Mindy Grossman has had an illustrious career in the retail industry. The current president and CEO of WW International (formerly Weight Watchers) is a 38-year veteran of the retail and apparel industries who has held senior-level positions at retailers and brands such as Nike, IAC, and HSN. At HSN, where Grossman served as CEO, she was responsible for transforming the business into a lifestyle network, diversifying its portfolio of brands and personalities, and spearheading efforts to evolve the linear network into a multiplatform business.
In a recently recorded Retale’s From the Frontline podcast episode, Grossman chats with host Matt Rubel about what she’s learned from working with Oprah Winfrey, Ralph Lauren, Barry Diller and Phil Knight, as well as her success as a business transformation leader. She says that risk taking and boldness are the essence of transformation. Grossman addresses the following topics in the podcast episode:
- Building a community is as important as the product. Executives often try to transform a company by transforming the product, but consumers want to be part of a community of like-minded people. Therefore, leaders have to prioritize community building alongside product. WW International’s digital community platform lets brides-to-be and other customer groups find people in similar circumstances to connect with, share information with and progress with.
- Getting the right people to the party is key. Finding the right partners can open the door to further opportunities, Grossman said. For example, when Grossman was at HSN, a partnership with Sephora enabled the shopping network to onboard 40 new beauty brands overnight. “Once you get the right people to the party, everybody wants to go,” Grossman said.
- The truth of the brand needs to permeate everything. Saying no to ideas that violate any part of your brand is crucial, advised Grossman, because saying yes to those can alienate your core customer. Grossman says she learned this lesson from Ralph Lauren early in her career, and she still lives by it.