The ringing in of the new year signals the last year to be included in a group defined as Generation Alpha – a demographic already being described as a pivotal one like none before.
Those who arrived into the world between 2010 and 2024 qualify as “Gen Alpha,” also known as the “iPad Kids” since 2010 is the year iPad came onto the scene. Gen Alphas are distinctive in a number of ways that are anticipated to have significant impact in shaping the future.
Described as “a landmark generation,” Gen Alpha is predicted to become the largest in history, numbering over 2 billion people. The only generation born fully in the 21st century, Gen Alpha will grow up entirely online. Most won’t remember a world without iPads, iPhones, or COVID. They cut their teeth on TikTok, Instagram, and Amazon, and know how to create memes and hashtags like it’s second nature.
Millennial parents are giving their children smart phones by age 9. “They’re having a media-centric childhood from incredibly young ages,” says MaryLeigh Bliss, Chief Content Officer at YPulse.
Gen Alpha’s defining event is the pandemic, where they experienced online school and social isolation, forcing Gen Alphas to forge online social connections as the norm. Because of COVID, many now have one or both parents working from home.
Despite their age, Gen Alphas have significant purchasing power, and brands are paying attention. With access to online payment apps, debit cards, and savvy knowledge of online purchasing, Gen Alpha has “sway and leverage over adults’ purchasing decisions surpassing any prior generation,” according to market researchers.
Gen Alphas understand well the power of going viral, embracing social activism and an influencer environment. They expect brands to be cause-aware and held accountable. Despite many predicted to grow up in one-parent households, Gen Alphas are more likely to attend college and be surrounded by college educated adults. Not surprisingly, they are highly visual consumers.
It’s not all sunshine and digital roses for Gen Alpha. Due to their inexorable global connection, Gen Alphas are aware of politics and social causes at earlier ages than ever, for better or for worse. They haven’t had as much practice socially making friends or dealing in person, and their inability to disconnect is blamed for much social anxiety evidenced in their cohorts. On the flip side, their global connections have created a deeper sense of empathy for global issues.
How else might the “landmark generation” impact our world? The ramifications are far reaching. They’ll be a group only ever knowing “a world of the blurring of AI and the human,” as described by Mark McCrindle, the social researcher who coined the term “Gen Alpha.” And how will shrewd marketers best connect with them? To find out more, continue reading here.