The content partnership began in 2010 when BauerWorks began producing branded cookbooks for Weight Watchers. The bold move pioneered at the outset was to take the books, previously sold in member meetings only, into the retail market. The initiative was a success, with Weight Watchers titles achieving sales comparable to non-branded titles within the first 12 months.
In 2013, Weight Watchers expanded the partnership with BauerWorks to include the monthly magazine and the production of member publications, including weekly guides and program materials. For the relaunch of the magazine, BauerWorks overhauled the design to reflect brand values of simplicity and clarity. The renewed and re-energised magazine had instant impact, with the relaunch issue recording scan sales 36% higher than the issue immediately before it, produced by another publisher. A proactive marketing strategy saw subscription rates climb steadily since launch to the current figure of 15,000-plus.
Two years later, with Weight Watchers wishing to re-establish itself in the face of digital innovations and new competitors, BauerWorks developed a transformative content strategy that would prompt the market into a radical reappraisal of the brand. Covers that focused on body shape were replaced by covers demonstrating the tangible and holistic benefits of healthy living: more energy, more confidence, strength, pride, a sense of beauty and a feeling of happiness. And where content was once restrictively focused on Weight Watchers members, it now embraces the health community more broadly, telling the stories of Weight Watchers members, their friends and family, and celebrating the heroes of healthy living, from cafe owners and chefs to gardeners and athletes.