Digital Transformation Agency

How brands can target millennials and gen Z: the DIY generation

By Amy Hopper |

LAB

|

The Drum Network article

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July 5, 2022 | 7 min read

Targeting millennials and gen Z is the aim of many brands, particularly across the retail and home improvement industries. Amy Hopper, account director at Reflect Digital (part of the Lab Group of agencies), considers how brands can stop users in their tracks on the likes of Instagram and TikTok.

Hands up, who got into DIY during lockdown? It seems we weren’t the only ones. With nothing much else to occupy us, it is reported that 48% of Brits were inspired by lockdown to get stuck into their latest renovation and DIY projects.

According to a report by Aldermore bank, younger adults appear particularly keen to have a go themselves, with six in 10 (60%) 18-34-year-olds (a mixture of millennials and gen Z) having taken up a DIY project during the lockdown or planning to do so in future. People aged 18 to 34 were also more likely than the older generation to say they planned to give furniture a new lease of life by ‘upcycling’ it as a DIY project.

Reflect Digital (part of LAB) on how brands can better reach millenials and Gen Z across social. Image credit: Patrick Tomasso/Unsplash

Reflect Digital (part of Lab) on how brands can better reach millennials and gen Z / Patrick Tomasso via Unsplash

So, it would seem the millennial and gen Z generations are the new target market when it comes to renovations and projects in the home. So how can businesses in the DIY space target the literal new renovators on the block? Brands can learn a lot from the retail giants doing it right.

1. Be authentic and show personality

Focus on content-driven, authentic media. Selling without selling is the aim of the game here. 90% of millennials say authenticity is important to them, and they’re a generation likely to jump ship if they find a better offering. Building a real brand-consumer relationship is top of the priority list.

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A great example of a brand doing authenticity and purpose-driven messaging right is Patagonia. The brand’s mission statement and core values feed into everything the company touches, not just its marketing messaging. Its hugely successful ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket’ Black Friday campaign focused on the negative culture of consumption and protecting the planet for future generations, while promoting its reduce, reuse and recycle ethos. Patagonia’s authentic core shines through here.

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Image source: patagonia.com

2. Invest in influencers

According to a study run by Social Publi, almost 83% of marketing professionals found influencer marketing to be effective, with 42% stating that it provided a better ROI than other marketing methods.

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Image source: socialpubli.com

In the same way that a personal recommendation from a friend makes us way more likely to purchase a product or service, influencer marketing allows brands to connect to their potential customers on a much more personal level. However, it doesn’t come without its challenges. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Check the audience: does the influencer’s audience match who you’re trying to target? Do they have demographic data? Can you confirm the validity of their followers?

  • Engagement overreach: we have found as an agency group that some of the best results come from influencers with fewer than 100,000 followers. Opt for engagement over reach and use mid-level influencers rather than the top % or celebrities. This has been shown to improve engagement and campaign performance

  • Set clear goals: what are your goals for the campaign? How are you measuring ROI? What does success look like? These may seem like obvious questions, but having the answers ensures you and your influencers begin your relationship on the same page and can easily measure success

3. Audience(s) as ambassadors

For a generation that thrives on authenticity and honest reviews, what could be better than the advocacy of your current customers? Embrace user-generated content (UGC), encourage input and bring your audience in to interact. When it comes to leveraging a loyal customer community, look no further than Gymshark. It is arguably one of the most influential brands of the 21st century, yet in 2016 no one had heard of it. In an interview with Vogue Business, founder Ben Francis credits the rise of Gymshark to influencer marketing and its devoted fan community.

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Image source: Gymshark YouTube

4. Respect lack of time

Respecting lack of time is one of the key considerations when it comes to marketing to gen Z and millennials. They’re tech-savvy users who are used to filtering out ads and generally ignoring anything that doesn’t grab their attention within a matter of seconds. They’re used to scrolling through short-form content on apps such as TikTok and Instagram, and absorbing content quickly. So how can your brand stop them in their tracks?

  • Use video-rich content to grab attention. In a world of noise, long-worded sales-y ads or stagnant posts aren’t likely to work

  • Keep your marketing succinct and crystal clear

  • Get to the point early

  • Use platforms these generations love and create content that fits the mold. Go where your audience is – don’t expect them to come to you

Key takeaways

So, with the new DIYers on the block, home improvement brands have a new and exciting opportunity to pivot their marketing toward a generation seeking authenticity, fresh perspectives and a much more interactive approach to their customers.

Personality, rich content and audience involvement are key. If you can do all of that within an attention-grabbing short-form video, you’re right on the money.

If you’re interested in learning more about targeting and selling to millennials and gen Z, then take a look at our blog piece Leveling up e-commerce with TikTok and Instagram, which explores how these markets are purchasing via the platforms.

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