Gen Z consumers are more focused on experiences rather than materialism when it comes to which content they enjoy, according to a senior executive at MTV, the youth-oriented TV network.

Material-related desires, such as driving a nice car or having lots of money, are less important to Gen Z consumers (those born between 1996 and 2011).

On the contrary, family and friends, having fun, travelling, creating deep connections and having a more meaningful life are deemed as some of the most important things for them.

“These are the things that make this new generation happy,” said Kerry Taylor, EVP of MTV International and chief marketing officer of Viacom UK, in an address at the recent All That Matters conference in Singapore. “As a brand, it’s our responsibility to find ways to deliver on that happiness.”

Understanding how the conversation has changed for Gen Z is crucial, so that brands can act by “celebrating young people and finding ways to enable them to grow in their careers”, she said. (For more about this important group of consumers, read WARC’s report: Five things MTV knows about Gen Z.)

Gen Z are more distrustful of institutions and are prepared to work hard to get what they want: this youth audience has “grown up in a world where they’ve seen government leaders be distrustful and CEOs – and they’ve gotten quite distrustful of big brands and authority”.

“Unlike millennials, we know that this is a generation who are incredibly hardworking. They have seen that the millennials expect to be given things and realised that that hasn’t happened, so they feel a real responsibility to work really hard,” said Taylor, adding that Gen Z is particularly frugal compared to the older millennial age group.

“At the same time, they believe they deserve to live a first class life. They really believe in YOLO [you only live once], and so what brands can do to help is to deliver accessible luxury,” she added.

Sourced from WARC