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Talking about Generation Alpha

Brands will need to change how they communicate to the next generation of consumers, as this generation will want instant results when they deal with brands. This is one of the findings of a report from communications firm Hotwire with technology firm Wired Consulting, Understanding Generation Alpha, which analyses the attitudes, perceptions and aspirations of the next generation.

Immersed in digital

Defining who generation alpha are, Emma Hazan, global head of consumer at Hotwire, says:Generation Alpha is a term coined by social researcher Mark McCrindle to describe the cohort of people born from 2010 onwards. This group will be born into and fully immersed within a digital environment of social media, virtual and augmented realities. Technology will permeate every aspect of their lives, meaning they’ll think, live and play in a fundamentally different way to any generation before them.”

Having always had digital media at their fingertips, it is not surprising that today’s young have been affected deeply by technology. Hazan says: “Their relationships with technology have the potential to radically rewire how their brains work and how they view the world.”

Key findings

The importance of voice technology – voice will be as natural an input as touch for Generation Alpha - they will expect devices to respond to voice commands

The screen time debate will rage on – for a generation raised with technology, there may be no such thing as too much screen time. Experts disagree on the impact this will have on mental health and wellbeing, but stress the debate is not about the technology, but how it’s used

The internet of toys is coming – connected toys will become the norm and this will lead to children expecting toys to not only respond to their commands, but to show emotional intelligence of their own

 Be subtle, but be immediate

Discussing how brands can succeed in engaging young audiences, Hazan says: “Brands need to be more subtle in the way they communicate. Brands need to talk to Generation Alpha on Generation Alpha’s terms, and focus on helping them at their point of need – fulfilling a request or helping them solve a problem. This isn’t an audience who will see an ad or product review and then act on it at a later date, instead they’ll look for information when they need it, forcing brands to adopt a reactive approach.

“Proactive communications will have to change to entertain people in a memorable way and keep them coming back for more. Reactive communications will need to be highly targeted to make an impact when Generation Alpha needs answers”

In conclusion, Hazan says it is all about being in the right places, and using the most appropriate language: “The winners will be those that can be persuasive yet concise and importantly, be the most visible on Google.”

Further information

To download and read the full report visit click here

Graphics are by Michele Marconi

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