Generation Alpha is being defined. How can you meet the needs of a generation that can identify brands by their third birthday?
Move over Zoomers, Generation Alpha are on the march to the razor’s edge of cultural relevance.
The newest generation to be carving out an identity are, at max, on the cusp of their teenage years. But already, they are showing distinct characteristics that segment them from their Zoomer predecessors.
How Gen Alpha is starting to look
Whilst a lot of the early traits of Gen Alpha are yet to be cemented over time, there are clear environmental contexts that mean early observations are likely to be accurate. Researchers say the inevitable impacts of huge screen time, as well as less outdoor play and hyperconnectivity, are shaping a less creative but unwaveringly unique generation.
And that connectivity is born out of the truly digital landscape that they have been moulded within, rather than adopted. Whilst Gen A are likely to be fast and adaptable learners, they are plagued with short attention spans and are intensely visual.
And all of them have experienced a significant portion of their lives during Covid. It remains to be seen how they will fare in the long run. But one thing’s for certain, this isn’t a restocking of Gen Z.
What does this mean?
Well for a generation that is truly digitally native, marketing to them follows suit.
They expect diversity. It’s not an afterthought though, it’s the only way they know how (their Millennial parents were some of the first to experience a global, digital world). This generation craves individuality and representation like never before.
And as their parents are conscious caretakers, they’ve seen examples in the home of brands that match their ethical, healthy and conscious values. Growing up in this environment means Gen A kids can identify brands from as young as three, demonstrating how interwoven they are to their identities.
“Because the brands they see and possess are embedded in their experiences, they form connections with them. They’re aware of how they function in their lives and help them achieve certain goals.”
Heather Dretsch – Assistant Professor of Marketing at North Carolina University
Brand identity for Generation Alpha
But like older generations, they wait until their early adolescence to self-express through branding. However, their identities appear to be more closely intermingled with brands, meaning their quest for identity will forever be tied into the brands that they choose.
The value of good brand identity is surely going to play a huge role in shaping future commercial success for any business.
How adapt your marketing to a unique generation?
Gen Alpha are hyperconnected, identity-driven & extremely visual. It seems like the marketing recipe just got a lot more nuanced. And with the incredible influx of divergent viewpoints, aesthetics & tastes, it seems like unified content doesn’t quite fit the bill.
And whilst traditionally, it would be impossible to map so many different segments into your content marketing, with personalised content, you might be able to meet your customers now and in the future with alluring content, designed around their tastes.
By only serving your customers with relevant content, they are far more likely to feel brand allegiance, because it feels personal to them. And it’s not prohibitively difficult to achieve, thanks to advances in AI and automation.
Consider whether your brand will really benefit from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, especially into the generation where ‘no-size-fits-all’. Adapting your marketing could be the only way that your brand can stay relevant and effective into the Alpha years.