GenAlpha

Gen Alpha: The next economic force

Born after 2010, the oldest Generation Alpha in the group is only 12 years old. Industry leaders share their thoughts on why businesses should include this generation in their marketing plans.

There has been considerable discussion of Generation Z and their purchasing power. Marketers’ strategies have evolved to communicate with a younger generation that values transparency and authenticity when making purchases. However, before marketers declare victory, it’s important to note that the next generation, Generation Alpha, has already arrived and is demonstrating incredible purchasing power.

Who is Generation Alpha exactly? They were born after 2010, which means the oldest member of this group is only 12 years old. And, while they are not physically holding the card or hitting the purchase button, they are making several behind-the-scenes decisions and are ultimately the customer for a large number of purchases.

According to research conducted in the United States, four out of every five Gen Alpha children have a substantial influence on family purchases, and children under the age of 12 impact $500 billion in purchases each year.

Marketers who continue to disregard this generation as too young should consider the fact that they are already generating revenue on social media platforms. And, if you’re still not convinced, consider this: 87 percent of parents report that their children have an effect on their shopping habits.

In this article, we speak with industry leaders to get their thoughts on why businesses should include Generation Alpha in their marketing plans.

Generation Alpha will determine the line between success and failure 

Generation Alpha is significantly more informed about what is available in the world than previous generations, and simply need to tug on their parents’ heartstrings – or, more precisely, wallet strings – to get what they desire.

“Typically, Alpha generation children have parents who are between the ages of 20 and 50. These are the most digitally active and economically able cohort on earth. This, combined with a modern world where the ability to purchase and deliver products has never been more convenient, means that Generation Alpha might truly make the difference between success and failure in certain industries,” Brent Haumann, Managing Director of Striata Africa, explains.

According to Haumann, this enables businesses to benefit from the Alpha Generation Effect, which is the capacity to build purposely inclusive marketing experiences that consider both parents and children. This creates potential for tourism, retail, banking, and not-for-profit organisations. Marketers may use the Generation Alpha Effect by developing digital experiences targeting the parent (they can determine the parent’s profile, travel context, and channel preferences, for example), but they design the content to appeal to the child.

A generation where social issues matter 

“Gen Alpha, born in the same year as the iPad, has had such unfettered access to screens, the internet and social media, that their influence on purchasing decisions has multiplied,” explains Amy Duncan, Client Service Manager at Sea Monster.

However, their influence can, and should, be leveraged for the greater good. Duncan adds that data from Lemonade Day, an educational, entrepreneurial programme aimed at children between the ages of 7 and 13, indicated that 20% of participants planned to open a savings account. And they weren’t the only ones opening accounts. Parents, influenced by their children, were also actively looking to save.

“Generation Alpha has been exposed to not only screens, but also to social issues such as diversity, equality, and mental health issues. In short, Generation Alpha’s influence extends far beyond which cereal brand ends up in the trolley; their true power is as a force for good, influencing their parents to learn more, to make better financial choices, and to take better care of their health and the environment.”

A digital presence is a must

“As a digital-first market age group, Gen Alphas’ buying habits will be centred around tech, from the moment they first hear about your product or service to when they purchase it,” says Tshepo Matlou, Head of Marketing and Communications at online travel platform, Jurni.

“As a business, you have to recognise the shifts happening in social behaviour and divert from traditional strategies by timeously adapting your consumer-interfacing strategies to survive,” he adds.

Matlou also urges anyone in the tourism sector to do all they can to grow their digital footprint to meet the modern travellers of both today, and tomorrow. As the parents of Gen Alphas, Millennials already search, shop and pay for their travel accommodation and experiences online – a trend that will only grow as tech-savvy Alphas become economically active.

“In just a few years, people have gone from using travel agents and pamphlets at tourist boards to find holiday accommodation, to exploring properties in virtual reality. Imagine the dramatic shifts to come with Alpha customers, who will probably prefer to interact completely virtually instead of in-person. If your product or service offering has no online presence, you’ll be invisible to consumers for whom technology is intrinsic.”

Expectations are higher than those of generation Z

Generation Alpha, according to Andrew Bourne, Regional Manager at Zoho Africa, will place an even larger focus on the expectations that Generation Z now has.

“These include authenticity (how are you helping the environment), transparency (assist them in comparing and making sound purchase decisions), a real customer relationship (they like bots and AI, but they also want to speak with a real human), mobile-first (if you email a PDF that requires printing, they will not do business with you), and efficiency (assist them in saving time).

“By focusing on delivering an exceptional customer experience that exceeds your consumers’ expectations,” Bourne continues, “you can earn Generation Alpha’s loyalty.”

Long-lasting connections 

Brands who continue to downplay Generation Alpha’s importance in their marketing efforts are playing a dangerous game. Early engagement with this younger population will result in a long-lasting brand connection, leaving competitors in the dust.

This article was first published by BereaMail on the 13 April 2022. 

Latest Articles

Gen Z is rewriting the handbook on savings and investments

06/30/2022

For decades, most people who were able to save and invest left the details to their financial advisor. The more dedicated might have read the annual report detailing how their investments were doing or request that a greater allocation of their monthly savings go to a top-performing fund, but that was about it. Today, that’s…

Read More

Internal Marketing – Adding value from the inside out

06/08/2022

When it comes to marketing, we tend to view the world from the outside in. We build strategies and pipelines that directly talk to acquiring new customers and later retaining them; converting each one into loyal brand supporters along the way. But how do we take the same theory and apply it to talent acquisition…

Read More

How can businesses better include transgender workers?

06/08/2022

I find myself writing this on International Transgender Day of Visibility, which takes place on 31 March each year to celebrate trans and non-binary people, and raise awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. Put it in your diary for next year. I am a trans woman and proud to be so. During my…

Read More

Gen Z is rewriting the handbook on savings and investments

06/30/2022

For decades, most people who were able to save and invest left the details to their financial advisor. The more dedicated might have read the annual report detailing how their investments were doing or request that a greater allocation of their monthly savings go to a top-performing fund, but that was about it. Today, that’s…

Read More

Internal Marketing – Adding value from the inside out

06/08/2022

When it comes to marketing, we tend to view the world from the outside in. We build strategies and pipelines that directly talk to acquiring new customers and later retaining them; converting each one into loyal brand supporters along the way. But how do we take the same theory and apply it to talent acquisition…

Read More

How can businesses better include transgender workers?

06/08/2022

I find myself writing this on International Transgender Day of Visibility, which takes place on 31 March each year to celebrate trans and non-binary people, and raise awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. Put it in your diary for next year. I am a trans woman and proud to be so. During my…

Read More

The engagement age: Community professionals fostering business growth

06/08/2022

We’ve all grown increasingly dependent on virtual interactions because of the pandemic. As a result, marketing departments are growing wise to the opportunities that increased online interactions create for fostering customer satisfaction and building engagement. Enter the rise of the community professional. They’re employees whose primary role is to increase engagement and create better digital…

Read More