Craft Brewers: Marketing to Millennials

Posted by Anna Sork on Feb 9, 2017 12:56:37 PM
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Millennials love craft beer. In a 2013 survey, 50 percent of the millennial generation reported having tried craft beer -- and 43 percent said that it tastes better than mass market beer. Most interestingly, 45 percent of respondents said that they would buy craft beer if they knew more about it. Millennials are already an explosive demographic for craft brewers -- and with a bit of consumer education, the market should become even larger.

So, what does a craft brewer need to know about marketing to millennials effectively? Millennials love exclusivity. They support companies that align with their values. They are fiercely loyal to the brands that they love -- and the experience of purchasing a product is nearly as important as the product itself.

It's time to begin marketing to millennials and exposing your craft beer to a market segment capable of providing incredible growth to your brewery. These tips will help.

Utilize Mobile Marketing

Among the millennial population, the smartphone is the most popular device for connecting to the Internet -- 89 percent of millennial consumers use smartphones to get online. For a brewery, effective marketing to millennials begins with a mobile-friendly website. A mobile app can also be great for beer branding -- if you can find the right angle for the app.

Start a Loyalty Program

If you sell directly to the public, creating a loyalty program can be an excellent way of marketing to millennials -- 69 percent of them belong to loyalty programs. You can even tie your loyalty program to your mobile app to encourage downloads. Incorporate incentives they'll love by giving away custom brewery merchandise as rewards.

Utilize Beer Merchandise

Giving away beer merchandise as part of a loyalty program isn't the only thing that you can do for brewery branding. Every time a millennial consumer uses one of your promotional items in public, it generates exposure of your brand to exactly the market that you want to attract.

So, what items are most effective for beer branding? You should choose items that millennials are most likely to use. A fashionable custom hoodie, for example, is a piece of apparel worn by nearly everyone in your target demographic.

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Beer glassware is always a good option because you already know your customers enjoy sipping on a nice cold beer. What better way for them to experience your craft beer than in a well-crafted glass?

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Reusable shopping bags are also popular among the millennial demographic because they don't end up in landfills as plastic bags often do. Shopping bags can also be great for beer branding because people will use them in public. If you decide to put your brand on a reusable shopping bag as part of a beer branding campaign, though, make sure that the bag is a style that millennials will actually want to use.

Utilize Social Media

You can bring all of the principles in this article together -- mobile marketing, beer branding and loyalty programs -- by marketing to millennials on social media. Many millennials use their smartphones obsessively each day. Fear of missing out makes it difficult for them to keep away from their social media profiles. One of the best things that you can do for brewery branding is to host events that your target market wants to attend. Promote your events heavily on social media to let your market know that one of your events is the best place to be during any evening. Craft a branded hashtag for your audience to share to expand your reach. Run exclusive social media promotions with merchandise giveaways to increase exposure. 

Want to learn more about how your brand can connect with millennials? Download our free guide.

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Topics: Insider, Craft Breweries, Millennials