“Gen Z had a profound impact on how brands approached their consumer experiences, but companies will need to brace themselves even more for the changes Gen Alpha will infuse…
“They aren’t just digital natives; these are digital ninjas, and whether brands are ready or not, they’re coming.”
This comment is from Razorfish President Dani Mariano, on the announcement of a new attitude and behavior study about Gen Alpha, the newest generation to capture marketers’ attention.
Born between 2010 and 2024 (meaning the oldest are now teens), Gen Alpha, according to Mariano, is “already more Gen Z than Gen Z, at a younger age.”
The marketing industry’s obsession with youth is nothing new. Thinking about what makes the next generation of consumers tick is an evergreen activity. McCrindle Research coined the term Gen Alpha in 2009, before the first member of Gen Alpha was even born.
Setting aside the irony of placing so much attention on the youngest generations when older generations have greater purchasing power, I like this reminder from Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman:
“There’s as much variation within generations as there is between generations.”
When talking about the impact of different generations, it’s easy to default to sweeping generalizations. But generations are not monoliths. And chasing the tropes of a new generation can be a distraction.
Bob Hoffman continues:
“Researchers, media, and marketing experts have been selling us the exact same generational twaddle for over fifty years now…
“It’s astrology. How can you possibly take an enormous component of the population—tens of millions of people—and say they all have this or that characteristic?”
Here are a few related cartoons that I’ve drawn over the years: