NEW YORK—August 1, 2023: Marketing transformation agency Razorfish announced new research looking beyond Gen Z at the next generation of future consumers: Gen Alpha. Expected to reach 2.2 billion by 2024, the study uncovers the attitudinal characteristics and behaviors of Alphas, draws contrasts with Gen Z, and advises brands on how to best reach this up-and-coming audience.
“Gen Z had a profound impact on how brands approached their consumer experiences, but companies need to brace themselves even more for the changes Gen Alpha will infuse,” said Dani Mariano, President at Razorfish. “The pandemic accelerated their adoption of technology, embedding it in nearly every part of their lives, including remote learning. They aren’t just digital natives; these are digital ninjas, and whether brands are ready or not, they’re coming.”
Gaming is more than entertainment for Gen Alpha—it’s a creative outlet. For Alphas, gaming is used to express their creativity more than for socializing with friends. That motivation shines through when building and creating their own worlds as they play. In fact, they are twice as likely to see gaming as a form of self-expression than Gen Z, who cite relaxation as their top reason for gaming.
Alphas are early to adopt and leverage the latest tech. Before the age of 6, more than 40% of Alphas have used a tablet, and by the time they turn 7, more than half are using video game consoles. While Gen Z is tech-savvy, members aren’t nearly as eager to have the newest devices and capabilities. Just 31% of Gen Z values having the latest technology, compared to 63% of Alphas.
Tech-empowered, but not tech-dependent. 75% of 8–10-year-olds are already thinking about mental health, following in Gen Z’s footsteps of ushering in an era of more awareness and openness toward the topic, which will likely become a major driver of brand affinity and purchase consideration. Nearly three-quarters of Alphas say they prefer to go outside and use technology less to manage their mental health and disconnect. Despite their rapid tech adoption, they maintain a healthy balance between online and offline activities, with only 20% of Alphas saying they would like to spend more time online.
“Alphas are mature beyond their years, and their tech proficiency has largely contributed to their information access,” said Josh Campo, CEO at Razorfish. “Their favorite brands are more aligned with their parents than the children and teens of generations past, and more than half of them first hear about these brands through digital channels.”
Other findings within the study highlight Generation Alpha’s approach to purpose and authenticity:
- Alphas are motivated by a greater sense of purpose. When asked what they want to be when they grow up, nearly one-third of Alphas selflessly said they want to make a difference, help others, or help the planet.
- Alphas are true to themselves. Despite growing up in a world of social media, 92% of Gen Alpha respondents understand the power of authenticity and value the importance of being themselves. Like their Gen Z predecessors, Alphas are also prioritizing key values like learning new things, standing up for people, understanding people who are different, and sharing their opinions with others—to an even greater extent than members of Gen Z.
- Recognize that Alphas have accelerated brand maturity.
- Don’t think of Alphas as younger Gen Zs. They’re already more Gen Z than Gen Z, at a younger age.
- Alphas seek more than fame—they want to shape the world. Empower them.
- Whatever you’re innovating, anticipate that Alphas are already expecting more.
- Don’t treat gaming as just an entertainment outlet—it’s Alpha’s creative expression canvas.
Access the full study: Exploring Generation Alpha: A Look into the Future
Razorfish partnered with research company GWI to create a survey exploring the similarities and differences between Gen Z and Gen Alpha. The sample included 500 Alpha respondents (ages 8-10) and more than 450 Gen Z respondents (ages 16-23) all U.S. based. In addition, Razorfish partnered with youth specialist research house The Pineapple Lounge to explore habits, tech usage, gaming behavior, and brand awareness. The sample included 15 Alpha respondents (ages 8-10) and their parents, all U.S. based.