Generation Y Has Become Generation DIY

Posted by: Jeff Fromm

I have to admit, when it comes to crafting, I am a fiend.  I loyally follow Hobby Lobby and Michaels on social media, and I get excited when I see my weekly coupon from both crafting outlets.  This new desire and appreciation for crafting has not taken hold of just me, though I do admit – I tend to take it to the extreme.  Generation Y is becoming Generation DIY in more ways than just crafting.


In the past, crafting and “doing it yourself” seemed to be reserved for grandmas and middle aged women book club activities.  Now, young adults under the age of 35 dominate the 29 billion dollar crafting industry.  Millennials are bringing together technology, creativity and entrepreneurism as they take on more DIY projects.

Harnessing this new mentality is key for brands breaking into the millennial market.  For brands that want to tap into the millennial DIY culture, they must understand the millennial desire for active participation, individual customization and experiential value.

Co-creation & Individual Customization

It is not enough to just give millennials a project and hope they carry it out.  millennials want to work with brands to create the perfect product.  Research shows that 4 in 10 millennials are interested in co-creating products with companies.  Many brands are taking advantage of this and are now offering customizable options.  TOMS shoes, wildly popular product for the millennial generation, now offers the ability to purchase a customized pair with their launch of Live Custom. Tyler Ramsey is an artist working with TOMS shoes to create unique pairs of TOMS based off of a customers requests.  TOMS allows consumers to participate and individualize their experience with the brand.

Experiential Value


One of the best parts of a DIY project, is sharing it with the world.  Whether it be an instagram post or a tweet, millennials love to brag about experiences with their friends and networks.  DIY projects create these shareworthy experiences.  Pinterest is dedicated to allowing individuals to share their projects with others. Users can search specifically for DIY projects and hundreds of projects pop up with links to different crafting outlets and blogs. Pinterest not only allows for Gen Y to brag about their latest creation, but it also allows them to discover unique projects to try for themselves. Pinterest is an excellent source for brands to promote DIY projects and ideas to millennials.

The most exciting part about the DIY trend, is that it is turning into more than just arts  and crafts.  Millennials are now running some of the most prosperous startup companies – because they wanted to develop their own ideas, brands and positions.  If a millennial doesn’t see what they want or cannot find it somewhere, they will do it themselves.

From building your own bookshelf to starting your own company, millennials have embraced the do-it-yourself culture.  By creating a DIY feel for your brand and allowing Gen Y consumers to play an active role in customizing content and products, you will capture the hearts of the DIY generation.

Leah Swartz contributed to this post.

Photo Credit:

About Jeff Fromm

Although not a Millennial as defined by his age, Jeff Fromm is the Millennial Marketing Guy. Jeff is President of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in Millennial trends, and is a contributing writer at...See Jeff's full bio.