Millennial and Gen Z drinkers are taking an interest in wine. And not just Two-Buck Chuck. These consumers are entering the wine market in new and surprising ways. Wine marketing needs to be refreshed to reflect the preferences of this ever-expanding market.
Despite the change in who is drinking wine and how they are drinking it, many big-name brands don’t seem to be taking notice. Many of the traditional players seem to be running with the same marketing strategy they have always had. An updated marketing strategy will allow brands to reach out to new drinkers in relatable and memorable ways.
Younger drinkers care about more than wine scores
This younger cohort of consumers is driving sales and demanding more from the wine brands they know and love. Millennials make up 31% of all wine drinkers, with Gen Z following closely behind. They are driving trends like canned wine, which springs from a desire for portability. Don’t shy away from trying out industry innovations and marketing those new products to drinkers who are thirsty for something new in the wine world.
These consumers also care about the values of the brands they buy: 62% of Gen Z and Millennial consumers prefer to buy from sustainable brands. Many top-quality, small-production labels grow or source fruit that has been grown sustainably. This is a huge opportunity for these companies to deliver a message that will attract and resonate with a rapidly growing segment of the market.
Meet younger consumers where they are: online
Millennial and Gen Z consumers seek out new products online. According to the recent Direct to Consumer Wine Shipping Report, direct-to-consumer (DTC) wine sales increased by 27% from 2019 to 2020. The same study found that Millennials will be the largest group behind DTC wine sales throughout 2021. In-person wine sales and wine club memberships are still important, but younger consumers are attracted by the ease of online shopping. They can discover, research, and purchase exciting wine all without leaving their apartment. Meet them at every step of their purchasing journey.
After setting up e-commerce capabilities, it is paramount that wine brands connect with these consumers. How to attract their attention? Targeted digital ads and a smart social media strategy will help get the word out.
Rethink what a wine brand can be
So many great wine brands have been successful by relying on top ratings from a select few publications and word-of-mouth. This marketing strategy has worked, but it is time to imagine new possibilities to attract those new customers. Don’t be afraid to be playful, to be bold with visuals, or to adopt social media trends.
The Gia Coppola label is a great example of a large, traditional brand trying something new—and finding success. The brand speaks to young wine drinkers by adapting trendy aesthetics and building a strong presence on social media.
Wine drinkers are changing, and so should wine marketing. If you stay nimble and keep track of what is working, you can attract a new and excited group of fans to your wine brand.