January 2, 2009 | Sheri Hebbeln
Amid all of the news of economic downturn, I think it’s important to call attention to some of the reasons for optimism for this coming year, and trends we can look to in ensuring it’s a good year.
The Promise of Millennials (born between 1980 and 1990)
This market is growing. The people of this generation are enthusiastic about wine, and they’re not afraid to try new things. They’re only now shaping their tastes for the future and present a tremendous opportunity for wine marketers.
In mid-November StrategyOne conducted a study on behalf of Pepsi, very appropriately named POP (or the ‘Pepsi Optimism Project’). The survey was conducted as part of a new branding initiative by Pepsi, which will include an ad campaign featuring this theme of optimism.
According to the Pepsi study, 94% of Generation Y (or Millennials) have a positive outlook on the future. Moreover, despite recent job forecasts, 77% of them report having a strong sense of optimism about their careers. When you think about it, this would seem to make sense. In an article for CIO Magazine, Meredith Levinson points out that: 1) They’ve been taught to put their own well-being ahead of that of their employers, and as a result may well be better prepared to weather the storm – or to take action in advance of potential bad news, 2) They’re just starting out, which means they are generally paid less relative to workers who have been around for longer, 3) Their financial burdens are less. They typically haven’t taken on things like mortgages or childcare at this stage. 4) They’re adept at multitasking, making them well prepared to fill in the gaps where necessary.
This group is fueled by an eagerness to begin shaping their own destinies and make 2009 their year. As Pepsi spokesperson Lisa Orrell points out “With so much to worry about over the next several months, maybe we would all be better served taking on this group’s optimism.”
New Innovations in Social Media
In difficult economic times, Social Media becomes even more relevant and more important as a means of energizing loyal consumers than ever before. It’s particularly useful for our industry given the social nature of wine, and because after all, wine may well be the last sacrifice in hard times. More and more wine marketing professionals are realizing that tomorrow’s marketing is all about developing a conversation with customers. And what was once reserved for the early adopters has now become mainstream. Social media is not reserved for just Millennials, but is popular with Gen X, and Baby Boomers alike, and with the potential that Smart Phone Apps present for 2009, these same people are more connected than ever before. According to a great new book, Groundswell by Forrester Research, Stormhoek (a success story that is familiar to many in the wine industry for its early adoption and success with social media) first started tapping into the blogging community in 2005 and grew from a $1 million dollar company to a $10 million company within a couple of short years.
Wired magazine published a list of the “six web technologies of 2008 you need to use now” and it is no coincidence that several of these technologies relate to things like identity management and lifestreaming; items which in short are designed to make it easier for all of us to maneuver the social web.