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Get To Know Your Newest Audience, Gen Alpha

In the ever-evolving landscape of consumer preferences, Gen Alpha emerges as a transformative force, setting the stage for new standards in brand engagement. As the first generation born entirely in the 21st century, their distinctive characteristics and evolving habits demand the attention of brands. 

From embracing technology in unprecedented ways to redefining social and environmental consciousness, here are the top seven trends that brands must keep an eye on to forge meaningful connections with Gen Alpha — the generation that promises to reshape the future of consumer culture.

  1. Weathering the Polycrisis

It’s no secret that there is a mental health crisis among today’s youth. Gen Alpha, born between 2010 and 2024, is growing up in a world of chaos. At an early age, many of them were forced to understand and worry about climate change, COVID-19 and mass shootings. Parents of Gen Alphas are concerned about their children’s wellbeing and increasingly looking for ways to help them cope with anxieties. 

  1. A Perfectly Imperfect Online Presence 

Gen Alpha is even more chronically online than Gen Z. Online trends and personas impact how they act in real life, and they have created new lingo and etiquette rules that represent this. Gen Alpha is expected to be perfectly imperfect, often feigning a care-free persona. This is exemplified by content creators showing their camera set-ups at the beginning of clearly edited videos. Brands should pay attention to their use of code words, euphemisms and omissions to bypass social media content restrictions — like replacing the word “pandemic” for “panini” — in order to avoid a faux pas.

  1. Political Distrust and Division

Despite holding strong opinions, today’s youth is divided on the role they want politics to play in their lives. Many young people desire active political participation, protest involvement, social media activism, and advocacy campaigns. Meanwhile, other youngsters are becoming distrustful of democracy and their governments, a phenomenon that researchers suggest is a product of the pandemic. Young American voters increasingly identify as independent, with neither party appealing to their unique beliefs. Regardless of outlook, social media remains a key forum for youth activism. 

  1. Youth-Suited Tech Tools

As technology continues to advance, Millennial parents face the age-old question of when to buy their children smartphones. They have recently leaned into smartwatches as a first purchase for their kids, and many brands are embracing the youth-friendly nature of smartwatches. As tech becomes more embedded into children’s daily routines, services are arising to ensure they’re educated digital citizens. 

  1. Classic Hobbies Make a Comeback 

Young people have a rising obsession with anything “vintage” and “old-school.” Even their leisure pursuits are a blast from the past, from vinyl records to crafting handmade goods. “BookTok,” a rising community on TikTok dedicated to recommending and reviewing books, has contributed to young people discovering a passion for reading. However, while part of Gen Alpha is leveraging the internet to engage in their analogue passions, others are avoiding social media entirely. This tech rejection has started influencing product design. 

  1. Manifesting Mental Growth

From self-care to mindfulness practices, today’s youth is all about self-optimization. Some are taking a mind-over-matter approach and subscribing to “lucky girl syndrome” — that is, the use of positive affirmations — and manifesting good experiences for their lives. To engage this audience, brands should promote self-awareness across all activities. 

  1. The Desire to Make a Difference

Gen Alpha exhibits an even stronger commitment to purpose than Gen Z. Their goals are driven and passionate, focusing on making a difference, helping others and improving the planet. These aspirations surpass preferences to make money or become famous, so this shift is likely to influence brand affinity and purchasing behavior.

By: Grey Chapin


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