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What Marketers Know about Generation Alpha

By Eva Fellner

Encompassing all individuals born from 2010 through 2025, Generation Alpha is projected to be one of the largest generations as the population continues growing.

Currently made up of 48 million individuals, it’s important for marketers to understand how to reach these “Mini Millennials” if brands want to connect with this new generation.

With ages ranging from 0 to 10, Gen Alpha will soon (or already do) influence the buying habits of their caretakers. Alphas might be young, but it won’t be long before they start to make their own purchasing decisions. That said, here’s what we currently know about the predicted wealthiest generation and how to reach them.

What We Know

Protests, wars, pop culture, and politics have defined generations, shaping their worldview. Take Woodstock, the Vietnam War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis — these events helped build the context in which the Baby Boomer generation lives. While Alphas are still young and yet to experience many of the major events that will define their generation, there have already been a few key events that will undoubtedly affect how they understand the world.

The Pandemic 

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the whole world began utilizing virtual spaces to facilitate daily activities formerly held face-to-face. For Gen Alpha, this meant transitioning to online learning platforms as early as elementary school.

With increased virtual interaction and the mass integration of smart devices, Alphas are tech-savvy and will rely on the digital interface for communication, quick information, and socialization.

Social Justice Movements

2020 saw several culture-shifting movements, including Black Lives Matter, climate strikes, the George Floyd protests, and women’s rights movements that captivated people’s attention worldwide and sparked political and social change. Growing up in an era focused on social advocacy makes Gen Alpha much more attuned to social issues; they have the desire to create positive outcomes and want to support brands that give back.

Set out to be one of the largest and fastest maturing generations, the decision-making and activism common in teenagers will show itself much earlier in Alphas than in generations past. Thanks to early digital access and higher connectivity with the world, Alphas are seeing more social issues and movements at an early age.

Activism Matters

Gen Alpha’s exposure to video games, combined with greater awareness of social issues, makes Alphas eager to problem solve. They don’t want to just watch on the sidelines — they want a seat at the table as well.

With a desire to problem solve also comes the desire to fix problems that generations before them created — and they’re more inclined to support brands that feel the same way. They’ll put their income toward businesses making a difference, operating sustainably, and meaningfully contributing to social issues.

Alpha’s Millenial Parents

Because Alphas are still children, their Millennial parents are the ones controlling which products they see. The brands chosen by Millennials will undoubtedly have an impact on Gen Alpha and what brands they prefer.

Generally, Millennials want their kids to have what they believe to be the highest quality products. Because of this, Alphas are already more attuned to brand alternatives and primarily gravitate toward the leading market brands.

While Gen Z tends to lean into the “next big thing,” this might not be the case with Gen Alpha. Their Millennial parents are extra careful about what brands they show their children — they aren’t just looking for the latest and greatest. They want reliability, and so will their kids.

One of the Wealthiest and Most Educated Generations 

Alphas are positioned to have the greatest spending power in history, even greater than that of their Millennial parents and Baby Boomers.

Alphas already affect the spending power of their parents, with 87 percent of parents claiming their children influence what brands they buy. They might be young, but their preferences are already affecting the market. With the annual spending of U.S. kids and teens reaching $24 billion, and nearly half of children ages 6 to 16 with an Amazon Prime account, brands in tech, fashion, retail, and food need to focus on the younger generation.

How to Reach Gen Alpha 

So, what does all this mean in terms of strategy?

To begin reaching Gen Alpha, businesses need to focus on giving back. What value do you contribute to pressing issues on a local or global scale? Alphas will want to support companies working to improve the lives of others.

This new generation’s tech is intimately tied to their personal and social lives. This means that brands will have to utilize social media and streaming services to reach Alphas. At a glance:

  • 25 percent of Alphas make purchasing decisions based on influencer recommendations
  • 55 percent are motivated to buy products if popular YouTube or Instagram personalities use them
  • 59 percent of Alphas claim that watching TV is their favorite pastime
  • Alphas have access to approximately 4.2 streaming services each

To begin building brand awareness and eventually brand loyalty with Alphas, marketers will have to utilize social media and video content to capture their attention. From there, Alphas primarily make purchases through:

  • Mobile devices
  • Physical stores
  • Voice assistant technology

Growing up with smart technology, many Alphas are used to mobile devices and voice assistant technology for daily tasks as well as purchasing decisions. Consider this when strategizing how to best reach Gen Alpha, and keep an eye on how voice assistant technology will evolve in the future.

Finally, remember that Generation Alpha will also likely have a more favorable orientation to the products their Millennial parents use. They’ll be picky about who they trust, and will want products that prioritize their best interest.

Look to the Future

While there’s some solid insight into Generation Alpha, what we know about them is bound to evolve as they grow up. In the meantime, brands must be authentic, creating meaningful experiences that blend into the digital landscape. Utilizing influencers, video content, and streaming services will reach this generation like no other, and brands must be flexible and adapt to the new platforms and technologies Alphas will quickly embrace.

This new generation will continue to be defined, and marketers will have to build their efforts around this ever-changing context. For now, continue to build that confidence and trust with Alphas — it may yield a positive connection down the line.