Driven by changing demographics and an evolving consumer landscape, the alcohol industry is undergoing a rapid transformation. Though only representing one-fourth of adults over 21, Millennials account for a lot of alcohol consumption, specifically accounting for 35 percent of U.S. beer consumption, 32 percent of spirit consumption, and 42 percent of wine consumption. As more Millennials reach the legal drinking age, we’ve witnessed legacy brands launch rebranding advertising and marketing efforts around new products, offerings and industries – all aimed at reaching their target audience: the Millennial drinker.


Millennial Macro-Trends Shaping the Alcohol Industry

1. Experiences

Forget ads – go for experiences. In a world where experiences and social currency are more valuable than actual dollars, leading alcohol brands have succeed by delivering brand experience that resonates as much in social and in real life.

For those Millennials who possess the relevant influence and engagement to drive value for a brand, inviting them to join a private VIP, loyalty or rewards community has shown to give them a sense of importance and has strengthened their emotional relationship with the brand.


2. Health & Wellness
Health and wellness continues to remain top of mind for many Millennials. With Millennial consumers increasingly leaning towards healthier food and beverage options, alcohol industry brands are beginning to create new and innovative products to appeal to the health-conscious consumer.


3. Brand Loyalty
Millennials’ generally weaker sense of brand loyalty compared to other generations gives brands an opportunity to influence undecided shoppers at more touch points.


Leading alcohol brands on Instagram have focused on integrating authentic and trusted influencer-generated content across their customer journey. Partnering with social media influencers has helped these brands deliver personalized, relevant experiences for consumers at every touch point, increasing brand trust and accelerating their path-to-purchase.


4. Online Sales
Leading beer & spirit brands are meeting Millennials where they already are – online.


The explosion in popularity of both online shopping and subscription box services is affecting the way the alcohol industry is doing business. And, although still in the early stages, more and more alcohol industry brands are partnering with delivery services (i.e. Drizly) to sell direct-to-consumer and shorten the path-to-purchase.


In order to appeal to Millennials, brands have the opportunity integrate authentic and trusted influencer- and user-generated content across the customer journey – both on and off social media platforms. Partnering with social media influencers helps brands to deliver personalized, relevant experiences for consumers at every touch point, building brand trust and accelerating their path-to-purchase.


Leading alcohol brands on Instagram have turned to influencers to create content that reaches their target audience: Millennials. Of the leading alcohol brands on Instagram, we’ve analyzed which have the highest influencer-share of voice and have identified what you can learn from the strategies employed by industry leaders to reach Millennials on social media.


3 Alcohol Brands to Follow on Instagram

1. Grey Goose, @greygoose

Alcohol Brand to Follow on Instagram, Grey GooseInfluencer Share of Voice: 20%
Influencer Marketing Best Practices:
  1. Influencergenerated content (IGC) posts are aesthetically detailed and emphasize an elegant and classy appearance, contributing to Grey Goose’s status as a luxury brand.
  2. Distinct minimalistic product packaging and branding makes for instant brand recognition among a variety of other alcoholic beverages.
  3. Grey Goose partners with various high-profile, global events and social media influencers to increase brand awareness and engagement, while further promoting the brand as luxury.

2. Absolut Vodka, @absolutvodka

Alcohol brands to follow on Instagram, Absolut VodkaInfluencer Share of Voice: 18%
Influencer Marketing Best Practices:
  1. Capitalizing on the growing retail trend toward experiences, Absolut Elyx is part a larger marketing rebranding effort aimed at growing its lifestyle brand with physical stores in LA.
  2. The Absolut-Water For People partnership and campaign highlights the brand’s corporate commitment to social and environmental causes, specifically aiming to target millennials who have been shown to care more about impact than other generations.
  3. Absolut’s “Nothing To Hide” campaign features employees stripping naked, uniquely and boldly promoting brand authenticity and positioning Absolut as ”the vodka with nothing to hide.”

3. Bacardi, @bacardi

Alcohol Brands to follow on Instagram, BacardiInfluencer Share of Voice: 12%
Influencer Marketing Best Practices:
  1. Instead of solely relying on mega-influencers to generate content, Bacardi leverages the entire influencer marketing mix, differentiating the brand among its competitors on social media.
  2. IGC copy pairs fun tips, cocktail recipes, and thoughtful insights with clear product imagery (photos and videos) to ensure personalization along the consumer journey.
  3. Bacardi partners with various musical artists (i.e. Swizz Beatz) and festivals, tapping into the brand’s background of supporting music related promotions and campaigns.
Want more key insights? Download the full report here to learn which alcohol brands had the greatest share of influencer voice in the last year, as well as examples and best practices from category leaders.