Marketing To The Generations: Generation Alpha
Watch out marketers: there’s a new generation on the rise. Brands may still be getting to grips with the preferences and priorities of Gen Z but they can’t afford to ignore a new demographic that’s emerging. Generation Alpha - or Gen Alpha, for short - may not be fully born yet but they represent a whole new market for brands to engage with. So what does this mean for beauty brands and how can they make sure they’re marketing to all the generations?
What is Generation Alpha?
Generation Alpha years cover anyone born between 2010 and 2025 - although, as with other demographics, there is some disagreement over the start of this bracket and some parties place 2011 as the beginning of Gen Alpha.
It’s the generation after Gen Z, meaning the Gen Alpha age range currently starts at 12 and runs to those that are yet to be born.
It’s been noted that the first members of Generation Alpha were born in the same year as the release of the first-generation iPad and the launch of Instagram (2010).
Generation Alpha Characteristics: Marketing To Generation Alpha
Twelve-year-olds may not typically have a great deal of money to spend but that doesn’t mean beauty brands don’t need to worry about them.
They’re the consumers of the future and as they grow their spending power will too. If brands want to deeply understand their behaviours and preferences - to better target their marketing and create new products they’ll want to buy - they should spend time getting to know them now.
One of the defining features of Generation Alpha is their ease with technology.
Although we see Gen Z are heavily tech-focused, Gen Alpha are even more so: according to a recent survey of UK children aged 6 to 11, two thirds (66%) of children under 12 are regularly using an iPad or tablet by their fifth birthday. And nearly half (46%) have an active social media account, despite common 13+ age restrictions.
For the majority, the technology that older generations have had to adapt to has been a part of their lives for as long as they can remember.
Gen Alpha’s tech adeptness means that brands who want to reach them need to be technologically innovative.
The ease, convenience and instantaneousness of modern tech is Gen Alpha default and if brands want to be successful in Generation Alpha marketing, they need tools that can provide them with that. This means slick customer-facing interfaces as well as tech-powered back-end processes so this generation isn’t kept waiting around.
Additionally, with Gen Alpha’s early embrace of social media, influencer marketing will be a big feature for brands who want to win their attention. And experts have noted that Gen Alpha are a more visual generation than those before them, being raised in front of screens, so strong visuals and imagery will also be central to successful marketing.
The Millennial effect
People often wonder about the differences between Gen Z and Gen Alpha and one differentiator is the influence of Millenials.
Gen Alpha are being raised by Millennial caregivers and so the latter has a key role to play in shaping the former’s tastes and behaviours. Experts predict Gen Alpha’s brand preferences will in many ways mirror those of Millennials, as Millennial caregivers pass on their brand connections and loyalty to their children.
But Millennials are a route to Generation Alpha for another reason.
At this current stage, Millennials control the majority of products that reach Gen Alpha, due to their age, so the way brands can get their products into the hands of this new demographic is through Millennials. This means we’re seeing brands package and market products destined for use by Gen Alpha in the style typically associated with Millennials.
Of course, Generation Alpha won’t become a carbon copy of their Millennial caregivers: the rapid development of technology and growing global challenges will prevent that.
But it does mean that brands need to make sure they know the nuances of engaging with different demographics.
For example, email marketing to Generation X (those born between 1966 and 1980) is different to email marketing to Generation Z or Millennials.
Gen Z and Millennial consumers primarily use a smartphone to check their emails, meaning brands should ensure any email marketing is optimised for mobile viewing. And Gen X are more likely to be loyal to brands, therefore more likely to engage with content relating to customer loyalty schemes.
Generation Alpha and the beauty industry
Generation Alpha will grow up into an evolving beauty industry.
They’ll inherit a sector that’s facing up to the challenge of the climate crisis and working to override historic discrimination and become more inclusive.
And it’s an industry that’s pioneering new digital technologies. Beauty has embraced AR and VR capabilities and global brands like Nars, Givenchy Parfums and Clinique have launched their own NFTs. The new digital possibilities brands are exploring, combined with Gen Alpha’s propensity for tech, means this generation represents an exciting time for digital innovation within beauty.
As Generation Alpha are still young, there’s a limit to how much marketers can currently know about them.
But Generation Alpha marketing - as with marketing to other generations - will ultimately be founded on the data insights beauty brands gather on their preferences and behaviour.
Brands of every size can learn more about this demographic through the way they interact with their contact as well as through tactics like online quizzes embedded in a product sampling campaign.
Through such data collection, and with proper data curation and segmentation, brands can learn more about what different generations are looking for. They can then use this knowledge to personalise their interactions with consumers and make sure they’re serving them with content and products that will appeal to them most.
Get closer to your customers
Understanding customers in this way and personalising interactions with them may sound like a daunting task.
But it’s made simple with a digital marketing platform like Odore.
This knowledge can then be used to inform research and development, support packaging design and shape overall marketing strategies, as well as hyper-target individual customers with content that will make them click.
These targeted campaigns can be launched directly with Odore, using tools that make designing, editing and monitoring campaigns easy for businesses of every size. But easy doesn’t mean rudimental: our sophisticated tools are used by some of the world’s biggest beauty brands.
Want to learn more about your customers and improve the way you interact? Book an Odore demo here.
Keep your finger on the pulse with Odore. Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on social media: