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Marketing Case Study: Weight Watchers Leads the Weight-Loss Race

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By Fausto Mendez

We love to break down complex marketing campaigns to uncover the core motives of human behavior that fuel corporate success. This week, we’re analyzing Weight Watchers and the company’s classic marketing techniques. 

    Weight Watchers continues to dominate the weight-loss game with over $1.2 billion revenue each year and 8 million website visitors per month, and it’s closest competitors are about a third of its size. This constant success stems from a solid product that delivers results, but behind every great product is an even greater marketing campaign. Below, we break down the principles that made and continue to make the company’s marketing campaigns so damn successful. .

+ Sell the consequences. The average Weight Watchers customer isn’t interested in the product itself. Actually, the idea of self control is scary or boring, so why are people lining up for a membership? They want the consequences associated with that self control. They want the success, intimate relationships, fitness, appearance, money and whatever else results from losing weight, and they want to eat what they want while getting it. Weight Watchers sells the consequences, not the product.

+ Sell happiness. Weight Watches sells happiness, not a weight loss system. Similar to the previous point, the idea is to focus on the internal (emotional) results, not the actual product. 

+ Offer a test drive. Weight Watchers allows prospective customers to “join” the service for free. Furthermore, Weight Watches doesn’t force prospective customers to hand over a credit card number to do this. This style of free trials produces about a 30% conversion rate, which is not bad at all. 

+ Make it easy. The PointsPlus system makes it easy for customers to track calories without actually tracking calories. Sure, it’s based on basic nutritional science, but the target audience hates learning. PointsPlus is much easier in the short term. 

+ Exclusive products make it hard to leave the proprietary system. Weight Watchers sells (and sometimes gives away) PointsPlus calculators, snack foods, frozen meals, ice creams and other products that make it even easier to track calories. These products actually serve a brilliant marketing purpose because they: 1. boost brand awareness at key locations within supermarkets (where the target audience spends a lot time) and 2. make counting calories the traditional way even more tedious. 

+ Seek out new audiences. Your audience can get stale if you don’t actively court new targets. Weight Watchers recently started marketing to men, but they don’t expect men to show up at the meetings where 90% of the attendants are women. As a result, the company launched online tools and mobile apps that help men diet on their own - since men often prefer to diet alone. 

    As a marketing professional, it’s hard not to get jealous when a company’s marketing campaign is consistently successful, but that’s why we’re here to break it down. Happy hunting! And thanks to  Marketing Profs for the core data

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Marketing in the Sun: Promotional Giveaways for Summer Events and Outdoor Venues

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    Our partner AnyPromo.com is a promotional products supplier/retailer, and the company’s graphic artists love to show off their finished work. This is just another design of the many, many designs they finalize on a daily basis.

    Brands attending events at outdoor venues can really benefit from a smart promotional giveaway campaign, so I highly recommend stocking up on a variety of outdoor giveaways, such as sun glasses, hand sanitizer and SPF-15 chap stick.

    Low-cost giveaways like this often have a big impact at concerts, music festivals, hotels, beach parties, raves and outdoor bars. People tend to be in a good mood - probably a not-so-sober mood - so the products often have a strong emotional impact despite the fact they’re rather low-end products. That’s because a lot of people forget to bring along these basic items, so they really appreciate it when somebody, such as your company, solves this problem for them. Your brand can really benefit from that positive and memorable association.

    Other effective ideas include: water bottles, color-changing cupstumblers and tote bags. AnyPromo is also running a sale on custom beach balls this month, so you can choose from an assortment of outdoor promotional items that can really boost your promotional efforts. By the way, the products in the above picture are brand-spankin’ new, so they’re not on the AnyPromo.com website yet. Call 1-877-368-5678 to order

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis.

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