Generation Alpha (or Gen Alpha) is the first generation born fully in the 21st century and in a sense it has imbibed the start of something new. Those born from 2010 onwards (until those who born by 2025) are part of this generation and considered to be growing up in a fully digital world.
My niece, nephews and now my twins are all Gen Alpha, and as a parent and entrepreneur it is worth checking out what lies ahead as far as the impact this generation will have on business and how its innate characteristics will drive what will be available in the market. Worth noting, too, is that the oldest Gen Alpha will be teenagers by next year, just a couple of years short of when they can start buying on their own.
Alpha children are hyperconnected and their use of technologies is an integral part of their lives. This can be seen not just in the use of mobile devices such as tablets or mobile phones but also in the use of wearables such as smart watches and other smart toys.
Personalization, meanwhile, is a critical component in marketing to this generation as they require their needs and preferences to be taken into account. This is hyper-personalization at its finest and it can only get more granular as we go along.
As to optics, rich formats such as video will be the preferred mode in terms of consuming content and even for interaction and engagement.
Lastly and not only covering ethnicity and gender, Alpha children are possibly the most diverse set of individuals: they accept and are open to varying tastes, lifestyles and perspectives, among others.
Given that the Alpha children have specific preferences or at least would want their preferences to be considered, businesses should look into hyper-personalization as part of improving and optimizing the overall customer experience. It is not anymore a function of selling food but it will be selling food that is low carb, plant-based and gluten-free, for example. Many permutations and possibilities are up for grabs and it is up to the business to cater to these requirements and look into these as growing opportunities.
As Alpha children are essentially the first generation born in the 21st century, they are the individuals that have been exposed to digital all throughout their lives. They will grow to be very digital savvy, which will, of course, shape their buying behavior. Companies or business should look into taking advantage of the digital technologies available to cater to the growing market of individuals who prefer to transact and engage online.
Older generations are used to sending SMS or emails or even chat messages. For this particular generation, however, the use and consumption of video content will become second nature. Short videos that do not challenge the attention span will be widely preferred and business should consider this whenever marketing campaigns or messages are to be created.
Hyper-personalization will have to align with diversity in offering products or services. Alpha children will look into options, combinations, bundles and what have yous before making their decision to buy, and business will find it useful to look into the products being offered and how these can still be further improved. Diversity is key in this case.
Bear in mind that Alpha children will prefer interactions that are simple, easy and instant. In the end, opportunities are ripe for businesses who are looking to target Generation Alpha.
Kay Calpo Lugtu is the chief operating officer of Hungry Workhorse, a digital and culture transformation firm. Her advocacies include food innovation, nation-building and sustainability. The author may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.