The best brands build communities. Here’s how they do it

The best brands build communities. Here’s how they do it

Guests
Alisha Marie, YouTube Creator
Gail Tifford, Chief Brand Officer at WW International Inc.
Published
November 2020

Every brand is desperate to build authentic, genuine connections with their audience, but it takes a lot to earn people’s confidence and loyalty. In Part 1 of our video series where a CMO meets a creator, Gail Tifford, chief brand officer of WW International, Inc., and YouTube creator Alisha Marie share how they use community feedback to shape their content and strategy.

Hear from more creators and CMOs in Part 2 and Part 3 of this series.

0:01

[Alisha Marie] Perfect, we are recording.

0:11

[Gail Tifford] Okay.

0:12

[Music]

0:16

[Alisha Marie] Hey, my name is Alisha Marie. I am a

0:19

[Alisha Marie] professional

0:21

[Alisha Marie] Youtuber, influencer, content creator.

0:22

[Gail Tifford] Hi everybody. I'm Gail Tifford, the Chief

0:24

[Gail Tifford] Brand

0:25

[Gail Tifford] Officer at WW, formerly Weight Watchers,

0:27

[Gail Tifford] and

0:28

[Gail Tifford & Alisha Marie] I'm so excited to be here. I'm so honored

0:29

[Alisha Marie] that I'm

0:32

[Alisha Marie & Gail Tifford] able to be here with Gail. She said it

0:33

[Gail Tifford] great. Should I just go in?

0:40

[Music]

0:42

[Alisha Marie] Thank you so much for being here. I'm

0:44

[Alisha Marie] curious what you think about the term

0:46

[Alisha Marie] health and wellness?

0:47

[Alisha Marie] It sounds so broad and it means

0:48

[Alisha Marie] something completely different to

0:50

[Alisha Marie] everyone. What does it

0:53

[Alisha Marie & Gail Tifford] necessarily mean to you? For me, what

0:55

[Gail Tifford] wellness means is really my

0:57

[Gail Tifford] mind, body, and soul kind of all working

0:58

[Gail Tifford] together. We've banned the words ‘before’

1:01

Gail Tifford] and ‘after’

1:03

[Gail Tifford] because we feel like it’s kind of dirty. So

1:06

[Gail Tifford] we talk about it as ‘now’ and ‘then.’

1:10

[Alisha Marie] For a fitness and health brand to say,

1:12

[Alisha Marie] “Hey, you're beautiful no matter what size

1:14

[Alisha Marie] you are,” no one's doing that. I love this

1:16

[Alisha Marie] wave of body positivity,

1:18

[Alisha Marie] of people showing that, and showing

1:19

[Alisha Marie] stretch marks, and showing real before

1:20

[Alisha Marie] and afters, where

1:22

[Alisha Marie] you have your leggings and you pose

1:23

[Alisha Marie] like a fitness pose, but then you put

1:26

[Alisha Marie] them down and show that. I think

1:27

[Alisha Marie] that's what people are missing in the

1:28

[Alisha Marie] health and fitness

1:30

[Alisha Marie] industry, and I love that you guys are

1:31

[Alisha Marie] really tapping into that when not a lot

1:33

[Alisha Marie] of other people

1:35

[Alisha Marie] are. To see a brand doing it because they

1:36

[Alisha Marie] actually believe, that I think speaks

1:38

[Alisha Marie] volumes.

1:40

[Gail Tifford] We're really focused on, as we talk to

1:42

[Gail Tifford] new audiences,

1:43

[Gail Tifford] really coming right out to bust those

1:45

[Gail Tifford] myths head on.

1:47

[Gail Tifford] When I look at your community, they're

1:49

[Gail Tifford] rallying around you, but they're also

1:51

[Gail Tifford] rallying around

1:52

[Gail Tifford] your point of view around health and

1:53

[Gail Tifford] wellness.

1:55

[Alisha Marie] I think honestly trust is the biggest

1:56

[Alisha Marie] thing. I think getting, like you said, a

1:57

[Alisha Marie] more diverse audience, you know, people

1:59

[Alisha Marie] who are

2:01

[Alisha Marie] super into fitness, as well as people who

2:02

[Alisha Marie] have never worked out in their life to

2:04

[Alisha Marie] show them how

2:05

[Alisha Marie] it is for everyone. Again, there's just so

2:08

[Alisha Marie] much

2:09

[Alisha Marie] noise and so many articles and different

2:11

[Alisha Marie] things being thrown at everyone

2:14

[Alisha Marie] all the time, so people are just looking

2:15

[Alisha Marie & Gail Tifford] for honesty. You talked about trust and

2:17

[Gail Tifford] that is

2:19

[Gail Tifford] at the core of what our brand is, and I

2:21

[Gail Tifford] think it's really important that

2:23

[Gail Tifford] in this day and age brands are

2:25

[Gail Tifford] transparent. I think the thing about

2:27

[Gail Tifford] YouTube and the video format of

2:30

[Gail Tifford] storytelling

2:31

[Gail Tifford] you can't photoshop videos. That is what

2:33

[Gail Tifford] is

2:36

[Gail Tifford] so compelling about the platform

2:38

[Gail Tifford] is that authenticity and just

2:41

[Gail Tifford] you know people really being able to see

2:45

[Gail Tifford] you, versus a perfectly photoshopped,

2:47

[Gail Tifford & Alisha Marie] you know, edited photo. Thinking back to

2:48

[Alisha Marie] the 90s for instance, that would have

2:50

[Alisha Marie] been a brand's worst nightmare is

2:51

[Alisha Marie] getting video footage of what it's

2:53

[Alisha Marie] really like.

2:55

[Alisha Marie] However, now it's the complete opposite

2:58

[Alisha Marie] and using that to your advantage to show

3:00

[Alisha Marie] ‘hey, this is real results.’ Watch this

3:01

[Alisha Marie] video, it's not photoshop.

3:03

[Gail Tifford] We're learning a lot from our members,

3:04

[Gail Tifford] but we're also learning a lot from your

3:07

[Gail Tifford] generation

3:08

[Gail Tifford] I mean with your subscribers growing, how

3:10

[Gail Tifford] do you

3:11

[Gail Tifford] use them as a feedback tool? Like are you

3:13

[Gail Tifford] constantly

3:15

[Gail Tifford] hearing what they have to say and then

3:18

[Gail Tifford] using them to generate

3:20

[Gail Tifford & Alisha Marie] ideas around content? I've learned so

3:22

[Alisha Marie] much from my viewers over the years,

3:24

[Alisha Marie] and I think one of the number one things

3:26

[Alisha Marie] is that they love being included.

3:28

[Alisha Marie] Whether it's using the same hashtag.

3:30

[Alisha Marie] Whether it's even you just being active

3:31

[Alisha Marie] and liking, or even just asking them ‘hey

3:33

[Alisha Marie] guys,

3:34

[Alisha Marie] I'm really torn. Which song do you like

3:36

[Alisha Marie] better?’ What do you like?

3:38

[Alisha Marie] They love that so

3:40

[Alisha Marie & Gail Tifford] much. When we were

3:41

[Gail Tifford] moving from Weight Watchers to WW, we

3:43

[Gail Tifford] actually

3:45

[Gail Tifford & Alisha Marie] did the same thing. Oh my god!

3:46

[Gail Tifford] We started with our community.

3:48

[Alisha Marie] They're the ones who are telling their

3:49

[Alisha Marie] friends about me. They're the ones who

3:51

[Alisha Marie] are

3:53

[Alisha Marie] giving me video ideas and telling me ‘hey,

3:54

[Alisha Marie & Gail Tifford] you should do this.’ Overwhelmingly, our

3:56

[Gail Tifford] members were like

3:58

[Gail Tifford] we think this is so much more than just

3:59

[Gail Tifford] weight. This is about,

4:01

[Gail Tifford] you know, our overall wellness and it's

4:03

[Gail Tifford] about what you put into your body, but

4:04

[Gail Tifford] how you move your body, and how your mind

4:08

[Gail Tifford] supports that.

4:10

[Gail Tifford] What we see happening is that health and

4:11

[Gail Tifford] wellness has become a necessity. It's not

4:13

[Gail Tifford] a luxury anymore,

4:15

[Gail Tifford] and people need to take care of

4:17

[Gail Tifford] themselves so that they can take care of

4:19

[Gail Tifford] the people around them.

4:21

[Music]

4:22

[Alisha Marie] I actually would love to hear your

4:24

[Alisha Marie] perspective on

4:26

[Alisha Marie] having an app, and what you envision

4:29

[Alisha Marie] obviously that app and tool to do

4:30

[Alisha Marie & Gail Tifford] with your brand? The brand started out

4:33

[Gail Tifford] like a real,

4:34

[Gail Tifford] in real life community. And then, when we

4:36

[Gail Tifford] launched the app,

4:38

[Gail Tifford] because of the fact that those communities are really

4:40

[Gail Tifford] in the DNA of the brand,

4:43

[Gail Tifford] it was really critical that we create

4:45

[Gail Tifford] some sort of community within

4:46

[Gail Tifford] the apps, a virtual community. I can imagine

4:48

[Gail Tifford] it's pretty similar to

4:50

[Gail Tifford] to the community you have with your

4:51

[Gail Tifford & Alisha Marie] followers. The number one thing I love so

4:53

[Alisha Marie] much

4:55

[Alisha Marie] is finding out that fans have become

4:56

[Alisha Marie] best friends because of me. Like they met

4:58

[Alisha Marie] online because of

4:59

[Alisha Marie] my videos, and now they're best friends.

5:01

[Alisha Marie] And I can only imagine it being the

5:02

[Alisha Marie] exact same way for WW, and I think

5:04

[Alisha Marie] that's

5:06

[Alisha Marie & Gail Tifford] such an awesome tool. You know it

5:09

[Gail Tifford] keeps them going and it

5:10

[Gail Tifford] is, you know, you feed off the energy

5:12

[Gail Tifford] and the support

5:14

[Gail Tifford] of people who are on the exact same

5:15

[Gail Tifford] journey with you.

5:20

[Alisha Marie] I learned so much today. I think Gail is

5:22

[Alisha Marie] such a boss

5:24

[Alisha Marie] lady, and I love how transparent she was.

5:26

[Alisha Marie] Seeing how she's been able to come

5:27

[Alisha Marie] and completely turn a brand around for

5:29

[Alisha Marie] the better, and

5:31

[Alisha Marie] is just so open and honest with

5:33

[Alisha Marie] everything, I'm really excited just

5:36

[Alisha Marie] to see where WW goes.

5:38

[Gail Tifford] I loved speaking to Alisha today. I love

5:40

[Gail Tifford] how she continues

5:42

[Gail Tifford] to reinvent herself with her audience

5:44

[Gail Tifford] and how they are

5:46

[Gail Tifford] so welcoming and appreciating. I can

5:50

[Gail Tifford] understand why millions of people

5:52

[Gail Tifford] follow her every day, and I think that I

5:54

[Gail Tifford] am probably going to be her number one

5:56

[Gail Tifford] biggest fan from now on.

5:57

[Gail Tifford] Well this is the reason why you heard

6:00

[Gail Tifford] all of the noise

6:07

[Gail Tifford] in the background so you can thank

6:08

[Gail Tifford] Baby Kanga for that.

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