Currently, the largest generation in the history of the world is entirely invisible.

Confused? Let us clarify.

There are expected to be around two billion Gen Alphas by 2025, making them the largest generation in the history of the world. And, despite the big social media platforms age-gating access from 13+, nearly half (49%) of under-13s now have a social media profile. 

However, without a trackable demographic segment on these mainstream platforms, brands have no way of measuring, understanding, or even seeing them. 

But (because there’s always a ‘but’), not being able to see or track them doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Whether you understand them or not, more than half of this growing generation are already seeing your brand and making decisions about it, learning from creators, informing trends, and forming opinions. 

Gen Alpha 101

Gen Alpha is the first completely 21st century generation. They are and will be born between January 2010 and December 2024, meaning the eldest members of Gen A are 12 years-old and will be teenagers next year. 

Gen Alpha is the largest generation of future consumers who are expected to have the greatest spending power in history. They are also known as ‘Generation Glass’, given their eternal connection to technological devices. Smartphones, smart speakers, AI, VR and mobile interactivity are all they’ve ever known, making them the first truly digitally immersed generation.

Why should brands care?

Studies have shown children under 12 can influence parental purchases of $130 to $670 billion a year, and the eldest members of the Gen Alpha cohort are already influencing the purchasing decisions of their household today. Within four years, they’ll enter the workforce and start to occupy valuable consumer positions , meaning brand success in the near and long term future rests on a deep understanding of this generation. 

What should you know about Gen Alpha?

This is the first generation that has been, is being, and will continue to be truly shaped by technology, so let’s look at their tech habits:

  • Gen Alpha began using smart gadgets at the age of six and are able to use a tablet before the age of four.
  • Two thirds (66%) are regularly using an iPad or tablet by their fifth birthday.
  • 61% own a tablet, and 49% have a smartphone.
  • 30% are on their smartphones for more than an hour a day.
  • 52% spend their pocket money on and within video games like Roblox, focusing on things like customising their virtual avatars.
  • Gen Alpha speak to their smart speakers (25% have daily interactions) more than their own grandparents (10% have daily interactions).

And, when it comes to keeping in touch…

  • Over a third of six-11-year-olds are on WhatsApp
  • 73% of 11-year-olds are well-versed in the ever-changing ways of WhatsApp.
  • 29% use SMS.
  • 33% use FaceTime

What matters to Gen Alpha?

  • Activism. Transparency, honesty, and authenticity will continue to root themselves even deeper within consumer mindset. Alphas are likely to prioritise endorsing and buying from sustainable companies, as they have grown up surrounded by the narrative of the global climate crisis.
  • Interpersonal shifts. COVID lockdowns, screen-based conversations, voice notes, and smart speakers that don’t require manners all indicate a change in how Gen Alpha interacts with other people in real life. For example, three quarters of children surveyed admit that they don’t say ‘please’ (71%) or ‘thank you’ (73%) when interacting with smart speakers.

Given their entire lives have been digitally driven, Gen Alpha doesn’t just pose marketers and business owners with a generational shift to manage, but also a question that demands a technological response. 

The clearest direction for Gen Alpha-ready marketing will be driven by interactive and authentic ideas that feel personal and natural, and are delivered in a way that feels native to their habits.

Article written by Gareth Clark-Jones, Senior Strategist at Billion Dollar Boy.

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