Expanding Noom in Latin America

Understanding weight loss and wellness beliefs for a regional repositioning

Culture x Market x Product fit research

Audience Understanding & Segmentation

Product research for new market expansion & optimization

New market positioning, messaging & creative strategy approach

How do you take a successful American behavior change program south, to a region with vastly different body cultures?

The Challenge

In 2021, Noom needed a naming and positioning strategy to enter and expand in LATAM, starting with Mexico.

We had to take into account unique cultural differences across a region with legendary heritage, strong norms and deep-seeded beliefs around food, family, eating and way of life, and create a path relevant for the future.

In Mexico, food is central to identity and always has been.

The Approach

Historically indulgence is aspirational, families live intergenerationally, life in cities is hectic, and filled with “antojitos” (temptations). In many ways it’s harder to be healthy, but Mexicans share similar core North American tendencies towards self-improvement and are willing to put in the effort when it comes to wellness.

The challenge was that the same set of characteristics isn’t a one-sized fits all description that covers other important markets like Chile, Colombia, Peru or Argentina. Food and family play a key role in most places, but ideas of what’s “beautiful” and wellness widely differ, along with who has any say in shaping those views.

After an analysis of category meaning and qualitative research in six LATAM markets, we used category culture mapping to determine a positioning for the region and recommend a path forward that could work for Mexico and grow beyond.

We looked at key axes defining culture and attitudes towards broader life, but that also shape sentiments around health and wellness, such as masculinity vs femininity and how fluid or fixed societies tend to be. What emerged were regional strategies for how to tap into desires consistent with those attitudes. Such as, helping people commit and tame the chaos with better, incremental choices in the more traditionally masculine, success and achievement-oriented markets like North America, or helping people make compromises aimed at holistic wellness in the more feminine, laid back and fluid societies like Chile and Peru.

We then tested names and implications against this background, coming up with an overall approach that could work everywhere, with nuances in messaging by region.

The Result

Noom launched in Mexico and counts users across all of Latin and South America, with the product continuously improving to suit the cultural needs of the region.

“Phoenix has been instrumental in helping us understand consumers in key target markets. Their succinct, thorough research and ability to distill and package up even the most complex information for time poor executives has materially informed our international expansion strategy - allowing us to gauge product market fit prior to investing in local markets. I am looking forward to working with Phoenix for many more years to come and can’t imagine a better partner in our corner.”

- Sophie Pless

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