ALPHA, the generation of no return
Generation Alpha is the term used to describe the generation of children born after 2010. They are the first generation to grow up with access to the internet and all its benefits and drawbacks.
Due to their constant exposure to digital media, Gen Alpha kids are often described as “digital natives.” They are extremely comfortable with technology and are constantly interacting with screens. This has both positive and negative consequences.
Gen Alpha is unique because it is the first generation to have access to the internet and all of the technology that comes with it from a young age. They are also the first generation to be raised in a world where diversity is celebrated and the norm.
On the one hand, Gen Alpha kids are extremely savvy when it comes to technology. They can navigate the internet with ease and are comfortable using social media. This gives them a leg up in the digital world and allows them to thrive in a tech-driven society.
On the other hand, Gen Alpha kids can be easily addicted to screens. They are constantly bombarded with digital media, which can be both distracting and harmful. This can lead to problems such as obesity, sleep deprivation, and attention disorders.
Overall, Gen Alpha kids are a fascinating generation with both strengths and weaknesses. They are the first generation to grow up in a completely digital world, and as such, they offer a unique perspective on the world.
WHY ARE THEY UNIQUE
1. They’re focused on their family and the future
Their formative years have been shaped by a global pandemic, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that many of Gen Alpha can be defined by their worries towards becoming ill, and missing out on spending time with family. Compared to the rest of the world, where we’ve seen the opposite, 26% of Gen Alpha are worried about not seeing their family enough. With more saying this than in 2021, Gen Alpha’s attitudes towards their family priorities could be a deep-rooted and long-lasting after effect of Covid-19.
By comparison, worries about falling behind at school are down on last year, with the biggest fall in numbers saying this is a concern for them. Instead, 12-15s are looking to the future, with getting good grades remaining the top attitude toward school, and 43% believing it’s important to go to college.
2. They’re climate advocates
While it might not be as high a priority for Gen Alpha as it is for older generations in the rest of the world, climate change and the environment is still important. Caring for the planet is in the hearts and minds of Gen Alpha kids across America, with many increasing their activism to implement sustainable change at a systemic level.
Gen Alpha don’t have as much control over waste management in their households, but their mindset around this topic is close to that of Gen Zs when thinking about the bigger picture around sustainability. Gen Alpha is looking to their government and brands to lead the charge with climate change and making sustainable products more available to them.
3. They’re passionate about inclusivity
Gen Alpha will be the most diverse generation in history, and it’s shaping kids’ expectations. They’re looking for representation and inclusivity, and helping people is the number 1 priority for 12-15s in the States. Over 60% want to protect people from bullying and for everyone to be treated the same. These attitudes aren’t based on a Disney-inspired fairytale world, but a long-lasting desire to create a safer world for all.
Representation of ethnic and minority groups in games, TV, movies and media is key for this audience, helping kids in America to feel confident and empowered.
4. They’re spending more time online
Kids doesn’t behave like kids globally when it comes to screen time. After Covid, many kids started taking a step back from their screens, but not in the States. Here, it shows no sign of easing off on the gas pedal. Parents are saying their children are using devices more frequently than last year, and it’s impacting on in-person experiences. Gen Alpha kids rank playing video games and scrolling on social media higher than spending time with friends, and joining after school clubs. Sports participation has seen the biggest drop in numbers, with 11% less playing after school and 17% less on the weekends.
And increased screen time is having another negative effect. Compared to the global average, teens are 41% more likely to say they post everything they do on social media. But 11% less are saying it makes them feel good about themselves and 19% less are saying they think it shows people’s real lives, so while they may be more active, many are having a worse experience.
5. They love a trip to the movies
Going to the cinema is a classic pastime for kids spanning generations, and it’s no different for today’s Generation Alpha. We’ve seen a 39% increase in 12-15s who say the movie theater is their favorite way to watch movies, a higher number than the global average. With many of the kids of today wanting to keep up with what’s trending, the opportunity to see films as soon as they come out is too good to miss.
But entertainment doesn’t just have to be visual for Gen Alpha.
Many in this generation want to listen to comedy and gaming related podcasts, and they also want to educate themselves, and energize their creativity. Despite a notable rise in screen time, US kids are still finding the time to switch off and simply listen.
Key takeaway for brands? Gen Alpha need brands to match their values
With these five key characteristics defining Generation Alpha, brands looking to understand and engage this audience need to match their morals and keep in mind the things that are important to the consumers of tomorrow.
- Inclusivity and representation isn’t just a HR requirement, it’s an intrinsic need for Gen Alpha. Fostering a culture of acceptance is the ONLY way.
- Kids are looking to their parents, their government, and their favorite brands to help them make a change in the world around sustainability.
- While they might spend most of their time online, connectivity and authenticity are a big deal to Gen Alpha. Brands who appear insincere or out of touch won’t get far with this crowd.
- Offering a space where they can be themselves, connect with family and friends, as well as express their creativity is super important. Rising interest in gaming, building worlds, and having fun are the defining characteristics of this generation.
What is Luxury for Gen Alpha?
Luxury for Generation Alpha (remember people born between 2010 and 2025) may differ from previous generations due to their digital natives status and growing up in a more connected and globalized world. They may value experiences and technology, such as virtual and augmented reality, over traditional luxury goods. They may also place a higher importance on sustainability and social responsibility in luxury products and brands. Additionally, as they are growing up in the era of social media, luxury for them may be closely tied to the ability to share experiences and possessions on social media platforms. Additionally, technology and personalization may also play a big role in defining luxury for this generation.
Generation Alpha may consider luxury brands differently from previous generations. They have grown up in a digital world with access to a wide range of products and services, so they may place a greater emphasis on experiences and personalization. Additionally, as they are growing up in a world where sustainability and social responsibility are becoming increasingly important, they may also consider how luxury brands are addressing these issues. They may also value brands that are transparent, authentic, and innovative. With the increasing use of technology, they may also look for luxury brands that integrate technology in their products and services, like the use of augmented reality for shopping, for example.
So there you have it, Generation Alpha – the first of its kind, and determined to forge their own path.