There is a constant barrage of coverage on Gen Z (aka younger millennials). But there is a new generation that brands and marketers should be taking notice of: Gen Alpha.
Coined by Mark McCrindle, a generational researcher and consultant, Gen Alpha are youngsters who were or will be born between 2010 and 2025. It is estimated that two billion people will be part of this generation. Repeat, TWO BILLION people.
What does this mean for brands and marketers? As with Gen Zs, Gen Alphas are guiding the purchasing decisions made by their millennial parents. According to research done by accounting firm Grant Thornton, Gen Alphas are expected to have the longest life expectancies out of all the modern generations, will be the wealthiest and will have more material goods. This is the time for brands to start thinking about how they’ll attract and build loyalty among this new generation of consumers.
A greater investment in technology will be a critical part of attracting a younger audience. Major brands are already experimenting with LensStudio and AR technology on Snapchat. Facebook has rolled out a messaging app just for the Gen Alphas called Facebook Messenger Kids. But brands also need to balance this desire for new technology with tighter data controls and policies – this is a generation that will be smarter than those preceding in about what their data is worth.
One interesting thing that sets Gen Alphas apart from their predecessors is their attention span. It is actually longer (around eight minutes) than their Gen Z counterparts. This means that brands can communicate more complex messages, and don’t need to cram so much information into short video formats of Facebook and Instagram feeds.
As they grow up with the Internet playing a bigger part of their childhood, Gen Alpha will continue the Gen Z trend of gravitating toward multiculturalism and ignoring gender norms. They will expect brands to understand this, but will gravitate only toward those brands that they perceive to be authentic. They’ll care about where they spend their money, and they’ll consider the values and ethics of a brand before they buy. Greater value will be placed on “trust”.
The emergence of Gen Alpha will remove any lingering doubt for brands about the importance of having a strong brand voice and transparent, ethical business practices. They’ll have greater spending power than their parents, and they’ll make their voices even more heard. Now is the time for brands to act, to be ready for this newest generation.