Let's assume that we all have an idea of what makes a millennial, a millennial. Let's assume we think we know what they like. We think we know, because the cliché of what they like is driving most marketing right now. No place is this more evident than in the food scene. Artisan, chef, authentic, handmade, etc. Those are the buzz words in restaurant marketing, and have been for nearly a decade. Our values have changed very much because millennials didn't want to be sold to. While generalizations, these are very much a positive. Millennials are better at this life than the previous generations and their values align very nicely with real wine.
So, if we know these values and we have these shared values, why do we fail so horribly at communicating with them? Why do the large companies think millennials like the whimsy of manufactured labels and simple names? Unfortunately, those cubicle dwellers have been successful at crunching numbers and looking at raw data. So if they're right, why are their analogues in the beer industry getting their asses handed to them right now? The craft beer movement, while certainly organic in growth, comes from a place of touching and knowing. In every city, there are now a laundry list of local beer producers making some good, some great beers, but they're made locally. This legitimizes the movement away from the oat and corn sodas occupying the Superbowl ads. It's not just the beer they're loving, it's the authenticity and the story of each brewery.
We are blowing it on an epic scale right now in dealing with, not just millennials, but the entire buying population. The reason the mid-level tools have been proven right so far is because of the vacuum that the small wineries & importers have created. We haven't attacked the market the right way. We have been selling the way we've always sold. Market work, scores, winemaker dinners. If you are a brand with authenticity and with actual people that are artisans behind it, the best thing for you to do is get those people in front of young consumers. They are yearning to start connecting with the actual people that touch the grapes. They have a million questions for you. The road to loyalty in this generation isn't easy, but you'll sleep well, knowing that back room deals don't have to happen. You can stand there as a brand with people behind it, and that's enough. You don't need WS ads, in fact, you're better off without them. Millennials want to discover you, not be told about you by the establishment. If you are brand with a proud history, you have an asset that most upstarts would kill for. Instead, many of these venerable wineries have "suits", travelling the country, selling wine at a Country Club dinner, selling to people that still belong to Country Clubs, and have cellars filled with dead Aussie wines from 2001. You can't build or maintain a brand that way anymore.You need to get out and create a reason for people to come and see you, meet you and get to understand not just where you are right now, but where you come from, what drives you.