Who are you?
It’s a simple question in structure, but the answer can be hard to find. However, when it comes to branding, knowing the answer for your yoga studio’s brand is essential.
“It’s obviously really easy to exude your brand if it’s who you are,” said Alex Wheeler, a co-owner of Mountain Yoga Sandy in Sandy, Utah.
Having been around for 14 years, Wheeler explained they recently rebranded to expand their offerings from just bikram. It helped Mountain Yoga had always been the parent company, and that the studio is located in the mountains. “It was pretty easy to develop a brand around something that we live and breathe,” said Wheeler.
When first stepping into the rebranding process, Wheeler said he studied how he wanted the studio to feel. Working on a shoestring budget, he utilized the people he knew. In fact, that was one tip he gave: use key players in your circle. So, if you know a graphic designer, use their skills.
Branding needs to be consistent as well. From the website to the studio itself, Wheeler said it needs to be constant through the entire consumer pathway. Plus, simplifying language is beneficial. Wheeler explained people make decisions in three to seven seconds, so you need to show what you offer in a simplified manner.
Mountain Yoga Sandy took its brand a step beyond the logo and color scheme. Inspired by several studios, including Fierce Grace and Yoga Six, Wheeler created the Mountain Yoga system of classes, complete with easily identifiable icons.
Each class at the studio falls within a circular diagram made of six elements/class types: Fire, Wind, Flow, Earth, Roots and Water. Wheeler shared that the classes are everything from yin yoga to vinyasa, but he’s made them unique to his studio by putting different names on them. Plus, the majority of the people in the country haven’t taken a yoga class, so this terminology is non-threatening and more familiar than asanga yoga.
By branding even his classes, Wheeler has also achieved a way to handle a variety of teachers with different trainings in their background. “I wanted to create a concrete, linear path that they could all come around, the brand, the system of classes,” he said.
Because while image and color scheme matter, branding goes beyond just the visual. Wheeler said even more so it affected by service and consistently providing a great experience. “The branding of the service is one sentence after or before the branding of the image, and what I mean by that is your students, most studios get more students through referral,” he said. “If you’re students cannot message what your brand is and what your service is, then you stop growing.”