ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Meet Generation Alpha.
By 2025, there will be two billion members of Generation Alpha—the largest generation in history—that already commands economic power. These young shoppers have $360 million in disposable income annually, according to Bloomberg. By 2030, they will comprise 11% of the global workforce and will likely delay marriage, childbirth and retirement.
For this month’s issue of NACS Magazine, writer Pat Pape interviewed Mark McCrindle, the Australian social researcher who coined the term Generation Alpha, where globally about 2.7 million babies are born into this generation every week. These individuals were born from the mid-2010s through the mid-2020s and the first generation to be born entirely in the 21st century.
“We already see them having a lot of influence on purchasing even beyond their own spend and pocket money,” said McCrindle. “They are influencing parental purchasing decisions—‘kidfluence’ as it’s being called. They understand the pop culture. They’re on the websites, and they know what the latest trends are. They’re growing up in society where in many ways young people have more power than they used to.”
Generation Alpha is the most technologically supplied generation in history and could be the most formally educated generation. They are diverse, women have always been in the workplace and inclusion and equality are the norm.
These future shoppers and workers are globally minded and culturally diverse, digital, visual, mobile and social.
Alphas are following the path forged by Gen Z (read “Are You Ready for a Gen Z Workforce?”) in terms of activism and holding brands and parents accountable. They are the information-gatherers, advocating for specific brands and sharing information about what is cool or important.
“Kids want to understand brands that support their needs and emotional needs,” said Gabe Rowe, senior enterprise account executive for GWI. “They aren’t loyal to a brand based on the [brand] name but on what the brand is doing from a social perspective. If you don’t have that social component within your branding, it will be hard to retain them as an ongoing customer,” he said.
Alphas are young and can’t legally drive yet, but there are two characteristics of these up-and-coming consumers to keep in mind: their millennial parents and health and wellness.
“Alphas are quickly approaching their teenage years, and we can’t ignore the influence of their parents. They’re at the life stage where their parents are still gatekeepers,” said McCrindle, adding that millennial parents are more health conscious, and “they’re guiding their children toward healthy eating and lifestyles. …They will support the brands that help them and their children flourish in life.”
Read more about Generation Alpha in the December issue of NACS Magazine.