Situation Analysis: The Floundering Health and Wellness Program

Situation Analysis: The Floundering Health and Wellness Program

April 6, 2016
Business Skills

by RDBA Executive Director, Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

This article is what I like to call a situation analysis.  

Situation: A retail RD team has a program that has been successful for several years in reaching shoppers and increasing the sales of healthier products. But over time, interest has waned. Fewer consumers are signing up for the program, and some dates and times are canceled due to low enrollment. The RDs need to determine next steps with the program.

Analysis: There are a variety of reasons interest could be waning in a program. To discover what the specific reasons might be for an individual program, consider the following tips: 

  1. Analyze data. If you conduct evaluations at the end of the program, what is the feedback? Has it shifted over time? Can you determine if there is a seasonality to the program usage from registration or attendance in the program at different times of the year? Or is attendance location specific, with some stores having continued hight interest and interest at other locations waning? Has a new program launched in the marketplace that now competes with your program?
  2. Assess a refresh. Retail RDs indicate that the highest priority topics in their work are weight management, heart disease, diabetes management, and gluten free living. Perhaps your program simply needs a refresh either within the existing topic or to a completely new topic. Consumer trends are continually shifting, and you may simply need to refresh the program to align more directly with current trends.  
  3. Find new markets. It's common for retail RDs to leverage relationships with hospitals, clinics, and health clubs to market programs. You might find renewed interest identifying shoppers most loyal to your programs and having them gather their friends and family for participation in your program.  
  4. Let it go. Despite your efforts to analyze why a program isn't working or to reinvigorate a program, it might simply be a program that has run it's course.  Part of being successful in business is understanding when it's time to let something go and to move on. There are a wide variety of programs retail RDs can offer to provide shopper solutions for healthier living. If one isn't working, cut it from the list, and move on. Your time is too valuable to waste on programs that simply aren't working.  Odds are, you have another great idea that you've been eager to implement, and this is the perfect opportunity to shift gears.