As a marketer, I love grouping potential customers into groups of people with similar needs, characteristics and behaviors (a.k.a target market segments). As a consumer, I am less enthralled but nevertheless intrigued when a market researcher has lumped me into a bucket with other allegedly like-minded consumers. Maybe it’s because I like to think of myself as being unique and not part of some large group of people with similar characteristics who think and behave just like me.
Marketers bring these buckets of data representing consumers to life by creating a profile or persona that depicts a broad group as a composite. Typically the persona is given a name and will even have a fictitious photo associated with its profile. I have used personas at the software company I work for. I was intrigued to learn about the personas used in the wine industry and wanted to share what I learned.
There are approximately 90 million wine drinkers in the United States. The purpose of segmentation is to help a wine producer identify an attractive addressable markets to focus on. Multiple research projects have been done to try to categorize wine drinkers. Wine Intelligence has come up with the following categories:
- Experience Explorers
- Millennial Treaters
- Premium Brand Suburbans
- Bargain Hunters
- Kitchen Casuals
- Senior Sippers
I love these names but I have to say they also make me chuckle when I think I about which ‘bucket’ I fit in. Plus, I’m not sure some of my family members would appreciate knowing that they’ve been labeled a Senior Sipper. Each of these personas has a detailed profile associated with it. Here are a few profile summaries:
Premium Brand Suburbans – “Frequent brand-savvy wine drinkers who view wine as an enjoyable treat. Three out of four of this price conscious group drink wine several times a week and are proverbial middle Americans with no strong biases in terms of age, gender, income, or region of residence. California wines dominated the repertoire here, with Italy the second choice.”
Millennial Treaters – “Younger, high spending wine loving consumers with ‘conservative’ views of wine and growing in their knowledge. They are confident drinkers who like to think about what they buy – with a focus on grape varietals – are younger, relatively wealthy and more likely to be found in East Coast cities.”
Experienced Explorers – “High spending, high involved consumers who are both confident and adventurous with their wine choices. Most drink wine at least twice a week, typically dwell in suburbs with professional qualifications and small families; most earn $100,000+ a year.”
Senior Sippers – “Older less frequent and low spending wine drinkers with a limited interest in wine.”
As you can see from the chart above, Premium Brand Suburbans are the largest segment, drink the most wine, and spend the most money on wine. While from a demographic perspective, Baby Boomers spend the most money on wine today, there is a growing concern that as this group ages, they will be become Senior Sippers. The group that makes many marketers fingers get itchy is the Millennial Treaters. Only 9% of the market, but they account for 22% of the spending. And what really excites the marketer is that there are 70 million millennials which means there is significant growth potential and anticipation that the Millennial Treaters of today will become the Experienced Explorers and Premium Brand Suburbans of tomorrow. Time will tell.
This is just one example of wine market segmentation. The example profiles are only summaries of each persona. Typically a persona would also include more behavioral and psychographic detail as well. This info might be included in the full report from Wine Intelligence, which I did not have access to.
If you are a wine marketer and not using personas to identify and deepen your understanding of your target market, I encourage you to start. If you are a wine drinker, what kind of winer are you?