Behind the brand: WW

by Lexie Taylor | Growth Marketing Manager

Sep 1, 2021

Are you feeling a little worse for wear after 18 months of restrictions and the strain of living through a pandemic? According to WW, a massive 70 percent of us want to lose weight as we approach the autumn, while 1 in 3 want to prioritise health and wellness. 

If that’s you, then look no further as WW is here to help. The brand is 58 years old and everything they do is based on science. There really isn’t a better way to plan your wellness journey. You might also be interested to know that its programme is about more than losing weight - WW puts just as much emphasis on behaviour change, sleep and exercise and helps build healthy habits for life.

When it comes to achieving optimum health and living your best life, WW are the go-to experts and we’re excited to catch up with Anna Hill, the SVP and General Manager of WW UK.

Describe WW in one sentence.

A trusted brand that is backed by years of behavioural science and is constantly evaluating data from a vast member base to help people form healthy habits for life.

Weight Watchers rebranded to WW in 2018 adopting the new tagline, “Weight-loss that Works. Wellness that works”, how has the mission evolved in recent years?

WW realised that in order to conquer weight, you really need to work on behaviour change and that isn’t just telling somebody what food to eat – it’s about understanding what works for you across the three pillars of food, fitness and mindset.

Weight is a very complicated issue and while we were doing a lot of work on behaviour change and conducting scientific research, we weren’t necessarily telling people about it. Now, we are where we needed to be as a brand to help more people on their wellness journey by offering a hyper-personal holistic approach based on mindset, nutrition, sleep and exercise. It’s not about being super thin or achieving something impossible - it’s about getting to a place that is healthy and comfortable for you.

More people are working from home and often eating more while moving less: how has this impacted your business strategy?

As I explained earlier, weight is about so much more than telling people what to eat and how much exercise to do. You have to look at the factors that are hindering their wellness journey. During lockdown we discovered that stress was the main concern among our members, closely followed by sleep. We responded to this by increasing our mindset content – we currently partner with Headspace and offer 5-minute coaching sessions to help relieve stress.

When the second lockdown came, we knew it would be a struggle for our members, so we created Lockdown Challenges, encouraging them to reset, refocus and recharge by giving them lockdown wellness goals and a clear plan to achieve them. App engagements increased 43 percent month on month during this period.

Tell us about the services that WW offer that people do not typically know about.

WW was famously known for its village hall workshops and while we do still offer in-person meetings, this sense of personal connection is now available in WW’s digital community. As well as offering Unlimited Virtual Workshops, WW has an in-app network called Connect where members can engage with their coach and community online.

There are lots of Connect groups covering different interests – you’ll find everything from Over 50 And Fabulous through to LGBTQIA+, Dry WW and Living With Diabetes. The app also offers meditations, guided walks with Aaptiv and a range of brilliant workout classes with partners like FitOn and Obe.

Your new WW Digital 360 app delivers personalised weight loss programmes, plus cooking, fitness and mindset support from professional Coaches. Can you talk us through how it works?

Yes, we devised our Digital 360 membership to give our members the support they need, wherever they are. Every D360 member follows the WW programme and gets all the benefits of the Digital App. The D360 plan really comes to life via the content and experience shared by our expert coaches - Cath Davies, Josh Ward, Natalie Chassay and Nancy Odogwu. They are a vibrant, engaging, and knowledgeable team and our members love them. Just think of them as your own chef, personal trainer and mindset coach.

The coaches post wellness lessons every day alongside coachLIVES, which are daily interactive live-stream sessions that explore the WW programme in depth. They also include meditations, workouts, cooking demonstrations and more. In addition, D360 members have access to LIVE Experiences; live and interactive events with wellness leaders and expert guests, which are designed to motivate and inspire.

At Situ Live the WW Digital 360 app will be brought to life through regular live events and demonstrations, how valuable do you think this will be for visitors?

It’s going to be hugely valuable. WW’s Digital 360 is something that has to be experienced. It’s what it says on paper and a whole lot more. We chose our coaches because they are engaging and have a real knack of motivating people. Their energy and enthusiasm is infectious and they really know their stuff. Visitors will come away feeling inspired and they’ll have a lot of fun too!