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Washington Post: Wine & Millennials (oh yeah, and me too)

papers-small

A little over a month ago, a journalist named Jason Wilson reached out to me for an article he was writing. An article for the Washington Post on… wait for it… marketing wine to millennials.  The article is titled Hopes Of The Wine Industry Rest On Millennial Shoulders.

They times, they are a-changing.

Jason had done a blind tasting and label reveal with some millennial-aged students of his and was creating a piece based on the results. We spoke for a while on statistics, theories, and execution in both branding and marketing, and I was alternately thrilled and terrified to see the final piece. When it was printed, I was immediately a fan – and not just because I’m featured in it, though OBVIOUSLY it’s a big reason.

He focuses on a wine brand put out by TXT Cellars – which in my opinion is an invaluable study in underestimating one’s consumer and operating without authenticity. I hope that anyone who has decided to take the leap and develop a brand with millennials in mind will take five minutes and read the article. And THEN take the time to truly learn about your target consumers before lobbing a product out to market.

The most valuable takeaway (I think) is one millennial’s reaction to a TXT cellar label:

In the [blind] tasting, I also included the TXT Cellars wines; [when revealed] they received the harshest criticism. “Ohhh noooo, I hate this so much,” said one 20-something named Kinsey. “I’m embarrassed that this is what they think people my age want.”

Me too, Kinsey. Me too.

Wine Focusing on Millennials: The Beast Awakens

millennials constellation article

A very interesting article came out this month on millennials and wine. It came out on my birthday, in fact, and I do consider it a bit of a gift. I think this signals an important time in the wine industry and wanted to share it on the blog.

 

I am incredibly impressed by the fact that – according to the article – the enormous corporation that is Constellation has somehow decided to focus on the millennial demographic AND create an effective way to track their results. I can’t say that Constellation is doing it right or wrong based on what I’ve read*, but I’m thrilled to see they’re trying.

And to make things a bit more interesting, I hear they’re not the only ones getting serious about Millennials on a scale this big.

It has begun. (Finally.)

 

*though I do find it hilarious that they did a tweet-up for the Mondavi brand and are saying that it affected millennial sales – bit of a stretch guys. Unless they are led by Lady Gaga, tweet ups aren’t the best way to reach us – especially with a brand like Mondavi.

Nielsen Urges Alcohol Beverage Industry: Pay Attention to Millennials

A New Landscape.
A New Landscape.

Millennials will redefine the landscape of the alcohol beverage industries. The original illustration in this design was created by designious.com

Yesterday, the Nielsen blog published an article that featured some findings from its Q2 2010 research initiative on Millennials. The title of this article? So glad you asked.

Millennials Redefine The Alcohol Beverage Landscape.

“Without a doubt, millennials are a large and influential generation and alcohol beverage companies need to know their taste and buying preferences in order to take advantage of the trends that can greatly impact business.” – Nielsen, Jan 11, 2011

Snark aside, this little teaser is packed full of valuable info on millennials as alcohol beverage consumers. Some of my favorite findings and exerpts (quoted directly from the article) are:

  • Compared to the general population, millennials are more likely to trade back up to more expensive alcohol beverage brands as the economy improves.
  • Millennials are more likely to explore new and different alcohol beverage products and will be even more likely to buy a locally-made or produced product knowing it may help the local economy.
  • An added boost for marketers employing social or traditional media to influence behavior, millennials are slightly more likely to plan their purchases versus purchase on impulse in today’s down economy.
  • Leveraging social media will be a critical marketing strategy for alcohol beverage companies to communicate with Millennial consumers and make their brands relevant with this generation.

Personally, I’m quite happy to see Nielsen making a serious and more formal commitment to studying this age group. No doubt they felt the swift kick in the ass that Pew Research dealt them with their excellent Millennial Portrait resource compiled last year.

**For those that get REALLY into this stuff like I do, Nielsen tops out the Millennial age range with those currently aged 34, while Pew began at those currently aged 31. It will be an interesting data comparison when the full reports are released.**

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