Written by Megan Steer • Published 4th October 2018 • 3 minute read

How to present your company, and your communications is crucial. Nowadays, being healthy is more than just how much you weigh. It’s a way of life, and we’re beginning to see more and more companies embracing this idea.

People are far more concerned about what they feel like, what they’re eating, where they’re exercising and what kind of exercise they’re doing than ever before. Arguably, this comes hand in hand with the rise of social media, people’s lives being more publicly accessible where we feel obliged to show everyone what we’re up to. Influencers also play a huge role in people’s desires to lead a healthy active lifestyle.

According to a survey by Havas in 2017, 75% of consumers expect brands to make more of a contribution to our wellbeing and quality of life, yet only 40% believe brands are doing so.

Subsequently, perhaps it comes as no surprise that brands are beginning to adopt this focus. Look at Weight Watchers for example, who last week, announced a massive rebrand to swap their weight loss image for a wellness image.

The brand is now called ‘WW’ with the strapline “Wellness that Works”. WW said it will now focus on a new programme called Wellness Wins which rewards members for “small, everyday behaviours” that lead to healthier habits. They’re partnering with Headspace, a mindfulness app, to provide personalised programmes for WW members. They will also start offering members more food products containing no artificial sweeteners, flavours, colours or preservatives.

Another key aspect of WW’s rebrand is the incorporation of technology which is vital to broaden the audience they attract. As well as partnering with Headspace, they’re also looking to refresh their own app in the next month, which will use voice integration giving members the ability to check the nutritional value of their food and track their progress. This element of the rebrand is an excellent way to attract a new demographic to the brand, as it makes it both more manageable and accessible.

On the flip side yes, this is a good way to encourage women away from the brutal bikini diets, however, what is wrong with people just wanting to lose weight? Helen Sorrell, BBC Radio 4 journalist and former Weight Watchers member, rightly pointed out that “people don’t go to Weight Watchers because they want to feel well, they go because they want to lose weight.”

We’re becoming a society who won’t openly speak about dieting because we’re worried about the effect it’s going to have on people. Where magazine covers used to be about how to ‘lose a stone in 6 weeks’, cover lines about dwindling dress sizes are now starting to seem outdated. However, to put it bluntly, diet may have become a very negative word, but it’s one that, because of our increasing obesity levels, we can’t really afford to ignore.

The new name ‘WW’ has been mocked, with one post noticing that the title is made up of the words “double you”. Mindy Grossman (CEO) has also been criticised for not being able to explain what the letters stood for, instead they were simply a “marque” that represents their heritage, history and their future.

The bottom line is, what wellness influencers are talking about on their social media pages, means the same thing as what Weight Watchers and other slimming groups talk about; watching what you eat and exercising.

Whilst many people may take some time to adjust to WW’s rebrand, at the end of the day, they still stand for the same principles, they’re simply extending their services to enable a wider audience to get involved. Grossman wants to make it clear that “No matter what your goal is – to lose weight, eat healthier, move more, develop a positive mindset, or all of the above – we will deliver science-based solutions that fit into people’s lives”. The rebrand is ultimately an attempt to broaden the appeal of the company beyond its traditional 35-plus female representative and present itself as a “technology experience” for millennials. A campaign focusing on their social media activity and social pages with a community feel.

If your company is looking to rebrand and would like PR or creative insight advice, please get in touch today.