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The Group Of Auto Consumers You Can't Afford To Overlook

By 2016, DIY (do-it-yourself) consumers are projected to account for $52.8 billion of auto aftermarket parts sales. DIFM (do-it-for-me) consumers are projected to account for $97.35 billion.* Looking solely at the projected sales potential of DIY and DIFM consumers, it could appear that the DIFM market is the audience for aftermarket brands to target.

But considering only overall sales may be misleading. These numbers do not reflect the loyalty and influencing power of the DIY market.

DIYers not only influence each other but also become the trusted advisers that DIFMers turn to. Gaining brand loyalty among this audience equates to strong word-of-mouth recommendations that can help build trust among DIFMers as well – but first, you have to understand what truly motivates each of your audiences on an emotional level.

The Basic Split

Both DIY and DIFM consumers are driven by similar rational needs when it comes to taking care of their vehicles, such as:

  • Extending the life of their car, a growing trend
  • Reducing future maintenance needs

However, when it comes to what motivates them emotionally, these two groups of consumers are vastly different. While DIFMers are driven by things like convenience and peace of mind, DIYers are often far more emotionally involved in their vehicle repair and maintenance.

The DIY Spectrum

There are important differences not only between DIYers and DIFMers but also among the various kinds of DIYers. Some DIYers are driven by practicality. Others are auto enthusiasts who seek the self-satisfaction of a job well done. Still others choose the DIY route for the sense of control.

Furthermore, all DIYers do not talk about their vehicles in the same ways or in the same places. Your marketing must be customized to your specific audiences, appeal to the right emotions and reach consumers in contexts where they will be open to your message and find it meaningful.

Where To Start

How do you know which consumers to target and how to tap into their emotional drivers? hfa has decades of experience helping automotive brands to identify, understand and influence the right consumers. Get in touch to see how we can do the same for your brand.

*Source: AAIA. (2014). Automotive Aftermarket Factbook.