WW Says Celebrity, Brand Partnerships Are Key to Member Growth: Chief Brand Officer

Photo Credit: Gregory Pace/Shutterstock
January 4, 2019
Updated 1mo ago

By Conor White

WW, the company formerly known as Weight Watchers, is looking to expand past its mostly-female base by partnering up with celebrities like DJ Khaled and brands like Blue Apron to inspire a new demographic of members.

"We knew that there were a lot of WW members that were using Blue Apron and wanted their freestyle recipes as an option," explained Gail Tifford, WW's chief brand officer, "so for us it was a very, very natural fit." She said WW isn't concerned about Blue Apron's struggles with maintaining its own customer base that have driven the meal kit company's stock down to below $1.

WW has also linked up with Headspace's mindfulness app, Aaptiv for audio fitness content, and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, as it shifts its mission from strictly weight loss to improving the overall wellness of its users.

Tifford said that change in messaging will help the company break out of the seasonal cycles around dieting and weight loss and toward a year-long, holistic focus on wellness. She described the shift as moving "from seasons to reasons."

Tifford said partnerships with celebrities like DJ Khaled and "The X Factor" judge Robbie Williams are also helping WW reach men and other customers who are outside the company's historic core demographic.

"Our intent is to be a brand for everybody," Tifford said. "I think you will start to see the makeup of our community really start to change in an exciting way."

Another of WW's 2019 goals is making sure its new name sticks. The company has been around since 1963, but Tifford isn't worried about the abbreviated name catching on.

"The reality of it is we started calling it 'WW' because that's what our members were calling themselves," she explained.

According to Tifford, the switch was overdue.

"Our members are like, 'What took you so long?'"

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