Weekly Thought-Starter #008: Gen Alpha’s Moment

Date:Monday, January 14, 2019
Author:Charlie Gilbert

Here’s something to ponder, however briefly, this week: Gen Alpha.

Aged nought to eight, they’re vastly different to children of preceding generations. They’re playing with super-charged toys, reading stories that reject traditional narratives, and dressing in clothes that look beyond gender and ability.

These ‘leisure goods’ will make them more dynamic, creative and inclusive. And this, we believe, presents huge opportunities for brands.

We reveal what they are in The Gen Alpha Moment, our latest Consumer Attitudes report. From helping parents to embrace their inner child (clue: develop nostalgia-led products and experiences), to weaving in inclusive messages, you’ll discover how to tap into a generation that will, before long, replace the all-conquering Gen Z.

A couple of report highlights: first, how new children’s books are teaching Gen Alpha to be empathetic as more lifestyles and backgrounds are being normalised. My Name is Not Refugee, for example, challenges young readers by asking them what they’d take if they had to leave their country (and their friends) behind.

Second: the spectacular rise of ungendered play and clothing, which is being taken to new levels by the likes of Words of Wonder – a unisex clothing collection that uses text on garments as starting points for children to express their thoughts and feelings (rather than emphasise problematic messaging like ‘Training to Be Batman’s Wife’).

We’ll end with a quote from Krystina Castella, author of Designing For Kids: Creating For Playing, Learning And Growing (which Stylus contributed to), whose words are salient for brands considering gender-neutral products: “There are many small companies creating gender-neutral toys, home furnishing and clothing. Most of these bring girls into traditionally boys’ markets; very few bring boys into girls’ markets.”

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