Generational attitudes about home improvement and home ownership have evolved over the last several years, especially after the Covid-19 global pandemic. In SSG’s previous article published in November 2022, “Multicultural Consumers Have Driven Home Improvements Despite Inflation,” we uncovered that Multicultural segments led in the share of growth for Home Improvement by 60% and Homeownership by 53% from 2019 to 2022. This article will discuss Home Improvement and Homeownership attitudinal nuances between Gen Z/Millennial roughly 18-44-year-olds and GenX/Boomers 45+.
Currently, GenZ/Millennials are two times more diverse than Xers and Boomers. Millennials are 39% Multicultural, while GenX and Boomers are only 21% Multicultural (Figure 1.) among those who have made any home improvements.
Just as younger generations tend to be hyperconnected, this trend continues into the Home Improvement category where GenZ and Millennials use social media for ideas on home improvement or Do-It-Yourself projects. GenZ and Millennials DIY Home Improvements consumers tend to be more adventurous, wanting to see the world and learning new things like fashion, technology, or cooking, to name a few. Although they desire adventure, this age group also feels more financially constrained and overworked, which in turn motivates them to search on social media for alternative ways to have adventures. This is illustrated by the fact that younger generations’ home improvement projects tend to be DIY friendly, such as remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, or painting the interior and exterior of their homes.
In contrast, GenX and Boomers DIY Home Improvements consumers tend to watch more broadcast TV, continue to listen to the radio, and read magazines to stay updated on the news or for entertainment. Older generations also tend to be more financially stable and thus can rely more on contractors for home improvement projects and take on more extensive projects like plumbing, replacing roofs, and replacing flooring or landscaping.
The major dichotomy between younger generations GenZ/Millennials and GenX/Boomers is the tendency for younger generations to take on DIY projects while the older generations will take on larger and more expensive projects using contractors. These trends will be interesting to follow as Millennials and GenZ age. As time goes on, the question will persist: will GenZ and Millennials continue undertaking DIY projects, or will they slowly transition to using contractors for projects, like GenX and Baby Boomers?
Understanding these and brand specific generational, cultural, decision journey, and other shifting behavioral nuances is important for differentiating segment targeting, messaging techniques, and media placement strategies. As we saw during the Covid-19 pandemic, life outlooks and behaviors can be massively shifted from life-changing historical events.