Polly Hammond on Millennials: Turning a challenge into opportunity

Oct 30, 2019

Polly Hammond will be speaking at wine2wine 2019 in Verona, Italy and will discuss the more positive aspects of marketing to Millennials, their contribution to the wine world and potential as consumers. Hammond is a digital communications and branding specialist, and the author of The Must Read, a newsletter that focuses on digital wine marketing. She has chosen to outline the positive aspects of the Millennial cohort, in particular the positive way they communicate and interact with brand identity.

Millennials are those born between approximately 1980 and 2000. They have been stereotyped as people who demonstrate personality traits found on two opposite ends of the spectrum, everything from narcissistic to compassionate, therefore, they have been a tricky generation to label or define, particularly when trying to pigeonhole for marketing purposes. As a consequence, the wine industry has struggled to pin down or exploit this group to its satisfaction.  Hammond has commented that: “there has been a lot of push back by the wine industry, who, thus far, have not been impressed with the actual financial impact of this generation. So, let’s reframe the discussion, and talk instead about how the millennials have helped ALL of us redefine brand communication.” But how do Millennials help to redefine brand communication?

Curiosity did not kill that cat

A good starting point to answer this question would be to recognize that Millennials are the most educated generation in our history. Thirty-nine percent in the US have at least a bachelor’s degree, and, interestingly this leap in educational achievement has been mostly led by women. This educational bent feeds into the fact that millennials are generally inquisitive; a LinkedIn survey found that Millennials are proven to be the most curious generation in the workforce today, moreover, they are spontaneous and live in an in-demand world.

How do these insights on the Millennial workforce relate to brand communication? The first thing that comes to mind is that brands attempting to appeal to this group must be easily accessed and their communication must be user friendly and feel authentic. Above all it has to available at the click of a button. The obvious theme that stands out is innovative technology, the fastest way by which to communicate and appeal to a generation that simply wants more.

I can do anything better than you…online

Needless to say, Millennials know a great deal about social media because they grew up with it, from its inception to its pervasive presence today, they live and breathe it; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. — it’s how they share and search for information. However, in a seemingly contrary way, Millennials aren’t as willing as former generations to sacrifice their personal life, they “work hard, play hard” – which is an interesting notion. By playing hard, this does not necessarily mean on a budget. This means that online sales need to have all of the above Millennial approved aspects and one more thing…

Social responsibility should be your bread and butter

… Millennial curiosity and willingness to go that extra mile, into the realm of social responsibility and if their needs for on-demand and genuine authenticity are met, they will spend more for quality rather than go for quantity. An article by Forbes explains this in the grand scheme of things going beyond the superficial impulses to spend money because of the frivolous underpinnings of social status, they explain that the Millennial impetus runs deeper, “Unlike previous generations, millennials are looking past the quality of the product itself and becoming more conscientious about the quality of the process that manufactured it In many cases, that means discovering some ugly things about some favorite brands…”.

Hearing is believing…at wine2wine

As this discussion pertains to the wine industry, it is likely that Hammond will be pinpointing some of the more pertinent aspects of Millennial behavior as it relates to how the wine industry can take advantage of this sector and which strategies they can employ to achieve more encouraging results in obtaining more successful communication and sales figures; we will just have to wait for her talk at wine2wine 2019!

The topic is up for debate and Polly Hammond will be addressing this argument and a whole lot more at wine2wine 2019. If you are interested in hearing her thoughts on Millennials and digital marketing join us as wine2wine 2019!