Keeping it real
For a weight loss brand like LighterLife, first impressions count. In the highly competitive diet industry, worth an estimated £2bn a year in the UK, it takes a unique and fresh approach to stand out from the crowd.
LighterLife’s USP is that they don’t just focus on weight loss – they explore what’s going on in the inside, too. A big part of the plan is that members have to attend weekly group sessions with a counsellor and explore the reasons why they’re overeating in the first place.
The challenge LighterLife had was producing customer communications that reflected this USP. They didn’t want to shy away from the big issues or gloss over the realities, but at the same time, they didn’t want to overwhelm people with too much jargon or psychological babble – and that’s where Specialist stepped in.
We were tasked with revamping their customer magazine to make it more accessible and current, yet different to every other weight-loss magazine on the market.
What was born was the quarterly glossy publication, LighterLife, which has the high-end production values of a glossy women’s monthly, mixed with intelligent, thought-provoking editorial, on par with Psychologies magazine or the Sunday supplements.
As most people know, the key to a successful diet company is to show that it works! That’s why we cram every issue full of the most inspirational success stories we can find. And, unlike, other weight-loss brands, we make a point of doing no digital retouching to our models – all of whom are real LighterLife members.
We also quickly acknowledged the power of social media to harness original user-generated content. Using LighterLife’s Facebook, Twitter and online forums we post questions, polls and tips and then feed these back into each issue of the magazine. From our user-generated content we’ve created a LighterLife reader panel that test products, provide feedback and comment on features.
To get as much value as we can from our content, we also shoot exclusive behind the scenes video footage at the same time as our success story photo shoots. The videos are then posted on the LighterLife’s website and social media channels – promoting the brand and driving people to buy the magazine.
Off the back of the magazine’s success, Specialist has also created two exclusive apps for LighterLife. Firstly, we converted its popular members’ recipe book Living Lighter Every Day into an iPhone and iPad app. This is a simple, sophisticated tool that’s a breeze to navigate, thanks to recipe search option using scrolling tabs or the ingredients index.
We also created a LighterLife Weight Tracker app, where members can create a unique profile to upload and track their weights on a weekly or monthly basis.
Melissa Stewart, Editor