Passing the baton to the new mainstream: Generation Alpha
Lawrence Chia
Chairman, Pico Group

The marketing industry should constantly look ahead and prepare for the next group of consumers. Last week, I explored the potential of millennials and Generation Z as new forces reshaping the consumer market. Today, we look at Gen Alpha, a community born after 2010, whose population is expected to exceed two billion by 2025. As an age group of that size, their consumption potential is not to be underestimated – but as they never experienced life in the pre-digital age, their expectations for event experiences differ considerably from their predecessors’. Therefore, marketers cannot treat them in the same way.

Gen Alpha is more used to building relationships online than offline. In view of this, many brands are catering to them with active online communities. For example, BoniO, an edtech brand, developed the PaGamO online esports learning platform to target primary 3 to secondary 3 students. Students can not only pass from level to level by answering academic questions, but can befriend other players and exchange ideas – forming a tight-knit community. Teachers can also use the platform to monitor users’ learning progress.

For Gen Alpha, the so-called ‘digital natives’, the boundary between virtuality and reality is blurred, opening the way for brands to add online entertainment in physical events. Recently, when Pico activated the Mother Tongue Languages Symposium in integrated format, as well as live broadcast and an online exhibition, the team created a gamified ‘online quest mode’ for visitors aged 4-9. It featured a 360-degree panorama of Singapore’s ‘heartland’ neighbourhoods, and could be played in a choice of languages, which enabled children to learn languages in a fun way.

Despite being digital natives, Gen Alpha will likely put down their phones and step into reality if the online and offline experiences are equally appealing. Nike’s ‘Adventure Club’ subscription programme for children aged 2-10 responds to this by offering an adventure kit as well as shoes. These include outdoor adventure guides that encourage users to play outdoors instead of losing themselves in the virtual world. By combining online shopping and offline activities, the brand provides an intriguing experience along with marketing.

The emergence of Gen Alpha is already strengthening the event marketing sector’s move to digitalisation. There are still a few years left before they come of age, so brands can keep pace with them and plan marketing strategies as their characteristics evolve.

The full version of this article was first published in Headline Finance on 27 April 2022 (in Chinese only).

Source: Headline Finance (web version), 27 April 2022