The brand story matters for millennials

Lately, many have been noting a shift in brand trends whereby craft beers are dominating the beer market, but recent FMCG studies show millennials are also taking an increasing interest in consuming grapes instead of hops. Will we see a change in the alcohol industry as millennials savour the taste of a different tipple, and is their love of a good brand story behind this trend?

Perhaps this latest consumption trend is due to the health conscious lifestyle that is taking over the world. Professor Milos Taborsky, a leading cardiologist who led a study into the health effects of wine, notes that the consumption of moderate quantities of red and white wine can actively boost cardiovascular health when combined with exercise.

However, beyond the health benefits, it may be the nature of wine branding and marketing that audiences are now engaging with. In an era where everyone is looking for authenticity, new brands are looking to establish themselves in an old world, and established brands are looking to engage millennials. Berry Bros. & Rudd’s CEO Dan Jago says, “It is extremely difficult to create a story with any authenticity, longevity or credibility unless it is real; people who haven’t got something genuine to stand behind find it very difficult to create a story. Millennials understand and trust heritage and history and are smart enough to tell whether a story is credible or not.” Far from putting young consumers off by being ‘old-fashioned’ and ‘fusty’, wine brands that lean on their history in the right way can build trust and authenticity.

(Image credit: Naked Wines)

Convenience is also working in tandem with storytelling to attract this new generation of drinkers, with the likes of online service Naked Wines at the forefront of tapping into the experience. Journalist Victoria Moore says of the benefits of the online wine trade, “It’s all about stories, immediacy, connection, a chance to root around making new discoveries.” Here we see that even with buying online, people are still looking to connect with a story. The experience that Naked Wines offers allows these new customers to taste new wines from independent winemakers, where the stories are authentic and can be bought into.

Leaning on genuine brand origins is clearly a very effective way for brands to resonate with younger generations. A brand story like this can elevate a brand above the faceless commercial competition and engage on an emotional level, gaining loyal followings with credibility that consumers from Gen Y are craving. Wine is a product that is perfectly placed to make the most of this trend.