I

I. Background
Weight Watchers aims to be the leading weight loss service provider by assisting individuals to lose weight and sustain a healthy lifestyle. Their products and services are targeting individuals, in an international scale, that have a goal of improving their life through healthy living.

II. Statement of the Problem
Weight Watchers is facing the issue of increased competition and cost concerns with a large majority of the population impacted in some fashion by the economic downturn. In addition they have to overcome the stigma of being viewed as the prior generation’s answer to weight loss.
The company is struggling with the need to reposition the company to create a forward-focused diet program for the next century while staying true to their mission. There is an increased amount of competition and an economic downturn that impacts the average consumer’s ability to purchase non-essential programs and products. These issues have forced the Weight Watchers Company to re-evaluate their program to position themselves for a successful future.

III. Analysis
The strategy of Weight Watchers is to reposition and reinvent themselves for product innovation in the US and overseas. Using SWOT Analysis, the following details were taken into consideration:
Strengths
? For Marketing
o Strong Brand — viewed as credible and effective
o Consumer Reports — best staying power and proof of long-term success through clinical trials
? For Finance
o Company’s low variable expenses
o Low Capital expenditure requirements
? For Operations
o Lean organizational structure
o Flexible business model
? For Human Resources
o Part-time staff paid on commission
o Using staff that have lost weight through the Weight Watchers program
? For Information
o WeightWatchers.com – leading internet-based weight management program
o Weight Watchers E-Tools supported its mission to help support people to lose weight
? For Research ; Development
o Awareness of their rivals
o Opportunities for new markets (e.g. men, new countries, etc.)
Weaknesses
? For Marketing
o Misperceptions about what Weight Watchers was
o Differentiate themselves from fad diets
? For Finance
o Economic downturn — less $ to be spent on non-essentials
o Inflexibility in program
? For Operations
o Being able to address members that did not speak English
o Need to evolve operations to meet new and changing customer needs
? For Human Resources
o Difficult to recruit instructors if the requirements to become instructors are so rigid
o Leadership that could evolve with an ever-changing environment
? For Information
o Lack of consumer knowledge about web-based services
o Evolve online tools and resources to better serve consumers that are unable or uninterested in attending meetings
? For Research ; Development
o Need to better understand potential consumers — men, Spanish speaking consumers, young adults, etc.
o Develop tools and programs to keep fresh programs that will attract a variety of consumers
Opportunities
? Men
? Spanish-speaking Consumers
? Young Adults
Threats
? Competitors like Jenny Craig
? Fad Diets
? Pharmaceutical options

IV. Decisions – Formulation
The best alternative for Weight Watchers is to partner with a large national fitness center chain to position them as a full solution to meet the goal of weight loss success. By partnering with a national fitness center chain, Weight Watchers will be successful in increasing revenue, increasing market share, and retaining current consumers. This partnership addresses their weaknesses as differentiating themselves from fad diets (important combination of exercise and eating healthy). This allows Weight Watchers to evolve their operations to meet a new and changing consumer need and offer a refreshed programming that will result in increased members and revenue.
This alternative plays into their strategy of their brand and effectiveness. With the right partnership they can maintain their low variable expenses and low capital requirements. The program continues to provide a flexible operation and differentiates them further from their rivals and opens them to new opportunities in the market.

V. Actions – Implementation
It is recommended that Weight Watchers should partner with a competitor to identify how they can work together to increase revenues to further differentiate themselves as a weight loss solution. If Weight Watchers were to partner with a group like Jenny Craig, they could identify a meal replacement program that provided consumers with a mindless solution to accomplish their weight loss goals
Weight Watchers should also partner with a national fitness center chain to show the importance in partnership between both fitness and eating habits to achieve weight loss. Offer the opportunity for members to pay one fee that allows them the membership benefits of both Weight Watchers and the fitness center.
Also, Weight Watchers should partner with some of the largest health insurance plans to develop a specific program through Weight Watchers to be offered to members. Weight Watchers has the opportunity to increase revenues that may be paid by the health insurance corporations in return the members weight loss should provide an ROI to the health insurance company through decreased health insurance expenses.