Who is Generation Alpha, and Why Are They Important to Marketers?

Each new generation brings with it new customs, behaviors and cultural phenomena that shape the world as we know it.

Baby boomers brought significant economic influence.

Millennials taught us new ways of looking at our socio-political world.

Generation Z showed us what the interface between technology and humanity looks like.

Now we have Generation Alpha, a population of tech-savvy, racially diverse, and non-apologetically influential children who will begin entering adulthood in the late 2020s.

But they are children. They are not our buyers. Why should marketers care about them right now?

Studies have shown that children under the age of 12 can affect parents’ purchases by $ 130 billion to $ 670 billion annually. And it won’t be long before they are the buyers.

It’s never too early to prepare. In fact, since the oldest children in this generation are starting to reach middle school, we can even run them short.

Let’s take a look at the climate shaping this coming generation and what we can expect from them in the future.

Which birth years are considered Generation Alpha?

Generation Alpha includes those born between 2010 and 2024. Most of her parents are millennials.

A new member of Generation Alpha is born every nine minutes in the United States. By 2025, this group will reach a world population of more than two billion.

Generation Alpha Births Infographic

Generation Alpha Culture and the Future of Marketing

Although some Gen Alpha babies have not yet been born, there are a few things we can predict about them.

For starters, Generation Alpha will be the most technologically advanced generation to date, growing up with mobile devices, AI, social media, advanced healthcare, and robotics as part of their everyday lives.

As a result, they are digitally savvy and multitasking savvy.

Gen Alpha is also considered to be the most materially equipped generation of all time. This means that they can potentially spend more on non-essentials than previous generations.

They are also considered to be the best-informed group in the world and have the longest lifespan.

Generation alpha technology trends

As Generation Alpha evolves, so does its familiar technology.

We have already seen the impact of exponential technological growth on current generations, and that impact will only increase.

It is expected that AI and robotics will be fully integrated into modern life by 2025. We can also expect that machine learning, natural language processing, and smart devices will change, improve, and further connect us in the years to come.

Gen Alpha may interact with robots as often as it does with humans.

For marketers, this means speaking to smart audiences who may know the ideal product better than we do.

Likewise, we can expect Gen Alpha to reject traditional forms of marketing, much like their millennial parents did not long ago. An increasing interest in personalization, humanized messaging and social shopping should be assumed.

Generation Alpha Education Trends

Generation Alpha is the best educated generation to date.

Access to education is higher than ever before. Most countries report twelve or more years of schooling for each individual citizen.

According to UNESCO, every additional year of education increases a person’s income by around 10%.

As digital resources improve and technology becomes more available, Gen Alpha will have better access to long-term education than any previous generation.

The way they view education will likely be different. There may be less emphasis on formal qualifications than on skills.

The Eduniversal Evaluation Agency (EEA) put it this way:

At a time when every other tech CEO and startup founder has dropped out of college and is now making millions, it’s hard to argue that a degree will remain an absolute requirement for success going forward.

In addition to these trends, we will see the continuation of highly personalized teaching content.

A generation devoted to instant access to information is unlikely to successfully complete three-hour lectures. Instead, we can expect an increase in online learning, especially tutorials, which will promote Gen Alpha’s technological literacy.

Generation Alpha Social Media Trends

Young people are increasingly attracted to social media. With the introduction of social media e-commerce, social media has become one of the most important tools for marketers in modern times.

A survey found that 49% of 16- to 24-year-olds look for buying inspiration on social media. This is higher than for older generations – their parents, for example, only do this 20% of the time.

As more Gen Alpha children grow up on social media, we can predict that social media use will become an increasingly inseparable part of their lives.

Gen Alpha already uses social media differently than their parents. They are less likely to be on Facebook or Twitter, preferring Instagram and TikTok. Brands that stay on the cutting edge of technology will achieve greater success with this emerging generation.

Generation Alpha Engagement Chart

Generation Alpha Data Sharing Trends

Gen Alpha may be more cautious when it comes to giving or granting access to their data to social media giants, search engines, advertising agencies, etc. We are already seeing this trend today as more and more countries adopt data protection laws such as the GDPR.

When Generation Alpha is mature, they will likely have a deep understanding of their data and how it is used. This could lead to a higher level of criticism and questioning if you consent to the use of the data – you could read this fine print.

Companies looking to leverage consumer data should consider what they are giving in return. Equal exchanges are often enough to encourage consumer consent.

Brands that get this wrong risk losing their growing audience.

Alpha generation healthcare advances

Much like their millennial parents, Gen Alpha will likely spend more time finding medical information online. Self-service and convenience will continue to be the driving forces behind Gen Alpha’s healthcare.

Additionally, younger generations are increasingly aware of mental health and seek more help with their challenges when needed. You will likely expect their jobs to provide mental health coverage and resources.

On the brand side, this means that having a compassionate and mental health awareness can greatly improve overall brand integrity.

The Bell Let’s Talk movement is a strong example of a brand getting this right.

Advancing Healthcare for Generation Alpha

Generation Alpha Media Literacy Trends

Gen Alpha has the best media literacy of all generations. You will be able to separate fact from fiction and be more likely to identify conspiracy theories or fake news that are circulating on the internet.

For marketers, this means speaking to a well-informed audience who are unlikely to be convinced by traditional marketing tactics.

It also means getting Gen Alpha involved in the arenas they prefer. Podcasting, video content, and gamification are becoming increasingly important in the delivery of information.

In addition, personalization is becoming increasingly popular in marketing. It won’t be enough for Gen Alpha to simply drive a sale. Marketers need to continuously connect with this generation.

Generation Alpha Diversity Trends

The US is becoming more diverse and younger generations are increasingly aware and accepting of the challenges based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Gen Alpha’s patience for inequality will almost certainly continue to decline as they grow up.

Children of this generation are unlikely to work for a company that does not reflect their values. Likewise, they don’t buy from brands that violate what they believe in.

Brands that advocate diversity and social issues while embracing major change will flourish. Brands that don’t evolve lag behind.

Generation Alpha Economic Trends

Generation Alpha first came into being during a turbulent economic time as the world was recovering from the great recession.

They have gone through some pretty interesting ups and downs since then, and major political and social problems will continue to affect their economic standing.

We can be pretty sure that most of it will be invested in the experience economy, including live entertainment, amusement parks, spectator sports, and tours.

This economy has been largely fueled by social media and technology as people share the fun they are having and others want to have adventures too.

In addition, Gen Alpha is predicted to be the longest-living generation of humans to date. Because of this, they are likely to stay with the workforce longer, which means more money over their years of work.

As marketers, we need to plan all of this. Our consumers are faced with a question mark in economic terms. But we know what they want – experience – and that they will be trained and in the workforce for a long time. It is important to be responsive to a changing climate and to meet their needs and wants throughout their lives.

Conclusion

Generation Alpha represents a fascinating, technologically advanced evolution of the human species.

People in this generation are digital natives who grew up with smartphones, social media and AI. You are entering a truly advanced world where automation and innovation are the norm.

In addition, their buying influence is already there and they are already influencing their parents’ purchasing decisions now.

Marketers who pay attention to this generation now will be better prepared to market large competitors in the years to come.

We can expect a well-educated, digitally fluent, socially conscious generation. We have to keep up.

What are your predictions for Gen Alpha?

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