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News I published 22 March 2022

Who is the European handyman and why should you care?

Since 2009, we have set up several multi-client monitor researches based on interviews with architects, contractors, HVAC installers, electrical installers and end consumers. Each of these groups occupies a certain place in the construction value chain and works with certain product groups based on their occupation and specialisation. For manufacturers of construction, installation and home improvement products, these populations represent their target groups.

There is one group that has remained elusive, however, mainly because it consists of multi-skilled professionals that perform a diverse array of construction activities. These handymen, which a generic term and by no means meant as a gender-specific term, may have installed a bathroom or a roof window yesterday, may be painting a house today, and may do some electrical installation or plumbing job tomorrow. As such, handymen use a wider variety of products than the other, more specialised target groups of manufacturers and brands.

Given their diversity, researching these handymen is rather difficult and consequently, little is known about this potentially vast and lucrative group of multi-skilled professionals. That is why USP Marketing Consultancy decided to add a new monitor research, the Handyman Insight Monitor, of which the first report focuses on the core questions: Who are these handymen? And why should we bother researching them?

Who are these handymen?

We selected and interviewed approximately 1700 respondents from seven European countries, who are active in construction, whose company is not larger than 4fte., and who are involved in a minimum of 3 different crafts. This sample population of handymen provided a solid image of European handymen. We now know that the average European handyman is 49 years of age, is either self-employed or works with another handyman, and gets most turnover from working on private homeowners’ renovation and maintenance jobs, for instance.

More importantly, we now have an insight into the diverse types of jobs and activities these multi-skilled professionals are involved in, which also illustrates the major differences between populations from different countries.

On average, a European handyman is involved in about 9 different installation, construction and interior finishing activities. Looking at different countries, this average ranges from a whopping 12,2 different activities in the UK, to a mere 5,1 activities in Germany, making the average German handyman the most specialised and least multi-skilled.

A lucrative target group

So it is clear that handymen are mainly characterised by diversity, showing major variety in jobs they perform and differences per country, but what value does that information have? First of all, a variety of jobs and activities means handymen use a variety of materials, products and tools as well, making them a potential target group for a variety of brands and manufacturers to focus on.

Secondly, handymen have a fair amount of purchasing power. As mentioned, they get most turnover from jobs for private homeowners, but only about a third of handymen report that those homeowners usually buy the necessary material and products themselves. More than half of the handymen disagree, meaning they are the ones purchasing, making them an interesting potential target group.

Thirdly, these handymen who potentially purchase your materials, products or tools are very numerous. We estimate the population of handymen from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK combined to number over half a million, making them not just an interesting target group, but a potentially very lucrative one.

To find out how their ways of working, jobs and activities differ per country, where they purchase their products and how sensitive they are to brands, we refer you to the 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s Handyman Insight Monitor.

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