The survey of more than 1,000 16- to 24-year-olds found that 90% highlighted security, while 88% indicated relationships and 86% pointed to significance, or feeling satisfied with who they are.
Just 10% said that brands provide them with something to believe in and 9% agreed that brands help them build relationships.
Experiencing something new and integrity were at the bottom of the list. However, 14% of respondents said that brands help with new experiences.
The research was carried out by Crowd DNA.
Martin Greenbank, head of advertising research at Channel 4 said: "It is often assumed that novelty is most important for this demographic. Catch their eye with something exciting and fun, and you’re away.
"And yes, this is a central need for young people, but at a turbulent time when young people are transitioning through life stages, they need to feel like they have someone or somewhere to turn to."