In a world where there’s no shortage of information or opinions, Gen Alpha stands to reap an entirely different upbringing compared to generations before them thanks to a growing segment of “Parennials” (16 million Millennial women are now mothers, aged 24—37, with 10,000 more children being born each year). Whether trying to compensate for their own upbringing or simply taking advantage of the volume(s) of information available, Parennials are caught in a self-inflicted conundrum: radically balancing the old with the new.
Knowing the pitfalls and mistakes of their own upbringing (hello, helicopter parents and labels of entitlement), Parennials are trying to buck previous conventions. The result? Straddling the line between a host of new decisions: under- vs. over stimulation. Outdoor playtime adventures and tech-focused software tools/classes. Confidence and humility. Grit and vulnerability.
The list goes on.
From the rise of co-parenting to celebrating differences, the beliefs and value systems of Parennials will undoubtedly pave the way for their children’s behaviors and preferences. So while time ticks on, how will Generation Alpha’s shared values (ones which are leaning toward: inclusivity, positivity, and diversity) shape future purchase decisions? While it’s too soon to tell, there are a few key guideposts marketers can employ now.
Step 1: Talk to Dad. One in five Dads now play the role moms have traditionally played, and 88% feel it is somewhat important to be the “perfect dad.” At the same time, they are consistently underrepresented in marketing.
Step 2: The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Generation Alpha will co-opt some of the behaviors and preferences of their parents; recognize this extension and strategically incorporate it into communications.
Step 3: Proudly improvise. Acknowledge that we can’t be everything to everyone (parents and brands), but we provide support along the way.
Contributed by: Kristina Ford