Millennials, wine, and you
Young people in America are drinking more wine than any generation before them, but what in the world does that have to do with companies that practice law or sell socks? There are some characteristics that have emerged about this generation that any business can learn from.
First of all, the Millennial generation is the primary factor in the wine industry’s recent surge, and NakedWines.com CEO, Rowan Gormley asserts that Millennials are important to the wine industry (and we would assert they’re important to all businesses).
In his own words below, Gormley outlines characteristics he believes Millennials possess that have led to the burgeoning industry – mind them closely, as understanding these traits may mean more sales for your brand:
Millennials prefer authenticity, are fearless
Millennials push the wine business toward authenticity and great value. (Where winemakers have always wanted to be anyway)
Millennials are fearless – they just don’t have the same hang ups as previous wine drinking generations.
Millennials are information sponges
Millennials are fast learners (because they have unprecedented access to the most diverse selection of wine in all of human history) – you can order wine from anywhere from Azerbaijan to Vietnam – long gone are the days where your wine education had to start with a sleepy wine shop that only offered wine from Bordeaux, Burgundy or Chianti.
Millennials want their wine to be as good as their food – food and fine dining has evolved to focus on local ingredients, freshness, and seasonality and millennials want that in wine too – that is to say, it’s very important that wine be authentic and represent a sense of the place it comes from (AND taste great and not be super expensive).
On the flipside, it is not very impressive if a wine tastes just like a traditional benchmark like big Napa Cab or austere Bordeaux. When the millennial drinks Bordeaux, they’re much more likely to enjoy a fresh, fruity number from the entre deux mers than they are an overpriced wine from the grandest premier grand cru that costs $700 and won’t taste good until 15 years from now.
Who Millennials trust
Millennials trust friends (and themselves) more than critics – Critics and competitions have driven wine sales for a long time, and they’re still very important if you’re trying to sell extremely expensive wine or vast oceans of industrially produced wine. But small growers with reasonable prices can now have huge success selling direct to consumer and they’re finding millennials are a big part of that market.
Millennials actually give insight into other generations
Gormley says that one of the most important things to note is that Millennials are actually a great insight into other generations like Baby Boomers.
“The truth is,” he states, “once a baby boomer gets over their preconceptions about wine and discovers the vast world of wine, they start to act exactly like Millennials (and they have the cash to do it right). We call them our Silver Surfers and they’re a big buying block.”
Gormley concludes, “So interestingly, one of the coolest things about millennials is that they offer insight into how our more mature customers will act once they fall down the Naked Rabbit-hole.”