COP26 is all about now and how our actions today impact the future; Generation Alpha is our future, so what do Brands need to consider to be relevant to this next consumer group.
In a new report (Oct 2021) by global communications company Hotwire Global, their findings illustrate two quite startling points :
Generation Alpha are opinionated,
Generation Alpha has a deep sense of being fair and everyone is accepted for who they are.
Who are Generation Alpha?
Generation Alpha are children born after 2010. Researchers and popular media use the early 2010s as starting birth years and the mid-2020s as ending birth years. Generation Alpha is expected to reach two billion by 2025 and based on the fact that roughly three-quarters of all people reside in Africa and Asia, this generation is the most diverse, not only in terms of race but also experience.
What are the influences on Generation Alpha?
Being digitally savvy is a prerequisite for the younger generations. However, since COVID-19, the use and knowledge of tech has deepened with this generation equally proficient in doing their homework through Office 365, Google Classroom and Zoom, and being a preteen influencer on YouTube.
The report also revealed Generation Alpha cares more about all issues than their Millennial and Gen X parents and Baby Boomer grandparents did when they were kids, and in some cases even more than they do now.
Climate Change is one such issue, 95% identified 'taking care of the environment' as necessary and not without reason. It is estimated that the 53 million children born between 2016 and 2020 in Europe and Central Asia will experience four times as many extreme events as their grandparents. And the 172 million children of the same age born in sub-Saharan Africa will experience 5.7 times as many extreme events, including 50 times the number of heatwaves.
Research, carried out by an international team of scientists and published in the journal Science, found that under current climate conditions, today's children and newborns will experience on average 2.6 times the number of droughts, 2.8 times the number of river floods, almost three times as many crop failures, and twice as many forest fires than people born 60 years ago.
The push for climate action and being authentic
Despite their diverse backgrounds – whether ethnicity, religion or gender – Hotwire's research finds that diversity does not appear to have a large impact on their opinions. For all Generation Alpha kids, the top thing they want to be famous for is helping others.
With role models like Greta Thunberg, the push for climate action and authenticity - whether from brands or people, will be significant for this generation in their quest to do good.
How can Brands adapt and future proof themselves for Generation Alpha?
Understand diversity and prepare for pushback.
Much has been written on the demand from consumers for Brands to do and be better, and similarly, on the flip side, Brands have increasingly communicated their green credentials and, in some cases, really getting down to business and transitioning to sustainable business models.
But is that enough for Generation Alpha? I think probably not. This generation faces the most radical form of intergenerational inequality the world has ever seen, and Brands need to address it with empathy, authenticity and transparency - transparency which is only found by using robust data and published methodologies.
A word of caution, though - Brands that start to completely adapt to how Generation Alpha views the world do run the risk of alienating other audiences who don't see the world in the same way. Instead, a pragmatic and well-researched brand and communication strategy is required.
Brands need to understand Generation Alpha today and take them seriously. Not only are they the buying decision-makers of the future, but they are also impacting family decisions now, influenced by their broad value base. This digital-savvy, self-confident generation is destined to blaze a trail like no other, and as brand owners, we had best keep up.
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