On September 24th 2018, Weight Watchers announced a global rebrand. Shedding any notion of ‘weight’ from its title, the new ‘global, purpose-driven’ WW brand was born.

A successful brand listens to its consumers and changes with their attitudes. Weight Watchers was founded in 1963. The same year Beatlemania began, the first push-button telephones were introduced, and the population of the world was 3.2 billion – half of what it is today.

55 years on and consumer attitudes towards dieting have changed. While there are people who want to lose weight to look like the celebrities in magazines and on TV, a new breed of celebrity has led a ‘strong not skinny’ revolution. Health and wellbeing bloggers have exploded onto the scene, touting the importance of working on health from the inside out. People want to look AND feel good by looking at what fuels their body in the best way.

The WW brand is a bold, yet insightful move by Weight Watchers as they aim to reflect the reimagination of dieting in 2018. WW CEO Mindy Grossman said in a statement that while the company remains “committed to always being the best weight management program on the planet” it also wants people to focus on healthy eating, exercising and having a more positive mind-set.

Cleverly, Weight Watchers also deployed its prolific list of celebrity ambassadors to promote its new approach. Oprah Winfrey – a member of the company’s board – owns more than 8% of the company and claims WW will “continue to inspire people not only to eat well, but to move more, connect with others and continue to experience the joys of a healthy life.”

DJ Khaled, the insanely popular global music star, was also signed up to help promote Weight Watchers and guide the brand firmly into the 21st century ahead of its WW facelift. The platinum-selling DJ claims to have lost 20 pounds on the program and is not shy about telling his legions of followers – 3.4 million on Facebook, 3.92 million on Twitter, 8.9 million on Instagram and a reported 3 million to 4 million views on Snapchat. Shares of Weight Watchers rose 6% after the music producer was brought on board.

 

 

 

Logging on to Twitter after WW was officially announced proved the rebrand was being met with mixed feelings. Some saw the wellbeing addition as Weight Watchers jumping on the bandwagon of the next dieting trend, while other saw it as a mature and honest reflection of today’s society – something that would only benefit people looking to improve their health with the programme.

While the new logo is nothing short of underwhelming and announcements to date fail to distinguish WW from any other similar wellness brand – the proof will be in the pudding for WW. If the company can help improve people’s overall wellbeing to the same degree they have successfully helped people lose weight, the programme will be a success. The challenge will be measuring this, proving this and maintaining momentum in a field still in its infancy.

Annabelle Price

 

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