New Year New You, Or Same Old Same Old?


It’s Blue Monday, the day we apparently give up resolutions and open our Christmas credit card statements. But of all the business, brands and experts bombarding us with the secret to quick and lasting weight loss, which ones are cutting through the noise to meaningfully engage with consumers?

Last year WE ran its proprietary Brand Agility Index, looking at just this, and WE’ve done it again. So has anything changed?

Last year, heritage weight-loss brands Weight Watchers and Slimming World scored highly for engagement, perhaps no surprise when you consider their extensive experience in building communities and encouraging sharing and mutual support. However, in 2017 it’s only Slimming World that has maintained success, with Weight Watchers losing its edge and not seeming to drive conversations in the online space. By contrast, Slimming World experiences good levels of engagement with their community, using savvy hash-tags and being true to its focus, as well as partnering with a major media outlet to reach new customers. 

Interestingly, the online influencers have also been less successful – the likes of Deliciously Ella and Clean Eating Alice etc., while very promotional, haven’t seen high rates of engagement. This was a result we saw last year too, which puts a high burden on those brands/individuals to keep churning content. One notable exception is The Body Coach, Joe Wicks. Last year, in common with his peers, his focus was promotional and so didn’t see much engagement. This year, the launch of his new book, plus extensive media appearances, seems to have driven a more successful online presence which has been more meaningful for his target audience.

That said, this is the first week, and January is a long month. Our predictions for the rest of the month? Are we still obsessed with protein, or are we all going vegan? Are we keen to drop a dress size in a month or beat the bulge for life? Has the tide turned on the ill-defined clean-eating trend? Will the upheavals of 2016 mean we’re less focused on self or, conversely, more focused on self-improvement? Whichever is true, it’ll be interesting to see how brands best engage with consumers to promote healthier decisions.  We’ll check in again every week throughout January to see if anything’s changed.