Brands will gain from altruism now with Gen Alpha

Amy Garrett, MD at Trouble explores the latest research from Beano Brain highlighting how Gen Alpha, those born after 2010, are coping under lockdown.

Amy Garrett

Managing Director Trouble


What were you doing in May when you were 10 years old?

On the brink of “big school”? Getting your friends to sign your school uniform? Having a birthday party with your mates? How about a trip to McDonald’s or a Bank Holiday BBQ with your grandparents?

But when Gen Alpha, those born after 2010, look back at 2020 their memories will be very different. 

Understandably they’re concerned; 1 in 20 in the UK (5%) described themselves as “worried”. But this generation, who will become adults in just eight years, has already seen a lot in their short lives. They’ve witnessed the fallout of Brexit and the climate emergency first-hand, and it’s created a generation of natural activists who want to solve the world’s problems.

of Gen Alpha influence the weekly shop
1 in 4
kids chose “bored” to describe how they were feeling
of kids have used TikTok or Instagram to connect with friends each week

One in five gen alphas have taken part in a protest or march and they use their influence in the family with positive pester power. Nearly half of them (49%) say they influence the weekly shop, with 25% having encouraged their parents to switch to products that are better for the planet and 21% getting their parents to eat less meat.

From speaking to kids and their families on a daily basis through our insight consultancy Beano Brain, since lockdown began, we’ve seen boredom steadily increase to be the dominant emotion felt by kids; 1 in 4 kids chose “bored” to describe how they were feeling vs 1 in 6 on 19th March.

Despite being able to have a Geography lesson with David Attenborough or listen to Daniel Radcliffe read Harry Potter for free, the boredom felt by this generation is partly driven by the lack of meaningful connections from brands. They are seeking involvement and struggling to find it.

So, they have created their own contributions, proactively decorating their neighbourhoods with rainbows, and celebrating frontline staff with personal notes for their postman and the weekly clap for carers.

Gen Alpha are your future advocates

There is a huge opportunity right now for brands to reach this highly engaged audience. An audience who will be incredible advocates for and loyal to those brands who help them do it.

But how to do it? Gen Alpha don’t believe things need to stay as they are and are keen to use their creativity and passion to move things forward.

Naturally, right now they are missing their friends and extended family. So, brands who want to engage should look to combine creativity with safe social interaction. Nearly two-thirds of kids and teens (60%) agree that keeping in touch with their friends made them feel better about the virus.

TikTok and Instagram challenges and “how-to” tutorials and quizzes are great ways for brands to connect friends and family whilst make them feel empowered. A third of kids (34%) have used TikTok or Instagram to connect with friends each week. And tonally, brands shouldn’t patronise but be instructive, fun and, especially right now, upbeat.

Brands should also consider reaching out to Gen Alpha audiences and gathering their opinions; they want to be heard, not told. Opening your brand to this audience and bringing them in is likely to create a sense of ownership and build long term loyalty. Give this audience a challenge, a chance to unite or share as a community, from the serious topics to the light-hearted.

This is a generation that believes that they alone CAN make a difference. They have seen influencers build followings from zero to millions in months and witnessed a 15-year-old girl from Sweden mobilise a worldwide movement! And right now, it’s a great time for brands to help them do it.

Guest Author

Amy Garrett

Managing Director Trouble


Amy joined Beano Studios early 2019 from a creative agency background to help shape the Trouble offering as a kid-first creative consultancy helping brands to engage with kids and family audiences. Amy works closely with clients strategically and creatively to help solve briefs using unrivalled kids’ insight and market testing gleaned from qualitative and online research. This also includes content creation, and partnerships across the multichannel Beano portfolio or white-labelled for their brand’s own use. Amy comes from an advertising background spending almost a decade at Mother London in client service working across both local and global brands before moving onto start up Droga5 London in 2013 where she spent five years helping grow the agency and create award winning creative work.

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Children Gen Alpha