Last week we discussed the X Generation and how wine marketers have to a large degree missed the opportunity of speaking to a whole generation of possible wine drinkers. I do not think the same will happen to the Millennials or Generation Y – and here is why.
In October, The Drinks Business reported on Millennials and their wine drinking patterns, stating “Millennials are drinking more wine than previous generations of young consumers, which is forcing the wine industry to rethink its marketing approach.”
The article also touches on how this young generation prefers authenticity rather than the pretentiousness of wine popular in older generations.
Strangely enough it seems that today’s young adults are more into gourmet food and what goes with that more naturally than wine.
Millennialmarketing.com says: “Millennials’ love affair with wine is part of a larger relationship with gourmet foods. Millennials think of food and wine as an ‘art form’, and eating and drinking with discrimination as another means of self-expression. Their love of fine food extends to wine.”
That is good news for those of us involved in the food and wine industries. We would however need to adjust our marketing efforts. Suddenly advertising in the same publications, using the same artwork and attending the same wine shows than we did twenty years ago will not as effective as it used to be.
So how do we speak the language of the Millennials? Social Media of course!
Millennialmarketing.com says: “Wine is inherently social – you drink it with other people. It’s also inherently discussable and recommendations are a form of social currency. Given the affinities, it’s no great surprise that it’s pretty easy to find young wine marketers on Twitter.”
What is therefore of the utmost importance to wine marketers is to work within this generation’s social circles. They share their interests through social networks and wine brands will have to enter this sphere and be active with relevant and interesting content that will engage the Millennial. This will ask for more than a website – content should be entertaining, educational and engaging.
So what does the Millennial look like and what kind of content will appeal to him/her?
- Millennials are quite sophisticated when it comes to wine and are more willing to spend.
- They already love wine and as many Millennials still have to get to their 20’s, the numbers of wine enthusiasts will only grow.
- They are more likely to belong to a wine club and to drink at wine bars
- They favour wine above beer and spirits
- They are more experimental and try wines from different countries, cultivars and styles.
- They are more likely to purchase wine from a winery, wine boutique or gourmet food store
- They spend more per average than older generations – they see it as as affordable luxury.
This might seem out of touch with a young generation’s joie de vivre, but the reality is that the Millennials see their eating and drinking habits as part of growing up and becoming adults. They strive towards a certain level of sophistication. These facts are important to keep in mind when talking to and with this important new consumers – it should determine the tone of your message.
As I have read about generations and researched the internet, it was obvious that most information was based on American statistics and research. My best bet is that the American culture is more focused on consumers and marketing is so important, that they put more focus and effort into determining the best way to market goods to the consumer.