Who’s Next? Get Ready for Gen Alpha

Our latest guest post from the YMS community focuses on the next generation of young people following in Gen Z’s footsteps: Gen Alpha. Below, you’ll hear from KidSay’s Terence Burke and Seismic Digital’s Nick Barkman about what to expect as this new cohort becomes increasingly influential.

“The ideas of one generation are the instincts of the next” – D.H. Lawrence

Lawrence’s maxim is as true today as it was when he wrote it five generations ago. Data from Gen Alpha, defined as kids born after 2010, confirms this. For them, ideas Gen Z has explored and incorporated into their lives, ideas YMS:ONLINE 2021 will steep you in, have become the instincts with which they shape their experience. 

 Among the ideas Gen Z has bequeathed as instincts to Gen Alpha are:

  • The conviction that inclusivity is a fundamental value, a value that brands must embody in word and deed
  • The inspiration to be agents of positive change in issues large and small, and to be joined as agents by brand in voice and action
  • The expectation that brands not talk at them, or even to them, but that there’s conversation and collaboration between them and their favorite brands 

While these instincts will profoundly shape your interactions with Gen Alpha, the legacy idea of Gen Z that will have the greatest impact on Gen Alpha is how they get their content. Gen Z was the first generation to reasonably expect the market to respond to their idea that, “My watching, playing or communicating shouldn’t be limited by what time it is, the place I’m at, or the device I have with me.” Only the youngest of Gen Z had that experience from their first encounters with content.

For Gen Alpha, that experience is all they’ll know. That will be their instinctive expectation. This is supported by the fact that, when compared to when the youngest Gen Zer were tweens, Gen Alpha tweens are:

  • 2x more likely to own their own phone 
  • 74% more likely to name their phone their favorite device (Gen Z tweens named a tablet)
  • 138% more likely to report using the internet ‘many times a day’ 

Add the impact that social media has had on Gen Alpha for their entire lives, and you’ll see how your marketing to Gen Z is a launching pad for engaging Gen Alpha. Nothing illustrates this better than looking at how tweens from Gen Z and Gen Alpha differ when listing their favorite apps. 

Top 10 Favorite Apps by Category

Gen Z tweens in 2011 VS Gen Alpha tweens in 2021

Games: 9  Games: 3 

Social Media: 1 Social Media: 4

Video Streaming: 3

If that doesn’t convince you that the ideas of Gen Z have become the instincts of Gen Alpha, this might:

Top 10 Favorite Apps by Category

Gen Alpha 5-7 year olds in 2021

Games: 2  

Social Media: 4

Video Streaming: 4

For more on this topic, including how to incorporate into your marketing strategy the idea Gen Alpha is most likely to pass on, the Metaverse, come to KidSay and Seismic Digital’s booth and YMS:ONLINE presentation on Wednesday July 14.

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