Martin Oxley
Martin Oxley 26 May 2021

Brands, Please Meet Gen Alpha

New research reveals that young children are the number 1 factor driving parents’ purchases.

The past years have seen an increased focus on generational differences. Marketers have been told how to appeal to Gen Z, how to understand Boomers, and how to talk to Millennials. But how much do brands know about the up-and-coming Generation Alpha? Does this new generation have any influence - yet?

Driven to find out, we talked to 500 parents and 200 children in the UK and US to understand what is important to Gen Alpha. I know what you’re thinking, aged between 3 and 10 years old, they only have pocket money – if that. 

But influential consumers aren’t only those with direct spending power. We found that although Gen Alphas are “small” their influence is big - and by understanding this generation early, brands will be able to be a step ahead of the game.

So please meet Gen Alpha.

It’s no surprise that they are more informed, and tech-savvy compared to other generations, that they learn by doing, they’re active and love to socialise. But, according to their Gen X and Millennial parents, this cohort are growing up with more choices and better family dynamics than they had in their childhoods – parents say they spend more time with their children and give them more attention than their parents did​.   

So, to understand the full impact that these youngsters have we should look at who is actually tall enough to reach the items on the shelves, their Gen Alpha parents. Our research found that their children’s preference is the number one factor driving parents’ purchases.

55% of parents in the UK gravitate towards products that are customised to their children, and 70% consult with the child before purchasing a product for their use. 55% give in to ‘pester power’ from their children when they purchase new products.

Kids especially influence the purchase of toys, snacks and other food items​ such as juice, yoghurt, and milk. So, food brands open your ears! 75% of UK parents are willing to pay more for products with healthier ingredients, and 20% buy more allergen free products because of their child​.

Brands that learn more about this generation now will not only be able to appeal to them while they’re still young, but they will also be able to approach them effectively in future, as they become adults. So here are some key takeaways:

  • 35% of them started using technology between the ages of 3 and 4, with 60% in the UK being influenced by YouTube.
  • For parents, brands and price are less important than health ​aspects and ingredients when they make their choice​, as they are prepared to spend more for higher quality and healthier products. Brands need to get their messaging straight, identify their values and what they stand for if they want to be the choice for parents.
  • According to their parents, the Gen Alpha cohort is growing up with more choices than they had, and children are ready to explore these choices. This means that new or smaller brands can emerge if they play their cards right; while big brands need to make sure they don’t lose their advantage.
  • With technology and positive family dynamics being predominant in Gen Alpha’s life, brands that want to reach out to this generation should seek out the intersections of interactivity and family ​environment. We saw that YouTube influences children so looking at the future of this channel and how to use it to interact with children is a good start.

So, are you ready to meet your future customer?

For more information on who is Gen Alpha and what they represent click here:

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