Weight Watchers is the latest company to change their name, here’s why

Mindy Grossman said the new name was “a point of validation”

The weight loss juggernaut formally known as Weight Watchers wants "everyone" to be included, and thus has announced a more politically correct name change to the more discreet "WW", indicating a shift in focus from "weight" to "wellness". The US-listed firm wants to broaden its appeal and keep subscribers signed up by moving beyond a short-term diet fix to become a credo to live by, with an app that it hopes users will check as frequently as Facebook or Instagram.

"That marque represents our heritage and history and what we are going forward", Grossman said. "The idea is to inspire people to be more motivated and stay committed for longer".

Shares of WW rose slightly on the news Monday morning.

Oprah stake in Weight Watchers has doubled to almost $92 million from $43 million.

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Grossman said the rebrand includes a relaunch of its mobile app and a partnership with a meditation company called Headspace. But the stock is still up almost 60% this year and has surged more than tenfold since Winfrey first bought her stake in the company almost three years ago. As reported by the BBC, "Earlier this year, Weight Watchers' decision to offer free membership for the summer to teenagers, sparked an outcry from eating disorder groups, with a hashtag #wakeupweightwatchers quickly gaining ground".

Weight Watchers is not only trimming its name but it's doing a complete makeover of the 55-year-old company.

The letters don't stand for "Weight Watchers", nor do they stand for "Wellness that Works", a slogan that the company has trademarked, Chief Executive Mindy Grossman said.

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