How to Market Alcohol to Millennials: A Guide for the Alcohol Industry

How to Market Alcohol to Millennials: A Guide for the Alcohol Industry

Ah, millennials. It’s the generation that all others like to throw under the bus. From golf and diamonds to fast-casual restaurants, millennials have been accused of killing industries across the board.

Sure, blaming is the easy thing to do; or, you could take the time to understand how to market alcohol to millennials and serve them with what they do want.

At Wier & Bein, we’re always looking for innovative insights and tips to help you grow your business – including marketing to the elusive millennial generation. So, ladies, gentlemen, and sentient robots who enjoy alcohol (we have to cover all bases), we give you our best practices for how to market alcohol to millennials.

Be Authentic and Transparent

If you’re looking for evidence that millennials seek authenticity from their products, look no further than their consumption of craft beers. Craft breweries typically produce beer in smaller quantities and are often individually owned. This makes them feel personal to millennials, and thus, more appealing. Another upside of craft beer is the transparency of its ingredients. While larger companies produce beer in massive quantities and are opaque about what goes in their product, craft beers will tout their high-quality ingredients. 82 percent of millennials say that ingredient transparency is a key factor in choosing a product.

Authenticity can be achieved through social media platforms and the general messaging you’re sending out to your audience. Millennials want to know the people behind the brand, they want to see the products being made, and they want to be able to enjoy those beverages with a clear conscience. That’s why 37 percent of millennials are willing to support a product with a cause they believe in, even if it means paying extra. It would be valuable to consider supporting worthy causes. But, be warned – make sure that the cause or celebrity endorsement you choose aligns with your brand’s image because millennials will see through a phony partnership.

Emphasize Sustainability

Sixty-six percent of all consumers are willing to spend more on sustainable goods, and that number jumps up to 73 percent for millennials. If you want to understand how to market alcohol to millennials, know this: they’re a generation that is conscious of the impact their decisions have on other people and on the planet. They care about environmental responsibility from the places they work, where they live, and the products that they purchase. Sustainability can be achieved through the packaging you choose to the very business practices you observe. Make sustainability a priority for your company and wear it as a badge of honor. Consumers will notice.

Create Imaginative Designs and Labels

Momma said never to judge a book by its cover, but she never said anything about not judging alcohol by its label. Millennials are doing just that. They value individuality and look for products that distinguish themselves from the rest of the saturated market. A bold and unique design can be just the thing to catch the eye of a browsing consumer. Consider colors, bottle or can shape, graphics, and even the name of your beverage. A product’s striking aesthetic is valuable because this is the age of Instagram. They’ll be eager to share, and you will only reap the benefits of all their followers who will just have to try it, too. Millennials don’t just buy alcohol to drink it alone. They’re doing it for the ‘gram. Make sure your product’s design is worth sharing – that’s key for how to market alcohol to millennials.

Offer a Variety

Half of variety comes from diversity of design; the other half comes from unique flavor options. Millennials aren’t as brand loyal as past generations and they will jump at the opportunity to try something new. Spice, to name one, is a recent craze among millennials. This led to an explosion in the popularity of Sriracha, so much so that it bled into the alcohol industry – that’s right, Siracha beer is a thing. Capitalize on an ongoing trend or start a new one that features an unexpected ingredient that is too tempting to pass up. How to market alcohol to millennials begins with filling that need. Millennials constantly seek innovation and have more varied tastes in alcohol than any generation in history. Cater to their affinity for experimentation by offering bold flavors of beer, spirits and wine. Yes, wine too. Millennials are big wine guys (and gals).

Showcase Experiences

Millennials are adventurous. They can be impulsive and make plans on a whim. Find ways to emphasize your brand’s audacious essence. Research shows that 69 percent of millennials see themselves as adventurous and they value brands who share their mentality. Show the younger generation of alcohol consumers that you’re kindred spirits, both up for an exciting experience.

Make Them Work for You

As avid social media users, millennials love to share their experiences across many platforms. They’re already itching to show off to their friends and followers, so give them something to share. As important as it is to communicate your message to consumers, it’s just as important that they communicate it with each other. Your job is to facilitate the process.

An easy way to do this is to run a contest with a reward for influencers who participate and generate a certain number of engagements. You can also send free samples of your products to known influencers and encourage them to share their experiences on social media. By activating these already involved consumers, you can form an army of brand supporters who spread positive reviews, attract attention and increase trial experiences of their peers. Younger alcohol consumers appreciate seeing others like them enjoying the same product in glamorous situations. It becomes a shared experience. And best part of all this—it rings authentic because the content comes from real users.

As this generation begins to make up a larger portion of alcohol consumers, understanding how to market alcohol to millennials will become increasingly paramount for your business. Heed these insights to begin reaching them. If you’re interested in a long-term marketing strategy to reach millennials and the rest of your target audience, grab a drink with Wier & Bein today.

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