Finding the right name can make or break any start-up, including your yoga business. If a name fails to be memorable or attract interest, you won’t bring in new clients, and if you don’t do your research, you could end up infringing on someone else’s copyright.
In the yoga studio business, a catchy, clear, strong name attracts attention and informs your branding. Here are some suggestions for how to choose the right yoga business name and branding.
1. Choose Something Easy to Spell
Pick something simple and straightforward. Yes, it is trendy to leave out vowels or create alternate spellings, but this can be confusing to your potential clients. You don’t want people to be searching for your business online and be unable to spell it correctly.
Choose something that will last the test of time. Will it still be popular to drop vowels in twenty years? Or will it just make your business look dated?
2. Get the Right Domain Names
Ideally, you want the domain name for your yoga website to be your business name with “.com”. There are a lot of options out there, like .biz, and even .yoga, but .com is what most people expect which will make it easier for new students to find your business.
3. Choose a Name that has Meaning
Some businesses have done quite well with names that are essentially meaningless and have nothing to do with their business model, and while they can be catchy, they’re not ideal.
When someone drives past your storefront or sees your business pop up on Facebook or Google, they should know what type of business it is at the first glance.
4. Do a Lot of Research and Check for a Trademark
It’s likely that someone out there is already using a name close to what you’re thinking about using, but the only way you can know for sure is to do your due diligence by performing a thorough internet search.
You should also make sure the name isn’t trademarked to protect yourself from legal troubles if you intend to expand your brand and sell merchandise.
5. Consult an Attorney
There are a lot of legal things to consider when choosing a business name, and a corporate lawyer can help you navigate the system and make sure you’ve got all your legal bases covered.
The last thing you want is to go through the whole process only to find that there’s another business with a name that’s too similar to yours and have to start the process all over again.
6. Make Sure it’s Catchy
While you don’t want something that’s too far out there, you don’t want your name to be boring, either.
As you brainstorm, ask friends and family for their input and opinions. Do they like the way the name sounds when you say it out loud? Does it roll off the tongue? Is it memorable?
It might take a while to fine tune a good idea, and you need outside input from people you trust to help you brainstorm.
7. Think Twice About Using Your Name
Yes, it’s tempting to use your name on the business you’re working hard to build, but this can become a hindrance in the long run, especially if you want to sell the business someday.
8. What Not to Do
Coming up with the right name is tough, so to help, here are some mistakes to avoid when naming your yoga business.
- Don’t make it a group decision. Yes, you should ask friends and family for their honest opinions, but at the end of the day, you’re the one who has to be happy with the name you choose. Ask a few key people for input, including anyone helping you build the business since they have a stake in the name too. Don’t make it a decision that everyone has to agree with.
- Don’t just smash two words together. This is a bit of a trend these days, but they tend to be awkward and not very catchy. Plus, they can sound generic and cheap.
- Be specific. Don’t just call your business Yoga Studio. General Motors and Standard Oil might have been able to get away with this, but they were trailblazers in their industries. There are already more than 35 million yoga studios in the U.S. Try to choose a name that tells potential students a little more about what makes you special. Coming up with a specific and unique name also makes it easier to come up with related branding.
- Avoid using the name of a geographical location unless you plan to stay hyperlocal. For example, naming your studio something like Rocky Mountain Yoga works in certain areas, but it’s too specific for expansion and too narrow to have a local feel. There are some great real-life examples of why using a geographic location in a name is so limiting. One is Minnesota Manufacturing and Mining, which was ready to grow beyond its state and expand into other industries. You know them today as 3M.
9. Developing a Branding and Marketing Strategy
There is a lot of competition in the yoga business. To succeed, you have to develop a brand and marketing strategy that draws attention, but what exactly does that mean?
Branding is a combination of various words, signs, and symbols that identifies a product and easily differentiates it from its competitors. For example, if you see a Tiffany blue box, you know there’s Tiffany jewelry inside before you even open it.
Effective branding is much more than just recognizing a business though; it’s also understanding what that business stands for. You know you’re getting quality when you see a box from Tiffany’s.
Here are some questions to consider when putting together your yoga studio’s branding and marketing plan.
What are your goals?
You have to establish the goals you have for your business at the very beginning, even before you settle on a name. What is your studio’s character? Think of your goals as the sparkle in your eye. It’s the passion behind what you do. Now, try to work that passion into your brand.
Try asking yourself questions, like what words do you want to come to mind when potential customers think about your studio? What do you want them to tell their friends?
Are you drawn more toward words like minimal or welcoming? All-inclusive or exclusive? Invigorating or soothing? How you answer these questions determines the direction your brand should take.
Have you done your research?
Look at your potential competitors and get a feel for what the industry is doing. What is working for them? What isn’t? Learning from other people’s experiences can help inform your decisions.
Look at their logos. Are they too simplistic? Too complicated? What colors are working? Who stands out the most and why? What about yoga class names? How creative are your competitors being?
Who is your target customer?
You cannot create a cohesive branding and marketing plan without thinking about your target customers. Are you specializing in a particular type of yoga class? Is your studio inclusive to all body types? Do you have classes for people of all skill levels?
Your branding and marketing should target the people you’re hoping to bring into the studio. Ideally, you will make a connection and gain their trust.
How’s your logo?
A brand is much more than a logo, but a logo is an important part of a brand, especially if you intend to branch into merchandising. A logo is the first thing people associate with a brand, a snapshot of everything the brand stands for, and an immediate way to connect with an audience.
Spend some time looking at the logos of other businesses. Not just your direct competitors, but those that are the biggest in the yoga industry. Think Gaiam, Lululemon, Athleta. What makes their logos work?
10. Is Your Branding Consistently Incorporated into All Aspects of your Business?
When you have your branding and logo down, be consistent across all marketing channels. Use the same picture on your social media accounts, business card, and website so that they form a cohesive picture of your brand.
Get branded stationery, billboards, banners, window decals. Everything should tie together to form one overarching theme of who you are and what you do.
Final Word on Yoga Business Name and Branding
Naming a yoga brand is one of the most important things you can do to get your fitness business heading in the right direction. The right name will not only draw attention to your new business, but also inform your branding.