Marketing to a New Generation of Wine Consumers
For years, the baby boomer generation has dominated the wine drinking market. Wine consumers over the age of 55 currently make up a whopping 41% of the market for wine drinkers . Wineries have experienced huge success marketing high-class and expensive wine to the baby boomers. However, the generation that demands the highest volume of wine now will not be around forever. When the baby boomers begin to pass on, they will hand their buying power down to the millennial generation. As millennials come to prominence, wineries need to start strategizing ways to market to a completely new demographic of consumer.
The wineries a millennial will continually purchase from excel in three areas: setting an affordable price for their wines, creating a consumer-friendly tasting room experience, and having a strong presence on social media.
In contrast to the baby boomer generation, the millennial generation is turned away by high-priced, pretentious wine labels. Marketing effectively to millennials will be largely dictated by a price point. Until the millennials become more financially independent, bottles priced over $20 will be unpopular. At the same time, the millennial generation has had a precedent set for wine by their parents–many of whom represent the baby boomer generation. Therefore, cheap bottles of wine ($6 and under) are not likely to be popular amongst young wine consumers. Rather, the sweet spot for marketing to young, inexperienced and financially unstable wine drinkers falls somewhere in the $10-$12 per bottle range.
Unlike the baby boomer generation before them, millennials are uninterested in being schmoozed with pretentious facts about a respective wine label. Rather, millennials find value in a tasting room experience that is more personal–one that includes quality conversation and interesting facts about a particular wine label. Finding a mix of employees with old school wine knowledge, but also those that are young, passionate about wine and extremely interpersonal is a key element to fostering a wine tasting atmosphere that caters to millennials.
Finally, in contrast to older generations, millennials have grown up in an age of technology. As a result, there is an expectation that industries that market to young generations have a strong online presence, particularly on social media. Wineries hoping to steal large market shares in the millennial generation need to be smart in the way they market over Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. To gain loyalty from millennial consumers, wineries need to show they not only use social media platforms, but that they know how to use these platforms correctly. Using social media “correctly” means marketing different content that millennials can relate to and get excited about. Examples would include utilizing Facebook or Twitter to market affordable bottles and Instagramming about the “hip” atmosphere of your tasting experience. Millennials venture to the bars and breweries where they enjoy the atmosphere and there’s no rule stating wineries can’t create similar millennial-friendly vibes in their tasting rooms.
Millennials currently make up about 25% of the wine drinking market. However, as the younger generations rise to buying power in our society, wineries need to realize their demographic is changing and that their marketing strategies need to change to satisfy an entirely new type of consumer.
 Buckley, Hilary. "HOW TO USE WINE MARKETING THAT SPEAKS TO MILLENNIALS." Uncorkd.biz. 18 June 2014. Web. 13 May 2015. <http://www.uncorkd.biz/blog/wine-marketing-that-speaks-to-millennials/>.
 Voight, Joan. "Unpretentious Millennials Are Changing the Way We Drink Wine, Barefoot's CMO Says." adweek.com. 12 Jan. 2015. Web. 13 May 2015. <http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/millennials-are-changing-way-we-drink-wine-barefoots-top-marketer-says-162272>.