Atkins Nutritionals Inc. has been supporting individuals in their quest for healthier nutrition and lifestyles for more than 40 years. It all began with a best-selling book in 1972 by Dr. Robert C. Atkins that outlined the benefits of a low-carb diet. Since then, business has expanded to help support the followers of the original low carb  approach to eating laid out in many new book editions, the latest being Atkins: Eat Right Not Less Your Guide for Living a Low Carb and Low Sugar Lifestyle.  

In an effort to create convenience foods and healthy snacks for those on a low carb/ low sugar lifestyle , the company sells bars, shakes, and publishes books to educate consumers, amongst a host of other initiatives.

To support those who are following the diet, the business has also created a community where they can support, educate, and inform people who wish to learn more about the diet, as well as those who are seeking help along the way.


Prior to Vanilla

Issues identified by the marketing team at Atkins with their last community platform sent them in search of a new online community solution. The key issue was that the platform they were using was reflecting poorly on their brand.

This decision was fully supported by Don Freidkin and Jacky Miller, moderators and administrators of the Atkins online community. They knew they needed a new solution, and the decision was made to search for a platform that could create a more usable space for the Atkins community in an effort to create a better experience related to their brand.

“There were issues [with the previous community platform] such as a lack of mobile usability, spam, trolls, and an overall poor user experience.”  – Don Freidkin, Moderator and Administrator, Atkins

The Vanilla Solution

Beyond the key needs for integrations into their own platform, the Vanilla Success Team™ was able to provide vital support in helping the administrators to assess and reach their goals. Beyond just regular technical support, the SuccessTeam™ acts as community building advisors.

As an example, the Atkins community had an issue with trolls. Their customer success manager was able to provide them with advice and techniques for dealing with this issue. Each connection with the SuccessTeam™ helps Don and Jacky do their jobs better.

“It’s the kind of community support we needed to be successful, and something which our previous platform did not provide.” – Jacky Miller, Moderator and Administrator, Atkins

Success using Vanilla

From day one, the Atkins team noticed the difference in their community.

Atkins community with vanilla

Moderation is simpler, and the administrators are able to be more efficient. Members appreciate the ability to connect via their mobile devices, and the gamification features that Atkins has implemented have added an extra level of delight to the community.

The conversations that community members are now having are vastly different from the previous iteration; and not just the conversation, but the tone, as well. While many conversations were negative, and focused on things that were not working within the previous platform, the community is now able to focus on the Atkins lifestyle  and providing education.

“It affords us a better space to deal with myths, misinterpretations, as well as answer and educate the community on the various aspects of the Atkins program. We’re able to correct a lot of the misperceptions easily in a platform like this, where it’s hard to do with limited characters on Twitter or on a Facebook page where the content turns over so quickly. Those kinds of spaces are quite dismal for getting the proper information into the larger community efficiently.” – Jacky Miller, Moderator and Administrator, Atkins

Where the community really shines is helping those following Atkins to achieve their goals. While some members find difficulty in following the plan, being able to check into the community gives them an extra level of support. According to Freidkin, the community provides a great space and a motivator for these people.

“We’ve seen a lot of personal relationships grow in the community. Jacky was originally a community member and we recruited her into this role — so you can see the community is an important thing for us.” – Don Freidkin, Moderator and Administrator, Atkins

To get a closer look at the Atkins community, visit them here