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Shorter isn’t better: Weight Watchers sees revenue fall after switch to WW .com #domain name

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Weight Watchers rebranded itself as “WW” last October, just three months after acquiring the premium two letter domain name, WW.com.

Switching to shorter names can be a benefit for businesses, particularly in China. In the case of Weight Watchers, this domain rebranding actually hurt revenue.

According to a new report published by The Financial Times, hundreds of thousands of subscribers have quit in recent months. Weight Watchers (WW) lost 600,000 subscribers during the second half of 2018, and the company warned that the start to 2019 has been “very disappointing.”

Revenue for Q1/2019, usually a busy period because consumers begin dieting as part of their annual resolutions, is expected to be down 10% compared to the previous year.

So switching to WW.com and losing the effect of the long standing, longer brand wasn’t a great idea after all.

Mindy Grossman, CEO of WW International, said the company should have implemented a better brand transition from Weight Watchers to WW, suggesting that the change had been too sudden.

So would WW switch back to using the the full name and brand, particularly as the company is referencing the full name in parentheses, with the line “Weight Watchers reimagined?”

Its CEO says that she’s sticking to using the new “WW” brand name, and the domain WW.com is used as a – very expensive – URL forwarder to WeightWatchers.com.

Kudos for the story to Logan Flatt – more details here.


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Comments

2 Responses to “Shorter isn’t better: Weight Watchers sees revenue fall after switch to WW .com #domain name”
  1. J says:

    Interesting. I don’t see this as a domain name issue – it’s squarely a branding issue. Had WW continued branding themselves as “Weight Watchers” and switched over to WW.com, I doubt we would have seen the brand-related drop-off.

  2. DomainGang says:

    J – Definitely an issue with someone at the company hyping up an expensive solution, and pumping it to the CEO without much of a branding cushion. But what’s a few millions for a domain to a billion dollar company – not much, until stock prices drop.

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