In a bold pronouncement for the chief executive of a diet company, Mindy Grossman recently announced straightforwardly that “the world doesn’t need another diet.” In embracing this view, Grossman initiated a complete rebranding of her company, Weight Watchers, including a name change that would shorten the firm’s official moniker to simply WW.
With this renaming, the company seeks to focus more broadly on its customers’ health rather than shining a spotlight only on their weight. Leveraging the various meanings that this shortened name can offer, the company also has revised its slogan and product lines. For example, the tagline on its marketing communication refers to “Wellness that Works,” continuing the double-W alliteration.
In its product and service offerings, WW also is reflecting this shift. Its revised loyalty program is called WellnessWins, and customers can earn “wins” if they engage in sanctioned, healthy activities such as exercising, tracking their meals, and attending WW workshops. When they accumulate enough wins, they can redeem them for additional products and services. Along with this program, WW is working to establish consumer groups that revolve around wellness themes, including food and exercise. Furthermore, it has collaborated with a meditation app called Headspace to help its customers learn and practice meditation in their daily lives.
The company already had a logo in place; it introduced its current blue circle, with two stacked W’s in the middle, several years ago. Thus the shift appears to be part of a longer-term strategy, designed to ensure it could remain relevant to consumers who are tired of only worrying about the number on the scale.
1. Is the WW rebranding effort likely to be successful? Why or why not?
Source: Micah Maidenberg, “Weight Watchers Changes Name as It Shifts Mission,” The Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2018; Rina Raphael, “Here’s Why Weight Watchers Changed Its Name,” Fast Company, September 24, 2018