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The logo that cost $50million

Many major brands went through a redesign process redesign last year. Dunkin Donuts (now just Dunkin), Uber, GoDaddy, Debenhams and Burberry to name just a few.

When the new identity is launched it always causes some kind of stir. From the fans of the brand to the army of designers that love to weigh in with their opinions.

Then the question always gets asked “how much did that cost”? Often followed with “I could have done that for a lot less”.

But one redesign has cost the company way more than the actual design costs.

That brand is Weight Watchers.

Last September, after 56 years of trading, Weight Watchers changed its name and logo to WW. I had to hunt around to work out if the WW actually stood for anything and it seems it doesn’t.

Stand for Something!!

The move was made because Weight Watchers wanted to be known as more of a “wellness” company. Which is so broad and meaningless, it was obvious to many that this was not a great move

They did adopt a new tagline however. “Wellness that Works”… whatever that means…

What’s the real cost?

The BBC, have reported that in the second half of last year, WW dropped 600,000 subscribers.

A quote from the article says: “Revenue for the first three months of the year will now be down by 10% and operating profit will drop by $50m compared to the same period last year.”

A drop. Of $50m.

Was this all down to the new branding?

I would take a guess and say it had a big part to play.

When a brand is so well know, people have an emotional attachment to it. They identify with it and feel part of group. A group that stands for something.

When you drastically change that and take out the meaning, you have to face that you will lose fans, followers and customers.

Next time you rebrand.

So think about this next time you consider a logo or name change.

And above all… Stand for Something.