The U.S. Census Bureau defines the millennial generation as people born between 1982 and 2000 (ages 17 to 35). This is a broad age range, but there are definite trends that have emerged from this generation. These trends can help Liquor Retailers gain standing with this enormous generation of consumers.
Millennials have a unique view of the world and interact differently with one another than previous generations. Understanding what influences the alcoholic beverage purchases made by millennials will help retailers offer the right in-store assortment and execute successful marketing strategies.
Here are 5 Ways Liquor Retailers Can Attract Millennials:
1. Millennials Drink Less Beer. Keg stands are down. A recent Evidence Lab survey by UBS reported that millennials are less likely to recommend beer to their friends than wine or spirits. In fact, this past July, Goldman Sachs downgraded both Boston Beer Company and Constellation Brands based on the data that younger consumers prefer wine and spirits to beer. If millennials are going to drink beer, they gravitate to brands that are “handcrafted,” “artisanal,” and “microbrewed.” They are also willing to pay for those words. According to Nielsen, over 40 percent of millennials equate price with quality.Marketing Tip: Stock beer from independent and local breweries. Look for brands that promote the authenticity, community, and sustainability that millennials are seeking. Click To Tweet
2. Millennials Love Wine. Wine is now hip, not stuffy. Millennials love the variety of wine currently on the market. Brands are packaging wines designed for ease and fun. Wine now comes in cans, boxes, and single serving packages. In 2018, the offerings are predicted to become even more inventive.Wine Spectator Magazine reports that millennials have the most varied set of tastes of any wine drinker in history. They are eager for a diversity of styles from various regions of the world. Many millennials are experience-seekers, and this is proving to be true with their wine purchasing habits.
Marketing Tip: Stop marketing your wine as an elite alcoholic beverage and invest in the new wine offerings that millennials love. Use Social Media to tell them about your new products.
3. Millennials Plan Champagne Purchases. They Know Their Bubbly. Millennials tend to plan their Champagne purchases more than their wine or any other alcohol purchases. In fact, when it comes to brand-specific shopping, 27% of Millennials know what Champagne brand they want to buy when they enter a liquor store, according to Nielsen.Champagne brands have been building credibility with millennials for some time. They have been using robust digital marketing campaigns to position champagne as more than a drink reserved for wedding toasts and New Year’s celebrations.Brands such as Veuve Clicquot are connecting with millennials by focusing on specific moments where Veuve Clicquot can come in handy such as:
- Trying to make a good impression
- Negotiating an important deal
Marketing Tip: Find out what Champagne brands millennials are talking about and stock them. Be aware of the digital marketing trends that are targeting millennial consumers and join the online conversation.
4. Millennials Are Drinking Spirits, Especially Bourbon. It’s not for just Grandfathers anymore. Market Watch reports that millennials are driving up the sales of Bourbon and other spirits. Experts say bourbon has become popular due to its sweet taste. Bourbon is made from a mix of grains that includes at least 50% corn, which leads to the sweet flavor that millennials love.
Marketing Tip: Invest in some super premium Bourbon brands produced by the Jim Beam unit of spirits conglomerate Beam Suntory. Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s, Bookers and Maker’s are seeing dramatic spikes in sales.
5. Millennials Are On Social Media. Of course they are. According to the Wine Market Council, over 50 percent of millennials talk about alcohol purchases on Facebook, and over 30% talk about them on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.Millennials are also listening on social media. They are eager to know what both peers and influencers have to say about alcohol products. Friends, family, and online reviews influence Millennials when they look to make alcohol purchases. It’s clear that authentic online consumer conversations have an impact on what millennials buy.
Marketing Tip: Get Social. Ramp up your social media marketing efforts. Millennials don’t like to feel like they are being sold to, so make sure 80% of your social sharing is informational, and 20% is designed for sales.
Millennials represent the largest consumer group in America, so understanding what influences their alcoholic beverage purchases is important. Millennials are knowledgeable about their food and drink. They are seeking a unique experience, which involves authentic connections and brand stories that evoke emotion. They prefer to explore and discover new flavors and products. Social Media and peers influence their purchases greatly.
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