Weight Watchers has been one of the stronger “diet” plans in the United States over the last 10+ years, and has shown to be successful in many individuals. Weight Watchers is more of a lifestyle, rather than a diet (as the Company would probably say), as it is meant to be a permanent change. As many people are aware, the United States has the biggest obesity problem in the world. This is one of the main reasons why a diet plan, for instance Weight Watchers, can be successful. But what about internationally? How would Weight Watchers market their lifestyle change to let’s say, Europe? Would it catch on? Would they need to adapt their marketing strategy to be as successful as they have been in the United States?
According to Weight Watchers’ most recent earnings release, the CEO recently was quoted with the following statement:
“As you may recall, unlike our marketing execution concurrent with the launch of our new programs in the US and UK, the CE marketing campaigns failed to entice newer members to join Weight Watchers in large numbers, something we hope to make progress on beginning in January 2012.
As an important side observation, we have seen the influence of the notable [Fat Diet] in France declined significantly in the back half of the year. We believe that we now have an opportunity to help the people in that country adopt a much more balanced and sensible approach to managing their food choices as they move away from this extreme diet.”
It appears that the CEO believes there is business to be gained by the knowledge sharing they can provide in France. Let me get your thoughts. If you were the Chief Marketing Officer at Weight Watchers, would you use a global marketing strategy whereby you would be attacking that European market in the same manner as the U.S. market or would you want to adapt the strategy?