How to Research Generation Alpha?
03 Oct 2019

How to Research Generation Alpha?

Who is Generation Alpha?

Everyone is talking about the Alpha Generation, the children born after 2009. The oldest in this cohort is just ten years old, and many are still in diapers! As the children of Millennial parents, marketers are eager to learn more about this generation. Let’s talk about how to research Generation Alpha.

Not surprisingly, given their age, not much research has been conducted about this group. Companies often decide not to execute primary research with kids due to the challenges it poses. However, just because this audience is young, doesn’t mean we are in the dark when it comes to information.

There are two ways to learn more about this audience:

  1. Though rare, it is possible to research those ages six to ten. However, you need to be incredibly thoughtful and follow strict COPPA guidelines. This method is a bit more costly and more time-consuming than the other option. You will also need the Alpha Generation participants’ parents to assist with the research process. It is important to note that it is challenging to conduct quantitative research among children younger than five years old. In some cases, in-depth in-person interviews or focus groups may be feasible with this age group. 
  2. You can garner insights from the Alpha Generation parents. Learning from parents is a quick and more cost-effective way to gain insights. Though influenced by their children, parents are the ultimate purchase decision-makers when it comes to buying items for the Alpha Generation.

Research Among the Alpha Generation 

Primary research tools, such as online surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews, are possible. However, some caveats need to be considered. Firstly, researching Generation Alpha is more costly. Also, extra time is required, as it takes more time to recruit these participants, as well as to execute the study.  

You will also need to think like children when developing the research design. Children have less concentration and have difficulty with abstract thoughts. 

Ad research among the Alpha Generation needs to be:

  • Very easy to understand and engaging
  • Questionnaire/guide design needs to include age-appropriate questioning and wording 
  • Parents need to be part of the research process to help explain the questions or directions. 
  • The directions should also help parents gain feedback from their children that is actionable and descriptive
  • If a survey, the scales needs to be relatable and include engaging pictorial survey scales
  • Of course, everything needs to be COPPA compliant (Children’s Online Privacy Protect Rule). Along with general data compliance rules such as GDPR, COPPA requires disclosures and approved consent from both the child and parent before conducting the research. During the disclosure process, the research topic needs to be revealed, as well as how the data will be used. 

Research Among the Alpha Generation Parents

Given the extra time and cost to research the Alpha Generation, it may be too daunting or not feasible. Don’t worry! You can gain a lot of information from the parents (often Millennials). Millennial parents love talking about their children and could be an excellent proxy to learn about the newest generation. 

Research among parents has less rigorous rules regarding compliance, and the cost is typically much lower than conducting studies directly among the children. As mentioned, parents are the ones with the wallets, so they play a significant part in the purchasing process.   

To learn more about the Alpha Generation, you can read these blog entries:

Don’t stress out about your Generation Alpha Research. Take a breather and see who the famous Generation Alpa actors are. There are only a few now, but you can find them on this list. 


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