How Brands can Prepare for Generation Alpha
Gen Z might have stolen the spotlight from their Millennial and young Gen X parents, but an even newer generation is quietly coming of age – Gen Alpha. Born between 2010 and 2025, these pre-teens, children, and even the babies who are not yet born, are on track to not only outnumber Baby Boomers but become the largest generation with the greatest spending power in history.
Beginning in the year Instagram launched and the first-generation iPad debuted, Gen Alpha is heavily influenced by technology and the content creators that live within their social media feeds. Like their parents, the new kids on the block are not to be underestimated as they enter the generational scene, and brands should prepare now for the future consumers of the world.
Growing Up with Gen Alpha
With brand recognition beginning as young as 1.5 years old and brand loyalty developing shortly after that, building your brand within each generation and adapting to their preferences at an early age can be the difference between companies like Blockbuster and Netflix. While everyone is, of course, unique, each generation has common characteristics due to intrinsic and extrinsic development such as similar life experiences, current events, and vocabulary. For example, Millennials prefer experiences over material items while Baby Boomers tend to operate from a scarcity mindset. By understanding these characteristics, behaviors, and preferences, brands can better develop content that conveys their messaging effectively to their target audience and take the first step in adapting to the needs of tomorrow’s buyer.
As a constantly connected and informed generation, Alpha’s purchasing behavior is ever-changing. They are more aware of the social impact companies have on the world than ever before and feel an obligation to reverse the environmental damage created by previous generations. This mindset allows brands an incredible opportunity to use a story, the good and the bad, to authentically connect with this audience.
Are you selling an environmentally friendly product in an industry that is notorious for waste?
Are you an outdoor brand that donates to environmental causes?
Are you supporting scholarship opportunities to help qualify women for a career in a male-dominated field?
These are the type of questions we should be asking ourselves because those in Generation Alpha understand that people, brands, and the world are not perfect. They also want to see brands embrace the unique imperfections of their business and figure out how they can make a positive mark on the world. When done well by a brand, it can trigger emotions that lead to purchasing decisions.
When we think of experiences, our minds may jump right to in-person events like wine-tastings, concerts, and interactive moments that build brand loyalty. While this still may ring true for Alphas, it is important to recognize they are also growing up in a time where technology is ingrained into their way of life. Customizable experiences like designing your own avatar, personalized customer service, and shoppable content, are becoming an expectation instead of a “nice-to-have” option. Expanding a brand’s marketing and advertising strategies to reach consumers on their preferred touchpoint opens the line of communication that brands may not otherwise have access to. Think about social media, and how we are expanding (or switching) to newer platforms like TikTok or BeReal… The digital-first world is already here, and Gen Alpha is inviting you to join in on the opportunity.
By growing up with the internet and social media, Alphas are naturally influenced by these things, and like other generations, they are also heavily influenced by their peers. A whopping 92% of consumers trust a recommendation from a friend or family member, and 87% of people say they have made a purchase based on a recommendation from an influencer. While some kids may be “kidfluencers” themselves, most everyone likes to hear reviews about a brand from outside sources before making a purchasing decision. By partnering with the right influencers on their preferred platforms, brands can build essential trust and interactions that can pull customers to your brand instead of pushing a product or service – this young age group is already savvy to that “old” way of marketing. These meaningful connections drive long-term consumer loyalty and live at the heart of Gen Alpha preferences.
While on their way to becoming the most educated, influential generation the world has ever seen, brands that look toward the future now, during Gen Alpha’s formative years, can thrive beyond this transition and build long-lived brand loyalty.
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