Bunnings targets Gen Z with social media influencers and YouTube videos

Bunnings is reaching out to social media influencers and releasing more YouTube content in a bid to win younger customers.

Bunnings chief executive Michael Schneider told the Global DIY Summit in Denmark that the hardware channel plans to use inspirational and educational YouTube videos centered around do-it-yourself renovations to help Gen Z connect with Bunnings brand.

Mr Schneider said Generation Z – people born between 1997 and 2012 – were a growing force in the retail landscape and required a shift in hardware channel marketing.

He also said that this cohort are “smart home enthusiasts” and are concerned with interior design and home styling.

“We believe Gen Z has defined attitudes and preferences that will require a reinvention of the DIY shopping experience,” Schneider said, as quoted by The Australian.

“Today, they are infrequent buyers of DIY products, compared to the average DIYer. And while that’s probably not too surprising considering most are still living at home, it does mean there are fantastic opportunities to connect, engage and inspire them around all things DIY.

Research from trend forecasting firm WGSN shows that pandemic lockdowns have encouraged young people to do more creative DIY – and Mr Schneider hopes Bunnings can tap into this growing trend.

“They want to find their DIY inspiration and discover products the same way they curate their social media feeds and use other digital services,” Schneider said of Gen Z.

“For Bunnings, that meant doing things a little differently, researching social influencers and brands on social media, and thinking about apps to help visualize an online space, blogs, and YouTube videos.”

The hardware channel’s Instagram and YouTube accounts already have more than 300,000 subscribers each.

He started working with social media influencers a few years ago and also runs Bunnings Workshop, an online community blog dedicated to sharing home improvement tips and inspiration.

Future loyalty

Retail Doctor Group founder and CEO Brian Walker said the company’s renewed focus on social media showed the company was “laying the foundation” for future brand loyalty.

He said The new daily Bunnings had the opportunity to gain more customers by becoming a DIY educator as well as a product supplier.

And it is a strategy that is already in action.

Bunnings’ YouTube channel features videos showing viewers how to upcycle a desk or tile a table, while the retailer’s Instagram page is also filled with tutorial-style reels from influencers and customers.

Mr Walker said Bunnings hoped to follow in the footsteps of Wesfarmers stable mate Kmart who found himself “in vogue”.

“A lot of Gen Zers love crafts, art, and enjoy doing things with their hands, etc. — the whole gamut of subcategories that Bunnings can play in,” he said.

Bunnings has thrived during the pandemic, with sales jumping 26.1% in the first two years and revenue in the six months to December 2021 totaling more than $9 billion.

But Mr Walker said the increasingly difficult path to home ownership posed a real threat to Bunnings’ core business, forcing them to evolve with the times to stay relevant.

“Bunnings speaks to this audience in a different way than the previous generation,” he said.

“It’s much more tech-based, app-based, curated, personalized, and I think that’s key.”

Raymond T. Helms