a Wide Ranging Demographic

DIYers are a unique consumer set because they don't neatly fit into one demographic or another. They come from all different age ranges, income levels and geographic locations.

Here are a few stats that exemplify their diversity:

Nearly 50% of DIY Consumers are female. Until recently, this market was dominated by Men. With the accessibility of online training materials and how-to videos, women are venturing out even more into the DIY scene.

52% of DIYers are 24 to 44 years old which means the majority of DIYers are from two different generations: Millennials and Gen X. Most DIYers in this age range are taking on DIY projects because of a life changing event such as buying a home, getting married or having a child.

DIYers ages 35 - 54 are often times driven by the desire to increase energy efficiency.

Consumers aged 55 and over are taking on DIY projects for things like household repairs, and preparation for growing older in their homes.

If you're looking for more stats on the DIYer, you should check out our 2015 DIY Consumer Marketing Trends Report.

4. They Have a Need to Personalize

The DIY Consumer mindset is about more than just doing projects on their own, they want to make it their own.

It's easier than ever for you and I to own the same products. We're sharing interesting products we find through social media, and the process of actually buying them is easier through online shopping. I no longer have to live near a one-of-a-kind boutique in order to purchase from it.

Why does this matter? Because people want to feel like they have unique products in their home. This is why many people DIY. They want their home to feel unique and special.

This might sound vain, but just look at what brands outside the DIY industry are doing to fuel this need. Nike, puma, and converse all give people the ability to completely personalize the color and print of certain products in their shoeline. And people are willing to pay a premium for these custom options.

Your brand can capitalize on this desire to personalize through any number of methods. Offering custom options is a great way to get the DIY Consumer interested in your brand.

5. DIY Doesn’t Mean Doing it ALL on Their Own

56% of DIYers plan to hire a professional contractor in 2015.

Sometimes DIYing means completing the project start to finish. Sometimes the DIY component comes into play with the research, choices and custom options.

A great example of this is outdoor decking. DIY Consumers know their limitations,especially when it comes to major construction. Since they are choosing which materials, colors, railings, and lights will be used in the project, they still get the satisfaction of a DIY project by making the key decisions.

They are willing to pay a premium for high-end composite decking, but they prefer to pay a contractor to build it for them.

Don't be fooled into thinking your products won't appeal to the DIY Consumer because it requires some level of professional help. The wide range of casual and avid DIYers just increases the opportunity to reach new customers.

6. They are Constantly Looking for Ways to be Inspired

84% of DIYers are looking at inspirational content all year round, not just when they want to start a project.

Your brand can connect with DIY Consumers by providing ideas on how they can use your product on their next project.

  • Showcase what other customers have done with your products on your Pinterest and YouTube pages.
  • Give creative tutorials on different projects people can take on.
  • Focus on unique projects and high value items to peak their interest in your brand.

People love to share the great ideas they see as well as what they've done. Remember to offer consumers opportunities to interact with your brand by posting on your social media pages about how they've successfully used your products and what they think about them.

If your efforts to provide inspiration leads someone to your website, ensure that they can expect to see more inspiration examples and how-to videos on the results your product can provide.

The bottom line is that educating and inspiring the DIY Consumer are some of the biggest things you can do to help position your brand in the buying process.

7. Phones and Tablets are Their Go-To Shopping Resource

It's no secret that people are shopping on tablets and mobile devices, but how and when they are shopping on them is what's interesting: consumers are using their mobile and tablet devices before, during and after they purchase.

First, they are looking at online reviews, finding out about the products they need and getting a feel for how well your product will work in their project.

Then, they are visiting stores to check out the product. 82% of DIY shoppers are still shopping in stores. Ensure your website and online materials are mobile compatible, so DIY Consumers can access information about your brand when they want, where they want.

Lastly, and the one I think marketers forget the most, many shoppers use a digital device to look up installation and warranty information after they purchase a product. So, don't bury this type product information in a PDF link. Give it the same level of thought and effort as the rest of your marketing materials.

It can leave a real sour taste in the consumer's mouth if they have a tough time accessing the materials needed to use your product.

Even if the entire experience leading up to the purchase went well, if consumers can't easily navigate your website to find the information they need, they may hesitate to purchase your brand in the future.

8. Videos are a Key Feature for DIYers

This is true for just about any consumer set, but especially for DIYers. 88% of DIYers watch how-to videos online, and 65% of DIYers would be more likely to buy from a brand that provides videos for DIY projects.

They are looking for ways to be inspired. Tutorial videos are a huge opportunity for your brand. You can grow your brand loyalty by offering DIYers access to how-to videos, videos from experts, idea videos or any other DIY video concepts you can come up with.

Remember, YouTube is the number two search engine behind Google. If you have a strong presence on YouTube through how-to and other relevant videos, it elevates your chances of being found by DIYers who are looking for ideas for their next project.

9. Green Products and Smart Home Technology Get Their Attention (and their dollars)

DIYers are exceptionally green-conscious. They are looking to purchase products that are created ethically, sustainably and possibly offer benefits to underprivileged communities or people groups.

Smart home technology and our ability to control features of our home remotely is a basically new concept. At least it's availability to the general public is pretty new.

The DIY Consumers ages 18 - 54 are extra attracted to Smart Home Technology (1). Two variables will convince them to purchase your smart home tech products: easy installation and integration with mobile apps.

10. The DIY Consumer is here to stay

The desire to personalize your home, and help the environment and help your wallet will continue to drive the growth of the DIY Consumer.

The Home Improvement Industry as a whole is projected to reach $322.4 Billion by 2015. This year alone, nearly 40% of Americans considered starting a DIY project. The DIY Consumer is here and growing. How is your brand going to convince them to purchase from you?

So these are the 10 undeniable characteristics of the DIY Consumer. Are there any other characteristics that you can think of?


Resources:

Mintel Group Ltd. (2013). DIY Home Improvement and Maintenance - US. Chicago: Mintel Group Ltd.