HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège
HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège

Belgian Generation z comfort feelings and credibility perception regarding virtual influencers on Instagram

Louis, Marine ULiège
Promotor(s) : Standaert, Willem ULiège
Date of defense : 31-Aug-2021/6-Sep-2021 • Permalink :
Title : Belgian Generation z comfort feelings and credibility perception regarding virtual influencers on Instagram
Author : Louis, Marine ULiège
Date of defense  : 31-Aug-2021/6-Sep-2021
Advisor(s) : Standaert, Willem ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Martens, Carmen ULiège
Ismail, Sophie 
Language : English
Keywords : [en] virtual influencers
[en] comfort feeling
[en] Generation Z
[en] credibility
Discipline(s) : Business & economic sciences > Marketing
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Master en sciences de gestion, à finalité spécialisée en international strategic marketing
Faculty: Master thesis of the HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège


[en] Marketers and brands are continually looking for new ways to reach, more efficiently, consumers. People from Generation Z have been exposed to the Internet and social media at a very young age and spend increasing amounts of time on these social platforms. Therefore, social media have become one of the most powerful communication tools, exerting a significant impact on marketing practices and even more when this digital generation comes under consideration.
This thesis provides insights regarding the potential for brands to leverage virtual influencers on Instagram in their marketing strategies to reach Belgian Generation Z active on this social platform and, consequently, generate possible enhancement of their brand awareness and purchase intention. With this aim in mind, we tried to understand the impact of virtual influencers on the individuals' comfort feelings and their perceived credibility among Belgian Generation Z. Therefore, a quantitative study has been undertaken through an online survey shared on social media.
We observed, through our research, that virtual influencers negatively impact Belgian Generation Z comfort feelings. Moreover, they suffer from a lack of perceived credibility and a lack of authenticity, transparency, and affinity. This reveals, consequently, a possible weakness in the ability of virtual influencers to impact Belgian Generation Z behavior in terms of brand awareness or purchase intentions.



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  • Louis, Marine ULiège Université de Liège > Master sc. gest., à fin.


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