Browsing Tag

consumer

Good Wine, Ugly Sweater: Why Branding Matters

ugly sweater party

Now that the world is wrapped up in the latest iPhone consumption epidemic it’s a perfect moment to discuss branding. I will not discuss Apple’s branding. You’re welcome.

What I WILL talk about is Barefoot. But first, a story:

A couple of weeks ago, as seen in the photos I posted last week, I participated in the Next Gen Wine Competition. After hours of tasting and despite the political ramifications of millennial judges choosing a sweet wine as Best in Show, the group overwhelmingly chose the dessert wine as the winner.

We were overall very confident in this decision. The atmosphere was relaxed and pretty jovial – until the name of the winning wine was announced.

This is the wine that won Best in Show:

Barefoot Moscato

Yep. Barefoot Moscato.

Barefoot Moscato. Personally I was MORTIFIED. And I knew I wasn’t alone. The room had EXPLODED in sound. Bitter laughter. Curses. Anguished cries of “oh my God.” Some were stricken silent with the news.

A thought flew into my head: “I will never tell anyone about this.” I was absolutely ashamed. As the minutes dragged on, however, I realized (duh) that although I’m a wine professional I am ALSO a millennial. And if I and the other millennial judges in the room were having such an emotional reaction to hearing the name of one brand, that it was THIS MOMENT that I needed to pay attention to in order to learn more about millennials and wine. The moment when I was least comfortable.

There were really two factors in play in the room’s reaction, in my opinion. 1) These are young professionals looking to prove their taste and worth in the industry, and they were embarrassed that they had chosen a $6 bottle. 2) It was a Barefoot wine.

I’m not so interested in #1, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a factor. What fascinates me is that we were all confident in the choice, until the brand was announced. What fascinates me is #2: Barefoot’s branding.

Barefoot’s Branding

The Barefoot brand is notoriously huge, corporate, tacky and “cheap” – at least to most young wine drinkers. But why? Millennials certainly don’t have these issues with other “value-based” brands – Yellowtail and 2 Buck Chuck are perennial 20-something faves from the bargain section. What’s the difference? Branding.

From its placement in the grocery store aisles (bottom shelves) to the 80′s elegance glamour portrait label, there’s nothing about the Barefoot brand that is appealing to young wine drinkers – not even in an ironic way. If I personally had a choice between bringing a bottle of Barefoot and a jug of Carlo Rossi White Zin to a party, I’d go with the jug of CR because at least that’s funny. Why is that, when Barefoot (Moscato, at least) is actually a good wine?

I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again: in these situations, I URGE wineries to look at their brand as an accessory or an article of clothing. Wine is a SOCIAL ACCESSORY. When we talk about wine, bring it to a party, open a bottle at our own table or order a glass at a restaurant, we are effectively showing off. We are telling the people around us a little bit about who we are just by what wine we choose. This is what I mean by a social accessory.

Now let’s look at sweaters (bear with me). The Carlo Rossi jug of White Zinfandel that I mentioned before would be a phenomenally terrible holiday sweater from the late 80s. This sweater is something that our target demographic would wear with irony because it is a perfect storm of ugly, tradition, poor taste and social courage. In fact, our target demo likes wearing these sweaters so much, they create holiday parties specifically for these sweaters.

ugly sweater party

Hideous Holiday Sweater Party

They are almost always awesome. But I digress.

If the jug of Carlo Rossi is a hideous holiday sweater, then in this situation our bottle of Barefoot Moscato would be a simple ugly sweater from the mid-90s. Nothing phenomenal, nothing over-the-top about it, just dated.  A sweater that was well-made and would have been pretty pimp in ’96 but today is just sad to see on a person.

If we were to throw Yellowtail into the mix, we’d be talking about an $8-$16 sweater just purchased from Old Navy or Forever 21. It’s not well made and it will fall apart in a month or two, but it’s in fashion, it fits well, and it looks good.

What do these sweaters say about the young person wearing them in public?

Hideous Holiday Sweater: I have a sense of humor, am very confident, and am creative enough to find this rare gem of an ugly sweater.

Old Navy/Fovever 21 Sweater: I may not have a lot of cash, but I’m in style and I look good.

Ugly Dated Sweater: I’m either completely clueless when it comes to fashion or I’m trying to do something and failing. Perhaps this is my favorite sweater and I really don’t care about fashion or what you think.

The same could be said of young people bringing the associated wines to a party. This is why wine is a social accessory. This is what branding does for a wine – it tells us what a wine says about us. Carlo Rossi’s jug branding is so bizarre and over-the-top that it’s funny at certain times. Yellow Tail is hip and always a safe bet. Barefoot is… dated?

Barefoot Moscato is a solid wine, and I’m pretty sure that Barefoot’s sales aren’t hurting too much; however, it’s interesting to think about what this brand would be capable of with interesting branding. It’s proven that millennials like it (and other demos too, it always seems to place well in competitions) – the product is solid. What would happen if Barefoot became a “hip and always a safe bet” social accessory for millennials instead of an embarrassing budget purchase?

The world may never know.

But not for lack of trying. Interestingly, Barefoot is trying to change this branding online with a blog, charitable works, and highlighting their young team-members. Unfortunately all of this work is foot-themed. Yes. Foot-themed. Also, despite having arguably the most successful facebook page in the wine industry, Barefoot does not take any of this offline to their labels – the one place where they can instantaneously affect a consumer’s decision to purchase. All this work looks to be for nothing since the most visible part of Barefoot’s branding (the actual bottles) run counter to all the work they are putting into the name.

Learn from this brand’s mistakes. Your most visible and vocal branding should make it easier for a person to purchase your bottle, not the other way around.

Millennial-Focused Next Gen Wine Competition in Pictures

I was very thankful to be a judge at the millennial-focused Next Gen Wine Competition. I honestly feel that this could be a very important moment in wine – and not just because I was a part of it.

It could also be a blip on the screen. We shall see.

By now you may have heard about the upset that occurred on Monday – one of the coveted Best In Show spots being taken by Barefoot Moscato.  Not kidding. Barefoot Moscato. The result itself is juicy enough, but what happened in the room when the judging was finished and the name of the winning wine was announced as a Barefoot bottle was completely fascinating to me.

I’ll be writing a full post on this moment in the coming week, but in the meantime here are some slices of the experience from my point of view.

To press-types and bloggers: please feel free to use these photos as a part of your own content. I simply ask that you credit the photos to millennier.com with a link. If you would like print-ready files, just email me at leah@millennier.com

Wine Entries

Just a fraction of the wines entered into the competition.

The judging grid for Panel 1, which consisted of Head Judge Kevin Boyer, myself, John Slamon and Mariana Gil Juncal

Set up

Set up for the final flight of around 26 wines tasted as a group.

Waiting Room

While waiting for the final tasting to begin, we (the judges) eschewed the reception area for some air on the sidewalk.

Final Tasting

The final tasting begins. The entire group tastes through together for Best in Class and Best in Show winners.

Millennial Judges at Next Gen Wine Competition

Millennial Judges at the final tasting portion of the Next Gen Wine Competition. Left to Right: David Vicini, Marketing & Sales Director: Trecini Cellars; Tyler Balliet, Co-Founder: The Second Glass; Mariana Gil Juncal, Head Sommelier & Publishing Director: Baco Club, Argentina; Leah Hennessy, Owner & Head Business Strategist: Millennier; Ian Burrows, Advanced Certified Sommelier & Consultant Wine Director: Boot & Shoe Service, San Francisco.

Room of Millennial Judges at Next Gen Wine Competition

All the millennial judges assembled for the final tastings of the day.

Millennial Judges at Next Gen Wine Competition

The future of the wine industry: the full group of millennial judges poses for a photo.

Dear Wine Industry no. 3


Dear Wine Industry #3

Text:

Dear Wine Industry,

It shouldn’t be this hard to get people excited to buy wine. You’re not marketing a blanket with arms, here. IT’S WINE! One of the most celebrated “products” the world has ever seen. C’mon – wine is fun and delicous and exciting and sexy. Loosen up. Have some fun. See what happens.

hearts,

-Leah

millennier.com

Dear Wine Industry no. 1

Get in the Garage: Innovate by Embracing Limitations

Back in November of 2008 Wired magazine had a short but incredibly sweet article/essay on something they dubbed the “Garage Economy.” (Back to the Garage: How Economic Turmoil Breeds Innovation written by senior writer Daniel Roth – I highly recommend taking a look at it.)

In the article, Roth brings up an incredibly simple but overlooked point – tough economic times are the perfect breeding ground for fearless genius, but most industry leaders focus on cutting back rather than taking chances and moving forward.

In periods of economic turmoil, people are hungry and work cheap, and entrenched companies often concentrate on in-house cost-cutting instead of exploring new markets, which can explode with the next turn of the business cycle.

-Daniel Roth, “Back to the Garage…” Wired issue 16.12

For those that know me, my love affair with this concept is not surprising – it echoes one of my most firm beliefs: OUT OF STRUCTURE COMES GENIUS. Meaning that the more limitations one is given, the more creative that person must be to succeed. Structure forces us to take a look at what we want to accomplish, distill it down, take stock of all our resources, and find a more effective way to reach our goals. This “structure” can be anything from the number of hours in a day, budget limitations, non-traditional resources, or in this case, an international recession.

Welcome to Your New Office

Social media is a widespread example of this, both within the wine industry and beyond. Even as large companies cut back their advertising costs (sorry print & tv), they need brand awareness and sales more than ever. What’s the solution? Free social networks. Resources are re-directed to educate employees about social media (ideally, otherwise see this post), and instead of spending millions of dollars a year purchasing magazine ads, companies spend a fraction of that actually interacting directly with their target consumers. (One of the most incredible side effects of this is that the tiny 1200 case winery has the same chance of succeeding in this medium as the behemoth.) The question is, if all these companies weren’t being forced to cut back due to the economy, would they have made the same decisions to invest their energies in social media? Or would they have continued down the familiar path of traditional advertising?

Because of a seemingly perfect storm of economic restriction, there is a petri dish atmosphere for growing new ideas. For wineries, maybe it’s finding a way to boost direct sales when the Three-Tier System is failing them. Maybe it’s going out into the community and giving back and building a cult following. Maybe it’s forgoing glass bottles in favor of reusable metal containers/kegs for On-Site accounts. No matter what solutions companies come up with, it’s important to remember that these ideas are born out of structure and limitations. Companies that put their heads in the sand and ignore these conditions, or companies that are boarding up the windows to weather the storm, will never put themselves in the position of innovating.

Let’s admit it, the outlook is bleak when you maintain the status quo. Embrace all the limitations facing you – decrease in wine club membership, loss of a distributor, drooping sales, old-fashioned branding – gather them all up, find the smartest people you know, and GET IN THE GARAGE.

MIND THE GAP: "Phase 2" Proves Elusive For Wine Industry & Millennials

About a BILLION years ago (well, more like 6 months), Gary Moore, author of Vinotrip: A Maryland Wine Blog, put into type-written the words what EVERYONE looking to reach out to Millennials should hear. Everyone in the wine industry, anyway.

In a short and sweet post about the increasingly big deal being made about wine companies reaching the millennial consumer, he finished with the following invaluable question:

“You sell alcohol. How hard can it be to sell alcohol to college graduates in their mid-twenties?”

LISTEN TO THE MAN. He certainly has a point.

His words have been echoing through my busy little head ever since he wrote them. At first, I lol’d. A lot. Then I started thinking more and more about this. Why on EARTH does the wine industry need me to say all this stuff? It really should be simple. I shouldn’t have to constantly reverse engineer the needs, wants, desires, dislikes, etc. of myself, my friends, and others in my generation in order to re-format these things into easily digestible somewhat sporadic how-tos for the world to read (though I do enjoy it quite a bit).  So, really. Why?

Look familiar?

In the time I’ve had to clarify my thoughts on the matter, I’ve come up with an answer to Gary’s question: it’s HARD. And here’s why: Survival. (Tough love is incoming, people. Fair warning.) To clarify, it’s difficult because of the the attitude and image that the wine industry in the United States has carefully cultivated in order to emerge, survive, and thrive over the last 40 years. The inability for the wine industry to change the marketing tactics that it has been using for the last almost-half -century accounts for the failure to appeal to millennial consumers.

In the mid 1970′s, when US wine became an international contender on the wine scene, both wine producers and wine drinkers embraced their (well-deserved) status with evangelical enthusiasm. And as evangelicals do, they sought to prove that Americans could be just as knowledgeable, critical, and refined in taste as their European counterparts. And though I was not around for this incredible time, I believe this image and attitude is exactly what the US wine industry needed to survive.

This is the foundation upon which current wine culture in America is based. Throughout the decades, the industry has not lost the evangelical zeal to display its knowledge and refinement. Marketing campaigns embrace it, wine publications tout it, and wine drinkers from this era flaunt it.

It was effective to market wine in this way to generations 40 years ago – even 20 years ago – but it’s NOT WORKING NOW. For the next generation of wine drinkers, this attitude tends to turn us off. Some people are annoyed by it, some people are intimidated, some people don’t identify with it, the list goes on.

RANDOM STORY THAT THIS REMINDS ME OF: The story of my friend’s grandmother. This woman lived through the great depression as a child with a large family and went through unthinkable hardships: poverty, starvation, the death of young siblings. Though she didn’t speak of this much with my friend, this time weighed heavily on her throughout her long life. When she passed away, my friend and her father went to clean out her home to sell it. When they went into the basement, they found over 20 boxes of canned goods – some recent to some almost 50 years old. Because of her formative years in need, this woman had been buying and hoarding thousands of cans her entire life because she felt that she would someday need them; in reality, however, she had been spending her family’s hard earned money on a misappropriated sense of safety.

I find this very similar to what is happening with the wine industry today. Today’s attitude was created in a time of need – it helped the wine industry emerge, survive, and thrive for years. However, that’s not what it takes to survive today and certainly not tomorrow. Attempting to create new “brand ambassadors” using the same old tactics is proving to be a failure.

EXAMPLE: How many new brand ambassadors from the target millennial demographic did your company’s last full-page, full-color ad in Fill In The Blank Glossy Wine Publication get you?

Too far? Ok, my apologies. Snarkiness aside, clinging to the safety of what has worked in the past is exactly what will torpedo efforts now and in the future. By no means am I encouraging companies big or small to do away with what has gained them their current following. There is value to that approach, but only to one’s current customer base. In other words, to maintenance – not to growth. This is why I’m not suggesting  companies completely amputate this approach.

I do, however, highly recommend that if any company wants a NEW consumer group, that you create a NEW marketing plan for them – separate from your existing plan. This means a new attitude and image for this group. Put in the effort to find the aligned interests of the demographic and of your brand and work from there. If you personally don’t know what I’m talking about, find someone that does. This kind of work won’t be easy at first, but it WILL be worth it.

You’ll know it’s working when it’s no longer difficult to sell your alcoholic beverage to a twenty five year-old college graduate.

People To Impress With Wine

The time is nigh for holiday gifting, which means it’s time for everyone to take a deep breath, RELAX and revel in all the people we can impress by giving them a bottle for the holidays.

For a minute, at least, then seriously get back to work – you have way too much to do.


PEOPLE YOU CAN IMPRESS WITH WINE AS A HOLIDAY GIFT:

Co-Workers

Bosses

Crushes

Future In-Laws

Winos

The Entire Crowd At “White Elephant” Parties

Acquaintances That You Know Will Get You Something Even Though You’re Not That Close

Hosts & Hostesses

(You may have seen this on the WTF Los Angeles site, my nomadic wine tasting group in LA – in which case, I am truly impressed with your internet travels)

Small Indulgences in Hard Times: How the R-Word Can Work for Wine

Back in August I was invited to a press tasting here in Los Angeles. Normally, this would not be something to write home about – or in this case, the entire world – but this particular event fascinated me.  It was not at a trendy restaurant during the off-hours of a weekday, it was not during cocktail-hour at one of the dozens of ultra-luxury hotels in the city, and it wasn’t a dreadful luncheon.

Setting for the Press Tasting

Ruffino Wines was holding their press tasting at Voda Spa in West Hollywood – complete with manicures and massages. Upon first glance of the invite, I marveled at the balls-out audacity of securing RSVPs by offering free spa services and thus guaranteeing a completely captive audience of press. And all of this with no obvious connection to wine – especially Chianti.

Upon further inspection of the materials, however, I was absolutely taken.  They had found a simple and luxurious way to work WITH the recession in order to market their wines.

HOW IT WORKED

In 2008, the New York Times ran two stories on The Lipstick Index – a term coined by Leonard Lauder of Estée Lauder that described his experience of selling more lipstick in times of economic hardship. The theory behind this term is based on the idea that when times are tough and big luxuries – vacations, cars, even couture clothing – are no longer realistic expenses, people seek small indulgences, like nice lipstick, to see them through the times. Sound like a stretch? Check out the article for yourself.

The brains at NY-based Cornerstone PR, Ruffino’s public relation firm, read the article and decided that wine could be a similar small indulgence. Riffing off this idea, Ruffino soon had a press campaign called “The Chianti Index” and set up tastings at Spas that featured wines in the $8-$25 range, along with Chianti-colored manicures.

SO WHAT?

So many companies in the wine industry seem to be putting on a brave face and pretending (at least in public) that either there is no recession, or that it’s not affecting them.  In the meantime, behind closed doors these same companies are panicking about dropping prices, decreasing wine club membership, and the uncertainty of sales this holiday season.  For marketing wine, behaving as though nothing has changed DOES NOT WORK.

Marketing a product to the masses as “the ultimate in luxury” will not be effective when the masses are not comfortable spending money on true luxury items right now.  HOWEVER… Being able market that same product as a small indulgence – the flexibility of adapting to the mental state of the times, the idea of The Lipstick Index and Recessionistas – can mean the difference between a rise in sales, or a drop.

Imagine: Let’s say a particular winery has a $50 bottle of wine that is marketed as the absolute top-tier, ultimate in luxury, single vineyard, special lot, 18 months in new French Oak, yaddah-yaddah of it’s class. The current branding says “When you want the absolute best wine, this is the wine you get.”  Now let’s look at a consumer. Doesn’t matter if they are 45 and lost 40% of their kids’ college fund in the stock market, or if they are 25 and making $30k a year, we’re looking at the average consumer that is feeling the pressure to cut back. Think about your own spending. About the conversations you’ve had with friends.  The first cut-backs are on things we don’t need. The Ultimate in Luxuries. The nice-to-haves. The new german cars. The big vacations. The best new gadgets.

By continuing with the branding of “Ultimate in Luxury,” our example wine has placed itself squarely in the Should-Not-Buy category of products. The odds of our consumer purchasing this wine are pretty slim.

HOWEVER.  If that same $50 wine adjusts it’s brand message from “Best of the Best” to “Small Indulgence,” it’s chances increase dramatically. If the message says “This is how you can pamper yourself – no vacation needed,” then that wine no longer resides in the Should-Not-Buy zone for our consumer, but rather the We-Deserve-This zone. The Stay-cation zone. The I-Can-Share-This-With-Friends zone.

What wine needs to do is take a tip from the Lipstick Index. By sticking to traditional branding, companies are making it more difficult for consumers to qualify spending their money.  By adjusting their branding, companies are making it easier for consumers to make the decision to buy. I know it sounds simple. That’s because it is.

Don’t look at this as a magic bullet. Think of it as the bullet that wine companies can save by NOT shooting themselves in the foot.

Millennials: Mythical Beast or Wine's Last Frontier?

Tapping into the Millennial consumer market is a priority in ALL industries, not just in wine.  Wine should have it easier, since it is well documented that Millennials are already drinking wine in record numbers, and we are already having a positive financial impact on the industry as a whole. So why is it SO HARD for the wine industry to reach out to us?

Let’s take a quick look at how wine and Millennials seem to view each other.  From my own work with small businesses and huge companies alike, the Millennial consumer group tends to be viewed as some kind of mythical creature that has magical powers to bestow on whomever finds and befriends it, but is almost impossible to reach.  Sound familiar?

The Mysterious, Mythical Beast

The Mysterious, Mythical Beast

Yep, Unicorns. In most of my preliminary conversations with companies that want to tap into this consumer group, you could pretty much switch out the word “Millennial” for “Unicorn”  just about every time it’s mentioned.  As in “Unicorns have come of age in an era unlike any other,” “Unicorns are very savvy, they can sense when people are trying to pander to them, and they do not like it,” “Unicorns have the ability to communicate with thousands of people in just an instant” or “If we could just reach the Unicorns, we would make millions” and my personal favorite “Why do Unicorns drink wine?”

Now, this is not to say that all of the above statements are not true (at least as they pertain to Gen-Y), but what I take away from these conversations is that businesses still don’t understand us. At all.  Let’s take a step back – we are your neighbors, your kids, your co-workers, your interns, your baristas – not some mythical forest creature.  Yes, we stand to be the wealthiest generation in the world, and yes we grew up being marketed to and now the bar has been raised – but think about it: Why do Millennials drink wine?  Because it’s delicious, interesting and fun.  Why do you wine? I’m sure we’ll come up with some things in common, here.

If that’s how the wine industry views Millennials, then how do we view wine?  This is an easy one, folks:

Sorry, Members Only.

Sorry, Members Only.

In this case it’s just that simple – the wine world tends to be a private club to most of us.  And rather than hiking it to the top of the stairs with the rest of the plebeians, then going through the initiation rituals and membership fees, we’d much rather just sneak in with our friends after dark when the security guard is gone and enjoy the club OUR way.  It’s a thrill, it’s fun, and we don’t have to be someone we’re not.  Eventually, of course, this sneaking around loses it’s thrill, and rather than join the existing club, eventually we will build our own.

So what do these charming analogies teach us?  On some level, each party feels that the other is beyond reach. The irony, of course, is that despite this, Millennials want to drink wine (and are) and wine companies want to reach this powerful consumer group (and are trying).

Unfortunately, there is such a wide gap to bridge in this relationship before the wine industry will start benefiting from Gen-Y.  It’s tough to hear, but it’s true: the responsibility for changing both of these viewpoints lies with the wine industry.

Reaching Millennials: Don't Believe the Hype – YOU HAVE THE RESOURCES

In keeping up with blogs, research, and ideally all things Millennial, I generally tend to come across well-intentioned but TERRIBLE advice. The latest was on a staffing company’s website encouraging human resource departments to create new, Millennial-friendly corporate handbooks. A fine idea for corporations, but incredibly flawed in execution – which is why I’m pointing out an alternate solution that everyone can use.

To keep things short(ish) and sweet,  I’ve decided to summarize below (though if you REALLY wanted to see the original in all it’s glory, you MIGHT find it in my @millennier tweets, and it MIGHT be under TRAGIC MILLENNIAL ADVICE: PIMP MY CO.S HANDBOOK…).

Everyone in the wine industry can learn from this far too common mistake.

The information was found on the company’s website  from June 2009.  The title of the piece was Create a GenY-Friendly Employee Handbook, and like many of these pieces, it was fairly insulting in an odd, benign way.  In the How to Write a Handbook section, the writer suggests personalizing it with current events and fads in order to really get through to us.  It gives the following suggestion as an example:  “compare customers to stars competing for ‘American Idol’ stardom.” While I realize that we may be younger than the person giving this advice, WE ARE NOT CHILDREN.  We do not need a company to create a mascot and a “let’s pretend” example for every single situation we may encounter in the big, bad world.  While I have plenty to say on this topic, I’m going to stop because the point here is that this NOT GOOD ADVICE.

I do want to say in all seriousness GOOD FOR YOU, STAFFING COMPANY. Thank you for putting in the effort to encourage your clients to support their Millennial employees. Unfortunately, you COMPLETELY MISS THE BOAT.

Not on a boat

Is it a bad idea to want a handbook for a company that will resonate with Millennials and get them excited about the company that they work for?  No. In fact it just might work, if it’s done well.  What will that take?  American Idol allusions?  In depth research on gen Y?  Watching Family Guy reruns from the first season?  NO.  It simply takes a Millennial.  If these companies selected a couple employees in their target group to actually write the new handbook, it would be completely customized to their own tastes and interests while communicating all the information a handbook needs to get across.

I don’t understand this trend.  Business has realized what a powerful consumer group we Millennials are, enough to launch campaigns for millions of dollars just to win gen Y hearts – and yet most don’t even think to reach out to us to help shape these campaigns.

Everyone in the wine industry can learn from this far too common mistake.  Many businesses are creating their Facebook pages, holding events (hooray!), and thinking of new ways to reach out to gen Y.  Yes, research is great – I recommend that you check out the links on the side of the blog for some awesome resources. However, an invaluable tool that we all have ARE THE MILLENNIALS THEMSELVES.  Consult your gen Y children, your neighbor’s kid that’s back from college for the summer, your intern, your new tasting room employee – these people can give you valuable feedback and help to shape each of your projects.  Listen to their critiques, learn from their approach – it will save you time and energy and give you a direct line in to the consumer group you want to reach.

If you want to reach out to gen Y, don’t overlook the Millennials right in front of you – they could be the most valuable resources at your disposal.