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A recent article was published arguing that the wine world need not focus its marketing efforts on millennials and Gen Z, and instead should refocus those efforts on marketing to Gen X and baby boomers. There’s a lot of talk right now regarding the struggles plaguing the wine world, especially those surrounding its ability to attract younger drinkers, and some members of the older generations are, in turn, feeling neglected. But the argument that concentrating marketing on older generations will fix wine’s problem is a folly.
Sitting at the center of the argument is the impression of brand loyalty among older generations. The idea is that, as these generations have proven themselves to be so faithful to certain brands, wine can leverage that loyalty to build a new following. But if these generations are so brand loyal, as the article argues, it’s unlikely that they will magically become wine drinkers decades after coming of drinking age. They already have the brands they are loyal to.
Additionally, marketing more to older generations reinforces the — however questionable — logic that wine consumers will simply “age into” the beverage. If brands don’t start talking to people about products while they’re young, and build that brand loyalty early, they will never think about reaching for their product in their lifetime, no matter how old they get.
At the same time, it would be foolish to disregard any demographic in wine right now — no one wants to feel like their time has come and gone. Brands should absolutely be making strides to reinforce the love that older generations have had for their products for years, but that does not mean that they can or should avoid marketing to younger generations. If they do, they risk having no one to market to at all in the future.
Today on the “VinePair Podcast,” Adam, Joanna, and Zach react to a recent essay stating that the wine industry should double down on marketing to the oldest part of the wine-consuming crowd. Does it make sense for wine to further focus its efforts on a generation it has a longstanding and lucrative relationship with? Does marketing to younger generations really turn others off? Tune in for more.
Zach is reading: Revisiting the ‘Hey Bartender’ Documentary, 10 Years After It Captured the Craft Cocktail Renaissance
Joanna is reading: Is Trying a Classic Cocktail Where It Was Created Actually Worth It?
Adam is reading: How London Claimed the Global Cocktail Crown