NEW YORK, Oct. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Marketing to millennials does not have to feel like an abstract concept. In fact, brand stories are the emotional glue that connects spirits brands to Millennial consumers because compelling narratives appeal to Millennials' desire to be "in the know" and also motivate them to share their discoveries, according to new research released today by MMWPR (www.mww.com), "MILLENNIALS & SPIRITS: INFLUENCING THE PATH TO DISCOVERY."
"The youngest Millennials come of legal drinking age this year, making this generation the most coveted group targeted by today's beer, wine and spirits brands," said JP Schuerman, President of MWWPR's Western Region. "Given their proclivity for discovery and their preference for craft, it's critical that spirits brands be wired into the emotional triggers and trust factors that drive Millennials to trial — and then inspire them to become advocates for their labels."
Conducted through consumer surveys and bartender focus groups, the millennial marketing research found that 54 percent of Millennials share spirits-branded content posted by a social influencer, while 45 percent share editorial content posted on social media. In other words, marketing to millennials has the potential to further amplify SOV via earned media opportunities. Once Millennials have experienced a new spirit, they are most likely to share their discoveries on social media if influencers and/or traditional media outlets validate them.
"Influencer marketing and earned media ranked highest when it came to Millennials advocating on behalf of a brand via their social channels," Schuerman said. "Millennials are protective of their online brands and require this third-party permission to discuss and endorse their spirits of choice. The earned hit is no longer the end result — it's now the credibility spark that ideally ignites an integrated social push across trusted channels and among influencers."
These results underscore why spirits brands looking to successfully strategize and execute millennial marketing campaigns must have a captivating and unique narrative that lends itself to third-party validation, which can then be shared via social media.
In fact, the MWWPR research found that this generation is more interested in brands with good stories to tell than how the products taste, and that more than one-third of Millennials are more likely to choose a spirit based on its unique history and tradition. In addition, over half (66 percent) of Millennials are more inclined to try craft or small batch liquor brands, which typically have captivating stories, rather than their "big brand" counterparts.
The results also revealed that this generation is highly motivated to try new brands and share their discoveries. Nearly all Millennials (93 percent) usually try a new liquor brand after someone recommends it to them, according to the study. The most trusted sources that drive Millennials to trial are friends, co-workers and bartenders, in that order. While each influencer group has a unique set of qualities that inspire trust, the findings show that authenticity and experience are always at the center of influence.
When it comes to advocacy, more Millennials share their brand affinities with one another.
Millennial Marketing: Spirits 101
- 90 percent of Millennials get excited when they discover a new liquor brand
- 66 percent of Millennials tell their close friends when they discover a new liquor brand
- 31 percent of Millennials share on social media after discovering a new liquor brand
MWWPR boasts a deep expertise within the spirits category, working with top brands such as Southern Comfort, Chambord, Korbel, Tuaca and el Jimador, to name a few.
Of note, MWWPR spearheaded an award-winning campaign for Southern Comfort deemed SoCo 2Go, an April Fools' Day stunt geared toward Millennials that featured the world's first drone delivery service for alcohol. The real-time marketing campaign created intrigue and conversation around the brand's new Caramel Comfort, and was executed through creation of original video, photo, social influencer and traditional media content that spread the news and built brand affinity.
About the Research
MWWPR conducted an online survey among 1,000+ Millennials ages 21-34 in the top 20 DMAS who drink liquor 3+ times per month. In addition to the survey, MWWPR also conducted focus groups with bartenders, bloggers and other relevant influencers in top Urban DMAs including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver and San Francisco.
MWWPR is one of the world's largest independent public relations agencies with a global network of eight offices across the US and Europe. A full-service firm that approaches communications without the boundaries of expected thinking, MWWPR's expertise spans Consumer Brands, Technology, Corporate Communications and Reputation Management, Public Affairs, Crisis Communications, LGBT, Entertainment, Sports & Luxury Lifestyle, and Health & Wellness. This year, MWWPR is celebrating 30 years of providing strategic communications counsel and public relations support for its diverse client portfolio.
With dedicated insights, strategy, data and analytics, social media, creative and technology teams, MWWPR ensures that clients Matter More™ to the stakeholders who matter most. MWWPR's Matter More™ approach has been recognized by numerous top industry awards. In 2015, MWWPR was honored with a gold at the American Business Awards for "Company of the Year," and 2014 accolades include the Global SABRE Award, "PR Agency of the Year" and "Company of the Year" by the International Business Awards, as well as "Top Places to Work in PR."
To learn more about MWWPR and read the MWWPR Millennials and Spirits white paper, visit http://www.mww.com or @MWW_PR.