Meet Generation Alpha: Future Consumers Reshaping Markets

Accommodating Alphas’ needs will require an overhaul of several industries ranging from education to work, entertainment and service design.

March 2, 2021, Gökce Sandal

Born between 2010-2024, Generation Alpha is the generational cohort succeeding Generation Z. They will be the longest-living, most educated, most technologically equipped and possibly the wealthiest generation. Growing up alongside technology since birth, their life experiences and preferences will differ significantly from earlier generations.

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How will Generation Alpha impact new product development?

Alphas are the first generation born entirely in the 21st century.  As they are introduced to new technologies and artificial intelligence from day one, human-machine interaction will be a natural part of their lives. 

No matter the industry, this unprecedented tech-savviness of Alphas will offer businesses new ways to engage with them. Although the oldest Alpha is only 11 years old today, research suggests that they already have a strong influence over their household’s spending decisions. In a recent survey, Hotwire found that 65% of all surveyed parents let their children influence spending decisions, particularly regarding subscription services and technology purchases.

As the rise of digital services makes Alphas active consumers at a young age, it also gives brands a chance to build early relationships with this demographic. For example, PNC Bank teamed up with the children’s TV series Sesame Street to teach preschool and kindergarten children financial literacy.

On the other hand, growing up with endless tech possibilities will also likely make Alphas demanding consumers. They may require product and service providers to deliver new experiences continuously. This may, in turn, shorten product life cycles and increase competition across industries.

 

The future of education to serve Gen Alpha’s needs

Alphas are used to the immediate accessibility of information, and they will be a self-directed generation who don’t necessarily need to rely on teachers or parents for explanations. They will also prefer visual media over text and personalised learning over standard lectures. Thus, the prevailing educational model will need to shift to a more visual, hands-on and personalised model.

As Alphas reach adulthood, work structures, offices and management styles will similarly need to adapt to their experiences. Moreover, as traditional job patterns disappear with digitalisation and automation, a significant number of Alphas will likely have non-conventional career paths and work in jobs that don’t yet exist. This will require both education institutions and workplaces to invest in lifelong learning modules that prepare Alphas for a multitude of potential futures.

 

Would you like to discover the industry-specific impacts this phenomenon may have on your organisation’s future? Read more about Generation Alpha, and hundreds of other future trends, on Futures Platform’s content database. Try Futures Platform digital foresight solution for free today and start future-proofing your plans.

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