The Future of Wine Marketing – Millennials!

The level of interest in my generation (the Millennial generation/Gen Y) when it comes to marketing, human resources, and politics continues to grow.

More and more people realize that the future success of their business and brands are dependent on the adoption of the Millennials.

The beverage alcohol industry is no exception.  Depending on what province you live in, the industry is somewhat protected (I can’t get Nova Scotia wine in Ontario!) but still highly competitive.

And the product is different than others in that the varietals, regions, and brands people buy and linked so closely to the personal image and attitudes of the individual.

Take me for example.  Until only a few years ago, I didn’t really enjoy drinking wine.  The taste wasn’t for me and I did not get much satisfaction from the experience learning about wine, the regions they are from, and the history of the wine makers.

But that started to change when I really got into cooking and paring the food I made with new and interesting wines.

Even with my new interest and enjoyment of wine, I admit that I’m still a bit intimated by it all.  I have a pretty good sense of the different varietals but that’s pretty much where my knowledge ends.  Appellation? Oak or unoak? I’m confused.

My experience underscores the importance of referrals, wine reviews, and wine “literacy” in marketing to my generation.  We want to enjoy wine but most of us need a little help understanding how to make the right choice.

In January, Abacus Data and BevSupport conducted a national survey of Canadian Millennials (those aged 18 to 30) related to beverage alcohol and asked a number of questions related to wine.  You can read all the details here but I wanted to highlight a few findings from the report.

1. Almost a majority of Canadian Millennials said they would feel most comfortable talking about products in a liquor store with someone who is older than them.

2. 42% of Canadian Millennials know exactly what they are going to buy when they go into the liquor store; 34% decide once they get to the store (So what? In store marketing and knowledgeable staff are important factors but so is out of store marketing and word of mouth).

3. 62% of Canadians Millennials agree that when they read a good wine review they are motivated to go and buy that wine (So what?  Reviews are important – especially to Millennials who know little about wine).

4. Price is the most important factor for Millennials but recommendations and product information are next.  Millennials demand value and won’t spend big $$ just because a wine is old or has a storied history.  They want a wine that connects with their values and their personal brand.

In all my talks about Millennials, I repeat that my generation will have and is having an enormous impact on almost every consumer brand and sector.  The wine industry is no exception and those brands and companies that get this will see success over the long term as they build strong two-way relationships with their consumers.

Other resources related to this:


Read the report:

Jonathan Nadeau is an Analyst at Abacus Data, a Telfer entrepreneurship student, and a self proclaimed Cork Dork working on his Sommelier certification.

Contact Jonathan Nadeau:

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