Future-proofing your Wine Society

That is often said - by many organisations. But actually we need NEW members - of any age. I see nothing wrong in the idea of continuing to appeal mainly to older people, recruiting them as they reach a more mature age. To do this successfully still requires change, but not change that is as radical as that needed to sell to a younger generation.

I wonder if moving towards more “natural wine” is actually one of the things thought to be unpopular amongst oldies. Just for the record, as someone in my early 60s I would very much welcome that move. On the other hand, I think there is something to be said for retailers sticking to what they do well and letting customers find them (something which seems to go against the grain for marketing people). As a member I am not too fussed about TWS’s rather conservative range - I’ll just go somewhere else to buy the more radical stuff.


That is often said - by many organisations. But actually we need NEW members - of any age.

Absolutely too true! Another organisation I belong to has been pre-occupied with getting “young” members for as long as I can remember and has wasted enormous resources pursuing this aim. If people join in their forties or fifties and stay for 20 or 30 or 40 years that’s already pretty good. It doesn’t matter that they weren’t members in their twenties or thirties, even ignoring how little discretionary spending power they may have had at that time.


New member acquisition focuses on all potential members. We will be focussing on lifestyle rather than demographic, meaning that an interest in wine is far more important than age or sex. Interestingly, and perhaps not a surprise, spending increases with age to a point, but engagement starts very young. Lifetime value to the Society is far more important than year by year spend. We utilise mosaic analysis to help us understand our membership better. The highest spending mosaic is 25-35 year old city dwellers, so young or old, the point is engaged membership. I hope that helps !


Can you please ask a colleague to check what you write to remove business consultant buzz words? Lifestyle, demographic, engagement, mosaic, for a start.


Nah you’re fine Stevo, keep up the good work.


If that means you/we try to sell to anyone interested in wine, that sounds good to me, but it does not sound like much if a focus. But it there anything more in the term “focussing on lifestyle”?

There is a long answer and a short one. Think you will thank me for the short one ! It means that traditional age or sex based targeting is a lot less relevant than looking at how people live - people in their 50’s 60’s and 70’s live fundamentally differently than they did 20 years ago. It makes our work more difficult in one sense, but ultimately we can serve the original democratic aims of The Society much better. I don’t want to offend my “buzz word” colleague but there is a lot more targeting behind the phrase “an interest in wine”


If that means you/we try to sell to anyone interested in wine, that sounds good to me, but it does not sound like much if a focus. But it there anything more in the term “focussing on lifestyle”?


I kind of suspected this might be the case, but that hunch was based on a survey of one. It would be interesting to see how TWS spending habits change over time, I suspect there may be a rise again following the initial baby/mortgage shock??


I don’t know what mosaic means in this usage, but if the gist is that 25-35 year-olds have the highest spending I’m rather surprised, very surprised even!

Note that they are also ‘city dwellers’… One particular ‘city’ comes to mind…:grinning:

On the subject of age - it is baffling to a degree, but if you consider that this generation tends to marry, have kids and tie itself to financial commitments such as a mortgage much later than previous generations- then that leaves them with quite a lot of cash to spend.

Without sounding too controversial, I suspect that younger people who are into wine tend to come from fairly middle-class, educated backgrounds, so perhaps more affluent to start with.


Specifically city-dwellers. It’s not really so surprising - I assume the majority will be London-based. High wages and an active social life. Plus high rents and house prices mean many are pouring their disposable income into entertainment and not making as many sacrifices for kids and savings - which come later and later on average. My parents got married and had kids in their early 20s, I am only just doing the same in my late 30s, having lived and worked in London since Uni. Home ownership for a lot of young Londoners seems inconceivable, but I also think there’s a questioninig of the intrinsic value of it. Many would rather spend their hard-earned money on living their ‘best life possible’, and if you’re not married and don’t have kids, then entertainment spending is much higher. I used to go out at least 4 times a week before we bought, now I’m lucky if it’s once a month.

As for mosaic, I’d never heard of it either, but:


If it’s Experian Mosaic that Steve referrs to then this system allows a business to build a lot of insight on (and to classify) their own customers as well as providing some really interesting info on the population as a whole.

Ergo, I’m sure when Steve says “highest spending mosaic is 25-35 year old city dwellers” I would suspect he doen’t mean in the population as a whole (although on certain types of spend that will be true). Rather he might be saying the higest spending mosaic amongst the members of the society are the 25-35 year old city dwellers.

Servicing a more engaged membership is absolutely sensible business logic. Spend on acquisition has to have a return.


I have to admit, when I saw the reference to “mosaic” I imagined it referred to immutable law, graven on stone tablets, and brought down from the mountains.

My second thought was, diseased tomato plants.


I would be surprised too regarding 25-35 having the highest spend…mosaic is a form of floor tiling in my speak too :slight_smile: !

At recent Glasgow tastings and dinners, the demographic was definitely not young, and as mid/late fifties we were quite a bit lower than average age I suspect…however, at the prices for these two events I can understand that. The walk round informal tasting which was a lot cheaper, had a significantly younger demographic.


I was exposed to quite a bit of fine wine I didn’t have to pay for during my stint in a major consultancy in my mid 20s. So I can see how there is a particular segment that has a similar experience, perhaps in financial services and decides to very rapidly lay down the basis of a cellar. Perhaps a few people with the means to make very hefty investments in first growths and GC Burgundy are skewing an average.

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That’s a reasonable observation…maybe the median would be a better measure?

This is a good example of younger members spending more than the average on wine . I must admit when I was younger free(er), single and childfree my entertainment spend was pretty astronomical :see_no_evil:! I earnt good money , was abroad for weekends probably twice a month , had an expensive wardrobe, great holidays and spend a lot on wine . Things change, and as @tom has said, mortgages, renovations, children etc… all take up a budget otherwise spent elsewhere so I can totally appreciate that this is growing demographic among the membership :thinking:.

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Ah, those were the days! Spending my ill-gotten gains on nothing but the good times…! :clinking_glasses:


That was then Leah and I can certainly go along with that analogy for the time, but now ?
Young people are drinking less, many more do not drink at all and among those that do drink the competition among the different types of alcohol available is fierce.
So going after younger customers could be a dead end.
one of many reports showing the same trend.