Writing for the UK-based Guardian, Dan Northover says DIY Maker culture is beginning to have a significant impact on today’s consumers.
“Mike Senese, executive editor of Make Magazine, believes our culture is transforming from a top-down consumer culture to a more one-to-one DIY culture focused on Making,” Northover explains.
“[Clearly], access to social media, 3D printers, affordable sensors and circuitry are changing the way millennials view brands. Top-down control simply doesn’t work for those belonging to the so-called Generation Y, instead they expect to immediately influence brands and modify products to suit themselves.”
Richard Goldsmith, director of social media at Mark Anthony Brands, confirms the DIY trend will prompt more brands to offer customizable open source design files for their customers to modify.
“There are plenty of them out there already. MakieLab founder Alice Taylor started with a simple idea to let people make their own dolls using 3D printing. This has since extended into laser-cut dolls clothes and MakieLab games,” says Northover.
“Last year Campbell’s Soup ran the Hack the Kitchen competition for mobile app creators, while Starbucks is tapping into the maker community’s creativity with Mystarbucksidea.com and Nokia has released the design files for its phone cases so people can customize them and make their own.”
As Northover notes, there is clearly a significant industry shift towards the DIY Maker culture.
“[True], nobody really knows where that’s going to take us. [However], what we do know is that teens of today will grow up with Maker culture as second nature, and soon we’ll all need to realize that the idea of making isn’t reserved just for handcrafted bikes or artisan pickles,” he adds.