Colleen Newlin


Marketing to Gen Alpha: How is it Different?

As the first generation born entirely in the 21st Century, Gen Alpha learned how to swipe before they could walk or talk. In fact, this age group has grown up so accustomed to technology that they are less captivated by new tech and more open to putting devices down than Gen Z or Millennials before them.

But don’t let Gen Alpha’s willingness to go outside and play confuse you. This is a generation entirely surrounded with and shaped by technology. It’s everywhere, from school to social interactions and beyond.

So how, as marketers, can we reach an audience that’s constantly bombarded with information and messages? In this final installment in our series on generational marketing, we will discuss how Gen Alpha is different from a marketing perspective and provide actionable ideas for more successful branding and ad campaigns with society’s youngest cohort.

Mom and Dad are Millennials

Successfully marketing to children always involves at least a cursory attempt to create messaging that also appeals to the person holding the credit card – but what makes Gen Alpha different than any previous generation is that their parents, who are Millennials, are also digitally native.

Gen Alpha may potentially skip the life experience of showing mom and dad how to use new technology. Long gone are the days of helping grandma set up the VCR. Gen Alpha’s parents are already tech wizards and marketing professionals need to bear this in mind when considering digital strategy.

If your target audience is Gen Alpha, you can rest assured that the entire household is digital.

But Taking a Digital-First Approach Won’t Be Good Enough

As the most empowered generation to date, speaking Gen Alpha’s language is key to successful branding. And the message of this generation is hope for a brighter future.

Gen Alpha’s commitment to social causes is unprecedented. But something that differentiates their interest in making the world a better place compared to earlier cohorts is that instead of complaining, Alphas are ready to take action.

It is no longer enough for a brand to share values with its audience. Successfully marketing to Gen Alpha requires that you also provide the medium and resources for your audience to take action and enact meaningful change.

Proving you cared was good enough for Millennials.

Gen Z forced you to do something about it.

For Gen Alpha, you need to put systems in place that empower them to take real action on your behalf.

Marketing to Gen Alpha is a Visual Experience

For an Alpha, it’s impossible to imagine a world where video calls and unlimited “free” streaming didn’t exist. Asking them to interact with your brand with anything less than the full audiovisual experience will be met with resistance, and more than likely, an all out boycott of your marketing material.

If you don’t have the resources in-house to produce appropriate video content, outsource to an agency that can. Trying to catch Gen Alpha’s attention with 2D photos and text is going to be an uphill battle.

Everything Must Be Personalized

From game characters to avatars, this is a generation that is accustomed to creating their own, custom online persona – and as hyper-personalized web experiences have become the norm, Gen Alpha expects the same from the brands they engage with.

Generic messaging falls flat. Finding ways to personalize content is key.

Interacting with Alphas using their first name is a great start but the more you wow them with personalized content the faster you’ll attach their loyalties to your brand. 

Create a Two-Way Conversation

Just as we talked about with Gen Z, Gen Alpha is unlikely to connect strongly with a brand that only offers one-way communication. This generation doesn’t want to be talked to, they want to actively engage in the conversation. Even more, they relish the opportunity to create their own content and have their work broadcast by the brands they adore.

Leveraging user-generated content (UGC) works in many different ways:

  • Encourage video reviews of your products and share them on social media
  • Incorporate USG video directly into future marketing collateral
  • Create a dedicated landing page for users to upload UGC
  • Give away free swag to users who post UGC about your product or brand
  • Social media feeds designed solely for the purpose of UGC creates a platform for users to meet and talk about your brand
  • Branded communities are huge with Gen Alpha

85% of Gen Alpha Says Their Top Pastime is Video Games

While developing a video game for your company would definitely be way over the top, knowing that nearly an entire generation shares a single hobby so strongly can certainly provide insight into how to better connect with this audience. 

Content is more likely to resonate with any audience if it relates to how they like to spend their free time. Video games are number one. Watching online videos is close behind, a hobby shared by 82% of the generation.

Understand Who is Influencing This Generation

Influencers are getting younger and younger with each generation, and for Gen Alpha, the expectation is that the celebrities they follow might as well be their peers.

With Gen Alpha spending nearly all their social media time on YouTube and TikTok, they are drawn to everyday “stars” who share their experiences and perspectives.

According to

  • 55% of children will want to purchase an item if their favorite YouTube star is using, wearing or consuming it.
  • 49% of Gen Alpha trust influencers as much as their own family and friends for product recommendations.
  • 57% of Alphas spend 3+ hours per day on digital devices.

Authenticity for the Win

You can’t lie or pull the wool over the eyes of this generation. If Gen Z is allergic to the sales pitch, Alphas are fully immune.

To successfully market to Gen Alpha, every word of every message must be truthful, genuine and authentic – even if this means changing the ethos of your brand to match consumer expectations.

Long gone are the days when a brand can get away with an unsavory behind the scenes if their products are good enough or sufficiently popular. For Gen Alpha, you’re wasting your money delivering any message that’s not 100% authentic and in tune with the values of this generation.

Get Help Marketing to the Largest Cohort in History

Experts predict that the number of Gen Alphas worldwide could exceed 2.2 billion by the end of 2024. This would make Gen Alpha the largest generation ever, and therefore a must-reach audience for businesses.

Partnering with BRK Global Marketing can ensure your branding efforts resonate with the biggest consumer base on the planet. When you’re ready to get started, so are we.

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