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Publication type: Master thesis
Title: From YouTube to protein powder : how Social Media influences the consumption and perception towards nutritional supplements
Authors: Renga, Giuseppe
Advisors / Reviewers: Seelhofer, Daniel
DOI: 10.21256/zhaw-2091
Extent: 134
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher / Ed. Institution: ZHAW Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften
Language: English
Subject (DDC): 658.8: Marketing management
Abstract: Posting selfies, showing pictures from the latest workout, and sharing the supplements that help with getting an “Adonis” physique – the Social Media influencer is born. Such occurrences have shaped Social Media in recent years from a networking platform to a multi-million-dollar business platform. Every day, thousands of pictures and videos of a seemingly perfect life are uploaded with one major goal: influencing the consumers in a way to generate sales for the nutritional supplement industry. One group of individuals that is considered to be highly affected by it, is the Generation Y, due to their digital affinity and high presence on Social Media. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the consumer of nutritional supplements and extent that Social Media has on the consumer behavior of nutritional supplements based on the various areas of the consumer buying cycle. The analysis has shown that the consumer behavior differs when nutritional supplements are purchased under the influence of Social Media. Not only is it able to change the perception and opinion towards nutritional supplements in a positive way, it also influences the consumer in the way nutritional supplements are purchased. It was found out that the main purpose for supplementation are deficits in nutrition and weight control and that Social Media is able to generate sales if detailed information about products are provided, as well as positive reviews are given. A key driver for the selection of the product was stated to be the product quality, followed by the value for money. Lastly, there were indications that the increased usage of Social Media would influence the expenditures and consumption frequency of supplements, however, these could not be identified to be statistically significant. Furthermore, it can be said that Social Media and its business channels and influencers are able to act as opinion leaders and influencers in the field of nutritional supplements. The analysis of this paper was conducted with the use of an internet based survey consisting of quantitative and qualitative research instruments and achieved 353 total participants through snowball sampling. The survey included two groups of individuals for the comparative analysis, a control group (n=252) that has never purchased supplements through Social Media before and a research group that has purchased dietary supplements influenced by such platforms (n=156). Under to the prevailing circumstances, it is recommended that companies active in the nutritional supplement industry do in fact establish active presence on Social Media. It is of importance for them to produce quality products at a reasonable price and provide the consumers detailed information about such and to place them with the use of Social Media influencers that can act as opinion leaders. Also, it is recommended to establish direct connections to online shops for the purchase of nutritional supplements, as they were found to be the main place of purchase in connection with such platforms.
License (according to publishing contract): CC BY-NC-ND 4.0: Attribution - Non commercial - No derivatives 4.0 International
Departement: School of Management and Law
Appears in Collections:MSc International Business

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