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Kyle Reyes

Kyle Reyes President, CEO

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This Study About Millennials And Booze Will Help You Sell More Cars

We all know that drinking and driving don’t mix.  But drinking and car shopping?  Perhaps that’s a different story.

Check this out.  A new study called “Behind The Bottle: An Exploration of Trends in the Spirits Category” found many millennials buy expensive booze so they can post pictures of themselves drinking “cool” brands on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.  They say it impresses their friends and helps them gain social equity. 

In the same study, 42 percent of adults aged 21-and-up say that digital media helps them “get ideas and recommendations of what spirits to buy”.  Only 24 percent cited traditional media including TV, print and radio to influence their alcohol purchase.  The number one factor?  “Word of mouth” which weighed in a 59 percent.

According to the study, 28 percent of millennials endorsed the statement “I sometimes order a premium brand just to impress my peers,” compared to only 11 percent of Baby Boomers.

Apply the mindset to the automotive world now.  It’s interesting data when it comes to the thought process of many dealerships.  Take, for example, this story that a dealer shared with us last week.

A 28-year-old guy came into the showroom and was looking at vehicles on the floor.  The sales guy assumed, based on his age and appearance, that the buyer would be looking for a lower end vehicle. 

Imagine his surprise when the guy ended up buying a fully loaded Mustang.

The guy’s reasoning?  “I know it’s not very practical in New England, but damn am I going to look cool on Snapchat in this thing.”

In order to understand the buyer, we need to understand their desires.  In the case of this particular buyer, social equity was massively important. 

In fact, he went so far as to tell the dealer he came into the showroom because he had seen some of the dealership videos that friends who purchased from there shared on social media.  The fact that the buyer was Snapchatting and posting on Facebook from the lot should have been a tip off for the sales team.

As the press release pertaining to the booze and millennial study puts it, “knowledge of spirits is becoming social currency among millenials.”

But isn’t knowledge of products as a whole social currency?  God knows it is in the world of automotive.

Remember, the road to the sale for the millennial is often a different road than you’re use to taking.  They don’t just want to be sold – they want to be engaged.  They want to feel good about doing business with you. 

But most importantly?  They want you to provide an experience – from social to the showroom floor – that is convenient for them and fits their expectations.


Kyle Reyes is President and CEO of The Silent Partner Marketing.  He's also an acclaimed Keynote Speaker on entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing and social media.  You can find him on Facebook  LinkedIn and Snapchat (@dasilentpartner).

Robert Drews

I agree 100%, i fall into the millennial category and this really hit home with me. An insight to myself id even go as far to say. One of the biggest factors for me before buying a vehicle is internet interaction, and most people my age only care about the appearance not practicability. I'm actually working on my dealerships website to become more interactive. I'm not sure if you read comments here but i'd love to contribute my insight on millennials and the car dealership industry since i have connections with both. Who would i contact?

Kyle Reyes

Drop me an email -

Dan Ferguson

Dealer Guy - while I agree with a lot of what you say in regards to gaining insight with age and maturity, I think you're missing the point.  If you don't adapt and identify with the millenial mindset and sell to them on their terms, MOST dealers will suffer.  Perhaps not with your brand(s) in your market RIGHT NOW, but ulimately we must strive as an industry to allow our new customers to follow the path of least resistance to our stores and into our customer databases.

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