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WW International CEO on myWW+ launch: Users are having 'greater weight loss success'

WW launched its new program myWW+ that offers a more holistic approach to weight loss and wellness. WW International CEO Mindy Grossman joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the success behind the launch of myWW+ and weigh in on the company’s outlook for the next quarter.

Video Transcript

- As we get ready for the holiday, and once you get past your Thanksgiving turkey and your Christmas feasting as well, even if they might be smaller celebrations this year, you turn to diet season typically. And let's talk about what people are doing going into that time of year. We're joined by Mindy Grossman. She is WW International CEO.

Mindy, as always, you guys are trying to innovate, come out with new ways to help people control their diet. And so you all just updated your app, myWW+. So talk to me about how you're thinking about innovation in what has become an increasingly competitive environment, not just in terms of food and diet and nutrition, but also in terms of sort of holistic health and working out, et cetera.

MINDY GROSSMAN: To your point, the need for people to have a partner in health has become more acute now than ever as people are doing a complete reappraisal of how they live, how they work, how they spend, but with health and wellness becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. So what we're excited is that we're building on the massive success of myWW, which we launched last year, with myWW+, which is our most customized and personalized holistic program across all our verticals of nutrition, activity, mindset, sleep, all built on community and this idea of really being able to take our investments in technology, AI, and data and really use it for extreme personalization, so from pre-wall assessment, to post-wall, to marrying you with a program that is completely customized. And what we're seeing is certainly it's more holistic, more personalized.

But ultimately, people have greater weight loss success. And they feel that it's theirs. And in an environment where people are looking for more control, and they're looking for ways to be able to do that, this is perfect timing for what we want.

The other thing is this is the first time in the company's history that we have a significantly new innovation in a non-food program innovation year. And it really is about how we were able to accelerate our strategies over the last number of months to be able to deliver on this. We launched November 16. It converted in over 4.7 million of our members' apps. And it's definitely attracting new digital members as well.

- Mindy, you're about to relaunch one-on-one coaching, I would assume on the app. To what extent-- what will that look like?

MINDY GROSSMAN: So coaching as a real core part of WW is very important. And it takes different forms. So if you look at our membership verticals, right, our digital membership, which encompasses everything with myWW+, has elements of chat with a coach, the new launch of five-minute coaching, and other elements.

We actually have a new membership vertical launching in December that we're very excited about, really geared to a younger, more millennial audience, called Digital 360. And it is an on-demand coaching, content, and community platform with all our digital assets as a base. And then we're relaunching our Digital plus unlimited workshops to really maximize what we've done, not just with our physical environments but our virtual workshops, which does not have any geographic limitations.

And so you have that coach. And you can find your own cohort. And then we are launching our one-on-one coaching platform in 2021. So across every one of our verticals, that element of support, community, education, inspiration, and coaching is really important.

- Mindy, we've talked a good bit throughout the year. And if there's anything I've learned about your business, it's not the same business as it was 12 months ago or 24 months ago. Looking at it from an investor standpoint, should they still expect that big spike in January because of people doing New Year's resolutions? Because we are-- the argument could be made we are in a steady state of people probably having eaten too much throughout the past 12 months.

MINDY GROSSMAN: Well, we've worked and invested significantly over the last number of years to truly be a technology experience company with a human-centric overlay. But part of that has really been to be always on, and to be there not just in a moment of time but whenever anyone is rethinking what they need from a partner in living a healthier life and really establishing new habits. So if you look even at our innovation pipeline, it's constant. It's not just waiting for a particular point in time.

I think it really will be interesting, though, given what everyone's gone through this year. I do think people are going to use 2021 as a way to kind of reset their purpose and to think about what's really important to them. And that's why we really wanted to deliver something that was so personalized and customized.

- Well, Mindy, talking about sort of reassessing setting goals and also sort of smoothing out ups and downs, I mean, I was looking at your numbers and at your stock chart. Whether you're talking revenue, profit, and the stock itself, you really saw the highs in 2018. So how do you bring that growth back up here? I mean, obviously, you've been talking about some of the measures you all have been taking. But in concrete terms, do you expect to retain those levels in 2021?

MINDY GROSSMAN: If you look at 2020, we entered 2020 with unbelievable momentum. We had the launch of myWW+. We had just come off the nine-city WW Presents Oprah's Tour. And that momentum was expected to continue throughout the year.

Obviously, COVID had an impact on our studio revenue. But if you look at our digital membership, it's been at an all-time high, both in percentage growth and absolute numbers. So if you look at the end of Q3 at 4.7 million subscribers, that's a Q3 all-time high.

But the thing to also recognize is the gross margin, 60% gross margin driven by 80% margin in our digital membership. And retention continues at an all-time high. So those are really important indicators for future momentum and growth in the business.

- Mindy, great to see you. Thanks for joining us. Mindy Grossman.

MINDY GROSSMAN: Always great to see you.

- Thank you.

MINDY GROSSMAN: Have a great holiday.

- You as well. Appreciate it. WW International CEO Mindy Grossman.