It’s no surprise that women take the lead in purchasing decisions – but why has the wine industry been so slow to specifically target these savvy ladies?  For mid-priced brands and volume sellers, females and especially those in the “millennial” age group (born 1977-1992) represent a huge opportunity for the wine industry.  It’s clear that women lead the way in wine preference and purchasing in this country:

So why don’t we see more marketing towards women?  Some possible reasons:

  • Wine marketers have not updated their marketing strategies to speak to women, or do not know how to reach them
  • Wine marketers/wineries are trying to reach them in the wrong ways and using old methods
  • Wine marketing decisions tend to be made by men, although this is changing

Millennials being the fastest growing segment has been highlighted by industry experts as a major opportunity.  Social media is the key in targeting not only the millennials, but women especially.  Women skew higher on all major social networking sites and are more likely to be making purchasing decisions on wine.  So marketing needs to change.  And so do other things…

According to experts women are less influenced by wine ratings, as they tend to judge the entire product. Label design, the bottle shape and the philosophy of the winery are equally to women as important as the quality of the wine.  But several wine brands have taken note and this year Treasury Wines Estates, launched “Be” – geared to women, specifically “millennials” from 21 to 34 years old.

Chateau Ste. Michelle introduced a Facebook campaign primarily geared to women, coupled with a print campaign.  Historically the brand had advertised only in magazines for wine professionals and for the first time it more focused on women’s information sites such as Parents, Better Homes and Gardens and Every Day with Rachael Ray.

After huge success with her pre-made cocktails brand, Bethenny Frankel sold her brand to Beam Inc.  This year they launched three types of Skinnygirl wine.

Brands that do well with this sector are able to create an emotional connection with their customers; they understand their target market’s social media habits and how to tap into it; they are involved in conversations about wine in general, and they understand it is a two-way dialogue.