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Be the business that uses teddy bears instead of masking tape!

Updated: Jul 21, 2022

Our key takeaways from the Global DIY Summit.

The Global DIY Summit was well and truly back in action 8 – 10th June 2022 and this year in the beautiful City of Copenhagen in Denmark. What an impressive building the Bella Centre is!

Some 900 delegates 31% being retailers 55% manufacturers and the rest made up of Consultants (us!) trade fair organisations and universities!

It is the highlight of our year and we have missed this event over the last few years. A great event to network, see old friends and immerse ourselves into the Home Improvement sector, which is definitely a passion of ours.

There were some great speakers the ones who stood out to us being Ken Hughes, Rik Vera, Mark Herbek, Tobias Pohl from Google, Michael Schneider MD of Bunnings plus many more.

We wanted to share our Key Takeouts from the event, which actually can be attributed to any retail landscape not just home improvement.

The Never Normal is the new buzzword! Thank you Ken!. Covid was the biggest shock, the biggest kick up the backside the world had seen. Let’s be honest, we have been winging it for years. Lots of businesses out there just not adapting and moving with the times. Covid made them get up and smell the coffee (if you could actually buy any that is!!).

We live in a constantly changing society so transformation and adapting to this changing reality should be one of your KPI’s. If it is not then get it on the spreadsheet!!

The summit looked at 6 major factors affecting our lives:-

  • Digitalisation (meta verse)

  • Health crisis

  • Geopolitical tensions ( war)

  • Macroeconomic factors (inflation, supply)

  • Demographic changes

  • Sustainability

And then 5 key topics for discussion


  • treat customers special and the blue dot theory, the world revolves around them and everything needs to go to them not them to it

The future of marketplaces

  • Amazon lost 6bn in last 2 years from product sales but made 32bn from AMS

  • 75% of digital sales will be from marketplaces by 2024

Open innovation

  • Don’t see things as they are…see what they can become! Your new KPI #NCS (net curiosity score)

  • It’s not just about creating space to be innovative, the challenge is having the courage to allow the change.

Age of responsibility

  • The time is now….??????

  • 43% of young people plan energy efficient improvements to their homes

Home improvement

  • the new MIY Generation is coming (Make It Yours)

We are in for a rough 12 – 18 months, Mark Herbek from Cleveland Research. People are moving around less, services are 25% higher. We know inflation is on the rise, cost of living is tight and its going to take 10-17 months for it to peak. The younger generation want to purchase earlier and have larger homes, they realised during covid that a small flat is really small when you have stay in!

Advertising is the new way forward, did you know Amazon lost 6bn on sales in 3 years but made 32bn on Advertising! Look after your people, think about raising wages. Look after your customer. Sergio Giroldi president of EDRA/GHIN agreed, affordability it is our duty as part of our CSR (corporate social responsibility) Get more local! 51% of people will still start their journey in store, retailers increasing their margin on private labels, their customer trust them. Do your customers trust you? Lowes stores have added apparel and pet products. Something to think about!

This leads me on to Michael Schnieder from Bunnings who talked about ENGAGE – INSPIRE – SUPPORT - Community BBQ’s outside the store raising money for local charities. Maybe this is not an idea for rainy UK but why not - in-store coffee shops? Garden Centres have been doing it for years, right!. Bunnings provide a Garden Club and have an online platform “workshop” to help upskill the next generation. MIY Make it Yours!

Now Ken Hughes certainly Made it his! With his awesome presentation. We are in for a decade of disruption. Walk in your customers shoes! How many of us actually do that? I absolutely loved his way of explaining how you can really help your customer. The images below explain it so well…

These were taken during Covid. One café decided to use masking tape for covid measures, the other teddy bears.

Given the choice, which one would you rather sit at?

Its a no brainer isn't it!!! Thinking from the customers prospective. Simples! Get creative people, give some stuff a try and don’t be afraid.

People want emotional connection, its time to care. Stop transacting with your customer and be relational.

Rik Vera went on to say “Don’t see things as they are, but see what they can become” he felt that the next big thing was going to be a lot of small things. B2B with change to P2P (People 2 Platform), Communication will be the most important KPI. Ask the right question? treat people as people customers and employees, engage them, look at your own culture within your company and be prepared to change. The two most take outs from Rik were:-

1. Never fall in love with your solution? Focus on the problem you are solving.

2. Your most important KPI should be #NCS your Net Curiosity Score

Hmm I can see you are thinking, but how do we make our teams curious, how do we even measure that? I have some ideas so watch out for my next blog on the subject.

I am sure you are starting to now see the theme, its all about the people! Google told us to personalise more using less data, Veronica from Meta told us that 2/3 of online purchases were impacted through social media and that social media was not about talking at your customer its about connecting with your customer, having a conversation, opening up dialog. 7 out of 10 people feel more connected to a business if they can message/connect with them easier.

Jamie Anderson was fun. We enjoyed being made to look a bit stupid from drawing some silly things on a piece of paper! If you know, you know right! But he shared that you cannot have innovation without creative thinking! It is the most important leadership skill. People need time to think! You cannot just get everyone a room throw some crayons on the table and ask them to get creative this is something you need to build with your teams over time and allow sessions to breathe, allow trial and error of ideas and allow an environment where people can share and ideas are celebrated.

Collaboration was also a huge topic for discussion, it was great to see what AkzoNobel have been up to with their “Paint the Future” program. I urge you to take a look. It’s all about doing the right thing. It’s not all about making money its about making things better for our plant which leads me nicely to the sustainability part of the show. We cannot all live in the Metaverse unless The Matrix is actually a thing!! We should at least leave this planet a little better than when we found it. Inaki Maillard introduced The DIY Legacy Project at the show. This sounds really interesting and I would urge everyone to get involved in it.

The time is now to take control. Start making those changes. Once you change a little it won’t be long until you start changing a lot. 43% of young people plan energy efficient improvement in their home and that is now! We are changing to LED lighting and adding more insulation now than ever before. Michael Schneider from Bunnings told us that 8 – 10 customers consider green credentials when choosing who to purchase from! He felt that the Home Improvement industry can lead the environmental change.

So I leave you with some final thoughts to take back to your business.

Be the business that uses teddy bears instead of masking tape, openly share and make peoples day. Walk a day or two in your customers shoes and ask the right questions?

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