First, there was Generation X, then millennials, and then Generation Z. Now, as we move into the 21st century, Generation Alphas are being born. Children born, mostly to millennial parents, beginning in the 2010s through the mid-2020s, are now known as Generation Alpha.
The name comes from the Greek alphabet, with alpha being the first letter. Gen Alpha kids are the firstborn in the new century, and just as previous generations, are bound to be more technologically advanced than those before them. Because tech never stops moving.
Undoubtedly, they will go on to create new social media platforms, new cultural trends, and change the way we all interact with the world. And as adults, we can learn a lot from children.
As a millennial, this means that my future children will likely be Gen Alpha, so I better start paying attention now. Here’s what we’ll be able to learn from them.
1. New Marketing Techniques
How can we learn marketing techniques from children who are, right now, only ten years old? The secret lies in the parents. Generation Alpha will have more screen time in their early lives than any previous generation. Millennials and Gen Z kids grew up in a world of emerging tech. Most didn’t have iPads at the age of two or three, or smartphones until their late teens.
With Generation Alpha, this won’t be the case. The children of the new century will grow up with screens in hand, with increasingly astonishing technological features. This will change the way we market. Studies show that 66% of parents report their children significantly impact their buying habits.
What this means is that to appeal to millennial parents, marketing will have to appeal to Gen Alpha too. Companies and advertisers will have to adapt to a new demand for technology and develop the most stunning way to showcase it. Surveys show that 57% of Gen Alpha kids decide what they want to buy off Instagram ads, a marketing technique that didn’t exist just five years ago.
2. New Ways to Use Voice Assistance
By now, most of us are familiar with Siri, Alexa, and Google Home devices. We can turn music on and off at our voices’ command, speak to our televisions, and dictate text messages. But Generation Alpha will take voice assistance to new heights.
What else can we control with our words? Gen Alpha is sure to show us. Growing up watching their parents use existing voice technology is sure to have an impact, and chances are that children will begin asking if they can talk to other objects. Manufacturers will be sure to take the opportunity to develop new products that fulfill these wishes.
3. How to Cut the Cord with Contracts
Generation X, millennials, and Generation Z are starting to figure this out. As of 2019, more households had internet subscriptions than cable television subscriptions. But many of us still hold on to contract-based subscriptions. Just ten years ago, nearly every cellphone carrier and television provider came with a contract of several years. Millennials are shying away from the concept, but Generation Alpha will likely break it entirely.
With new streaming services constantly emerging, most with the ability to cancel anytime, in ten years, it’s likely that contract-based services of the past won’t exist at all. Will cable TV still exist? Time will tell.
4. The True Power of Influencers
Surely, everyone can name a few top influencers without much thought. The Kardashians, for example. But Generation Alpha will show us how influencing is truly done. They’re here to prove that you don’t need to be rich and famous to make a huge impact.
Surveys state that more than half of Gen Alpha wants their parents to buy them the things they see their favorite YouTube vloggers using. These YouTube stars, though, aren’t the elites we’re accustomed to. Forbes is calling out a new trend known as “Mommy and Me Influencing,” where kids and parents come together to create social media videos. Organic and homegrown, these influencers are real people across the country.
Consider this: The highest-paid YouTuber is currently an 8-year-old by the name of Ryan. With nearly 18 million subscribers and 25 billion views, Ryan unboxes toys and shows them off. With not even a decade under his belt, he has a line of toys and a clothing line.
5. A New Style of Parenting
Parenting, just like everything else, changes across generations. With 2.5 million Generation Alphas born every week, more parents are going to get in-tune with raising families in an ever-changing world.
In 1980, more than 60% of kids lived in a household with married parents. In 2016, that number was 46%. Parents of Generation Alpha will be learning how to co-parent successfully. Many will know what it is honestly like to be a single parent and navigate the road successfully.
Likely, millennial parents will also learn more about raising gender-neutral children. As parents today are breaking relationship stereotypes of the past, dividing up household responsibilities between both parents, we’re sure to see a shift in traditional family roles.
The World Keeps Moving
Of course, no predictions for the future are set in stone. We base the projection of trends on the study of today’s habits, which are subject to change tomorrow. When we look back in five years, we may be amazed at what we learn from Generation Alpha. To me, it’s an exciting thought. It’s sure to be a busy world full of change.