As more millennials buy homes, Behr Paint needed a way to communicate the value inherent in its product. The approach the brand settled on included a competition series on TikTok that launched last fall and which, over six weeks, delivered 108 million video views and helped Behr increase its followers by 66%.
The series, “To DIY For,” highlighted ways in which do-it-yourself projects can bring new life to old objects. It leveraged popular influencers from across the platform, with creators such as Kayla Simone and eventual winner Ashley Basnight engaging in competitions that included refurbishing chairs, tables and an entryway.
“Fifty-four percent of millennials own homes, and a lot of the homes they are buying are 40-plus years old,” said Jodi Allen, global CMO at Behr Paint Company. “We know that if you buy a home, you are going to paint it at some point. Getting in with millennials [now] is part of a long-term strategy. “
Beyond highlighting new offerings like the brand’s Designer Collection, one goal of the effort was to communicate paint’s significant return on investment for those looking to spruce up their homes on their own while.
“What we’ve been really able to show younger consumers is our products that can transform their spaces and change the moods of their spaces,” Allen said. “They’re looking for communications that are relevant to them and feel more personalized and helpful.”
The series was intended to introduce younger consumers to DIY projects and position Behr as a “coach” to help them get started, Allen said. Kantar research cited by the brand in press materials indicates 38% of Gen Z and 32% of millennials enjoy do-it-yourself projects. The team selected TikTok for the obvious reason that the platform is immensely popular with the target audience and is a place consumers turn to for answers and advice. The push also included videos on Instagram.
“For ‘To DIY For,’ we built upon an insight that we could be the brand that can help them get through their projects,” Allen said. “Making the series fun [was] a part of it, but also after the initial series, we showed them how to re-create these projects on their own.”
The series started small with simple projects with cheeky titles like “Rubbish to Refurbish” and “It’s All on the Table” that involved refurbishing small pieces of furniture or accent pieces, like frames.
“We try to take all the guesswork out of it for consumers and be a coach,” Allen said. “We like to show how with limited supplies and imagination, you can create some amazing decor items and spaces in your home.”
The three-episode series culminated in a finale during which two contestants demonstrated their skills redecorating an entire room. Many of the projects involved using Behr paints to add accents or bring elements of the room together. The contest videos were followed by step-by-step instructional videos on how to get the same look.
The brand also made adjustments to its omnichannel strategy, launching a Behr Express section on its website that contains designer-curated palettes for a narrower selection of colors. The section also provides recommendations for equipment required for projects. Additionally, the brand beefed up its e-commerce features enabling consumers to pick up their paint in-store or have it shipped directly to them.
“We’ve asked ‘How do we provide a consumer experience that meets their needs?’” Allen said. “That’s something we pride ourselves on. We’re there to help them make their choices and help throughout the process.”
Partnering with influencers
Behr considers the “To DIY For” program a significant success. Though the marketing department leveraged some paid promos and social media boosts to gain attention, much of the buzz was built through the influencers’ participation in the project, Allen said. Behr is also now the most-followed and most-liked brand on TikTok in its industry, per the executive.
“Building an influencer program was really important, and I think these partnerships have been beneficial for all of us,” Allen said. “This is something we will continue to explore to be that brand that connects and engages with consumers.”
The series also helped solidify the brand’s approach to TikTok as a platform. Specifically, the brand recognizes that consumers are heading to the platform to be entertained, rather than to be sold to. The hope is that by being active there, Behr can also build awareness with Gen Z as they start to consider homeownership.
Granted, what worked for paint may not apply to other product categories. The important thing, Allen said, is to recognize the space a brand can own within its category that will authentically engage the target consumer.
“It has to be authentic,” she said. “Do some research and see what fits for the industry and your brand, and then be where the consumer is and engage with them in a different way.”