Gen Alpha, those born between 2010 and 2024, literally cannot remember a time without constant connectivity and smart phones – their deep connection to tech devices also gives rise to their other moniker: “Generation glass.” 

According to demographer Mark McCrindle, this generation “already have influence and purchasing power beyond their years”. To my surprise, a third of 12- to 15-year-olds have a bank or savings account they can access, according to GWI’s 2022 report Generation Alpha: the real picture, which also says they are more socially aware at a young age and become consumers more quickly.

A scary prospect for marketers who are still grappling with the different approach of Gen Z, more and more campaigns will be skewed towards Gen Alpha in the next couple of years. 

We couldn’t write about Gen Alpha without mentioning Roblox. Roblox Corp reported revenue for 2022 at $2.2bn, up 16% year on year, while its 200 million monthly players spent $861.86m globally, according to RTrack.

Big brands are all over the platform, with the likes of Samsung, Nike, Dove, McCain and L’Oréal setting up their own worlds and selling millions of virtual experiences and avatar accessories. 

For Spotify, influencer marketing agency Whalar created the Spotify Island game on Roblox “to drive brand love and grow subscribers among younger audiences”.

The campaign targeted gaming creators who are active members of the Roblox community, including celebrity creator Mr Beast. They were given early access to the game, to play, interact and tell their Roblox stories via YouTube, Twitter and TikTok.

Gen Alpha has literally grown up in the creator economy and so the term celebrity takes on a new definition. Celebrities for this generation will typically be online personalities, regardless of how they first discover them, rather than celebrities from more traditional media. Furthermore, production quality has increased a lot recently, in terms of the type of content being created, so creators are the TV shows for the younger generation.

Alpha is so native to content that it has to be more authentic and there has to be more purpose to it. But if Gen Alpha’s authenticity radar will be more acute, because they’ve grown up in an online world, to what extent can they still be reached through influencer marketing? There is also speculation that in rebellion to their Millennial parents who always have a phone in hand, privacy will be prioritised and admired. 

Having said that, more than half (55%) of Gen Alphas will want to buy something if their favourite YouTuber or Instagrammer is using, wearing or consuming it, according to Wunderman Thompson’s Generation Alpha: Preparing for the Future Consumer report.

Gen Alpha’s consumer precociousness isn’t limited only to an instinct for authenticity, they’re also attuned to a new level of social acceptance, which includes niche interests that may previously have been considered deeply uncool. Take train watching or anime. 

Interaction is also key. From being able to see a product on somebody, they can buy it immediately, and obviously that changes how brands should market to them. Short-form video content is king, playing to the shorter attention spans of younger audiences, and meaning that more brands could now look to condense their marketing efforts. 

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