Although not one of the largest sectors internationally in terms of sales, home improvement is one of the most essential. Throughout the world, DIY and home improvement companies play a vital in creating and maintaining adequate housing for people to feel safe and to enjoy their surroundings. The industry is also constantly evolving and adapting to meet customer expectations, as are other sectors. So, what can the DIY, home improvement and garden industry learn from these others around the world?
Where does DIY, Home Improvement and garden win?
The home improvement industry is exemplary in several areas. For instance, when the global pandemic spread in 2020, home improvement retailers were some of the first to introduce curb-side collection of goods. This allowed customers to shop for the products they needed without even having to leave their cars, nullifying the potential of any spread of the virus. Home improvement retailers were also some of the first to install barriers between their staff and customers at check-out desks. These two developments are examples of the agility present in home improvement retailing.
In addition to this, manufacturers in the industry continue to be some of the most innovative companies. The number of new products and tools brought to market in the home improvement industry is astonishing. For example, companies like Bosch continue to develop in the field of Smart Home and offer new products to improve people’s lives through the use of technology and AI. Furthermore, companies such as REEKON Tools, continue to integrate technology, like laser pointers, in more traditional tools, such as tape measures, to make these easier to use and more accurate.
These examples above demonstrate how the home improvement industry is a leader in some fields. However, in order to adapt to customer’s changing demands, it is important to look at what other sectors are doing.
What can we learn from other industries?
Although the DIY, home improvement and garden industries are leaders in some areas, there are others in which they could learn from other industries.
For example, the presence of brand partnerships and co-branding is relatively limited in home improvement in comparison to other retail sectors, such as fashion and food. An ideal manifestation of such brand partnerships developed following the global release of the Barbie film. Following the worldwide success of the film, brands such as Primark, with their Primark’s Barbie® Capsule Collection, and Béis, with their Béis x Barbie™ The Movie, released limited edition products to capture a market segment that developed from the film. It is unfortunate that no company in the DIY industry also grasped this opportunity by releasing a similar line of branded products.
These types of brand partnerships can be short term, as above, to capitalize on a current trend. However, there are also examples of brand partnerships that are ongoing and see both parties’ benefit in the longer term. Brand partnerships, such as that signed in 2016 by Red Bull and GoPro, include content production, distribution, cross-promotion and product innovation, resulting in increased brand recognition for both parties, as well as joint innovation.
An example of a recent brand partnership in the home improvement industry is that between The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, and Disney, one of the biggest and best-known companies in the world. To coincide with Halloween, The Home Depot released a number of decorations and animatronics featuring some of the best known names in the Disney brand. The results of this brand partnership are yet to be shared, but the impression left through the development of these products is substantial.
How could we put this into practice?
An interesting facet of a brand partnership is that, if the right brands and partnerships are found, both sides are likely to benefit — each company involved in a successful partnership stands to gain more recognition, trust, and market share. By collaborating and innovating with other brands, companies have the opportunity to expand their customer base, as well as potentially gain access to new markets that they may not have had access to, or even considered, before.
However, several criteria must be considered prior to brand partnerships being sought and signed. Firstly, it is important to consider the values of the brand, as well as standards. If the values do not match, then the likelihood of successful partnership is reduced. It is essential to clarify and elucidate what both brands aim to achieve through the partnership, and touch on and strategize through any potential points of friction.
If both parties approach the topic of partnership and co-branding with openness, targeting the right audience, and developing an innovative and appealing product, the chances of a success are high.
Looking into and analysing what other sectors are doing and how they are succeeding in adapting to the ongoing evolving landscape provides insights into how your company can itself adapt and evolve to face future challenges, and make the most of opportunities.
The example of brand partnerships embodies how the DIY, home improvement and garden industry can learn from other industries. These types of partnerships are not currently plentiful in the home improvement industry, meaning the potential is there to increase the number of brand partnerships and reach new markets.
Through feedback and collaboration with other industries the home improvement industry can position itself to excel. It is important to constantly look and evaluate what other industries are doing in order to remain relevant. Even areas that seem completely irrelevant, may hold learnings that can be shared.