Vrishali Kekre Deshmukh
Move Over Gen-Zs, the Alphas are Taking Over
I recently morphed from a nuclear family into a joint family. And the age chasm between the youngest (5) and the oldest (77) in the house was a glaring reflection of changing times. Being a keen observer of human behaviour, having a Gen-alpha, Gen-Z, Millennials, and Boomers all under one roof, is a feast! I only miss a Gen-x in the mix.
I see that brands have lost all interest in Millennials and have moved to targeting the Gen-Z, but what they really have their eye on is the Gen-Alpha. All their long-term strategies are aligned toward these future spenders.. or non-spenders.. we will never know.
The shift is palpable. Brands re-aligned their product portfolio to talk about local produce, health, sustainability, environment et al., which Gen-Z gullably fell for. But they have realised that all-talk-no-walk will not fly with the Alphas. What they really need to show is authenticity and impact. They need to live their beliefs and show proof of the concept before the well-read, well-exposed and well-informed Alpha will buy into them.
Born after 2010 and being the youngest generation that currently exists in the world, this generation is already starting to make its mark on the world and beginning to have a significant impact on branding., even though many of its members are still in elementary school.
First and foremost, it is important to understand that Gen-Alpha is growing up in a very different world than the one previous generations experienced. They are the first generation to grow up entirely in the digital age, and as a result, they are extremely tech-savvy. Being already familiar with smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets from a very young age they are quick to adapt to new technologies as they emerge.
However, this does not mean that Gen-Alpha is entirely dependent on technology. In fact, many members of this generation are more socially aware and politically active than their predecessors. They are growing up in a world where social justice and environmental issues are at the forefront of public discourse, and many of them are already taking action to make a difference. They are more likely to be involved in community service and volunteer work than previous generations, and they are also more likely to be interested in pursuing careers that have a positive impact on society.
Brands NEED to BE Socially Responsible:
Gen-Alpha are more likely to be engaged in activism and social causes than previous generations, and they expect brands to be, too. Brands that want to appeal to Gen-Alpha, need to be socially responsible and have a strong commitment to sustainability, diversity, and inclusion.
Another defining characteristic of Gen-Alpha is their diverse backgrounds. They are growing up in a world where globalization is the norm, and many of them are exposed to different cultures and languages from a very young age. This diversity is likely to shape their values and perspectives in significant ways, making them more open-minded and tolerant of different viewpoints.
Hence brands need to be authentic and transparent:
Gen-Alpha is a generation that values authenticity and transparency. They have grown up in a world where information is readily available, and they are highly sceptical of marketing messages that seem disingenuous or manipulative. Brands that want to appeal to Gen Alpha need to be genuine and honest in their messaging and actions.
In terms of education, Gen Alpha is likely to have a very different experience than previous generations. With the advent of online learning and other digital technologies, they will have access to a wealth of information and educational resources that previous generations could only dream of. They will also be more likely to pursue non-traditional educational paths, such as online courses or apprenticeships, that allow them to gain practical experience while also learning.
Brands need to value individuality:
Gen Alpha is a generation that values personalized experiences. They expect brands to understand their individual needs and preferences and tailor their messaging and products accordingly. Brands that want to engage with Gen-Alpha need to invest in data-driven marketing strategies that enable them to deliver highly personalized experiences.
Overall, Gen-Alpha is a generation that is poised to make a significant impact on the world. They are growing up in a rapidly changing world that presents both challenges and opportunities, and they are well-equipped to adapt and thrive in this environment. They have seen-it-all and are hungry for more.
Brands needs to get better at story telling:
Gen-Alpha is a generation that is highly visual and prefers images and videos over text. Brands that want to engage with Gen Alpha need to use visual storytelling to create compelling narratives that resonate with this generation. This can include everything from product videos and social media posts to influencer collaborations and user-generated content. In terms of advertising, Gen Alpha is a generation that is less likely to respond to traditional advertising methods, such as TV commercials and print ads.
Having grown up in better conditions than their predecessors, they have a very different relationship with money. They do not see it as a need but as a means.
They are so comfortable that they can be frugal.
They are so modern that they will go back to their roots, and become traditional.
They are so fast that they will choose to go slow.
They will have so much access that they will choose not to consume.
This generation is going to be full of paradoxes and brands need to brace for this!