The iPad was a game changer. The pandemic was a game-changer. TikTok is a game changer. The incredible speed with which the world moves today often means the game changes before all the pieces can even be put on the board of the last game.
And this is the world Gen Alphas are born into.
When the outcome of our entire world order is anyone's guess, Gen Alpha’s well-being depends on their ability to ride the waves of chaos.
The name Gen Alpha is a lazy one. Gen X was the first “alphabet” generation – the name is credited to photographer Robert Capa, who used it to describe the lost generation of the 1950s, but then later came to describe the cohort coming up after baby boomers. Gen Y or millennials followed. After Y came Z, and then what would be next?
Alpha is logical, if not showing an extreme lack of creativity. We like to think of this generation as Infinite -- a generation presented with both infinite challenges and possibilities. They've been handed a lot, from the climate crisis to the impact of social media, along with unmatched technological access and ability from a very young age. Add that to their remarkable creativity and innate curiosity, and you've got a generation unlike any we've ever seen.
Gen Alpha are kids born after 2010. A cohort of about 48 million in size (and still counting), they are, for the most part, the children of millennials. Substantially smaller than the millennial cohort (at 73 million), they’ve been born into a world with disruptions and upheaval. And unlike the generation before them, Gen Zs (currently 13-25 years old), who are realists focused on achievement, Alphas are already striving for a sense of balance.
They also have a new and emerging sense of identity. Even more so than Gen Zs, Alphas are likely to consider themselves “gamers” (six out of 10 Alphas use this term to describe themselves). Creativity is important, with about a third describing themselves as artists, and three out of 10 considering themselves foodies. They see themselves as funny, kind and creative -- and believe that is true of the coolest people they know as well.
According to our report, as the children of millennials, most Alphas (87%) have very close relationships to their parents. These close family ties translate into purchases for the family.
A whopping 94% of Gen Alpha Parents say that they want their child to have a say in family purchase decisions, and six out of 10 parents report that their Gen Alpha child has a great deal of influence in what they are purchasing.
The pandemic interrupted Gen Alpha’s fundamental developmental years, creating a sense of isolation, and shifts in family dynamics altered Gen Alpha’s relationship with technology. Parents encouraged Gen Alpha to use technology for both communication and educational purposes. Seventy-seven percent of Gen Alphas stated they learn best when using technology, and 82% report that they can figure out most things if they have access to technology.
This is an important part of their emerging DNA -- that sense they have the tools they need to achieve anything, very much leaning into the idea of infinite opportunities.