Defining your Studio’s Identity
This is truly the first step of your Marketing Plan, and before you start building a brand for your studio and to get your students’ loyalty, you need to define the kind of brand you want to be.
You will need to know and find:
- Your mission statement
- Your target market
- Your services and products (in case you decide to sell something at your studio)
- Your competition
So here are a few steps that will help define your identity:
- Who are you? What are your specific skills? What are you passionate about? What is your favourite style of yoga? This is an inventory of you.
- Who is your market? This is the group of people who are most likely to join your studio. Be as clear as possible here: age, gender, level of education, state of health, lifestyle, location, occupation and go as deep as why they would come to you: for a workout? To relax? To find spiritual enlightenment? To meet new people? You want to give a clear message to the RIGHT people and through the right channel. I explain more in this chapter ‘Defining, finding and reaching your market’
- For example, if you realize that your target market is stay-at-home moms between the ages of 25 to 40 who live in a 5 kilometer radius of your studio, you are not going to offer them classes at 5pm, because they will be preparing dinner, you will not advertise at a school that is 10 km away because they will not come… and so on.
- What classes and styles are you going to offer? Make sure they are actually what your target market needs and want; otherwise you will be out of business pretty soon! How long are your classes? Do they involve meditation or relaxation? In which days are they held? At what times? I explain more about this in this chapter ‘Establishing a good timetable’
- Who is your competition? Now that you have defined your market, you can look for whom you are competing with. There are two types of competitors:
- Direct competitors: other yoga studios within your target market and with classes based in exactly what you are going to offer.
- Indirect competitors: those are harder to find because they are replacements of your services. Let’s say your target market is searching for exercise, then gyms would be your indirect competition, if your target market is searching for relaxation, then massage would be and indirect competitor.
This is a great exercise, and will help you understand your potential students so that you can reach them, keep them and make them love you and your studio. Loyal students are what we are after. I explain this in detail in this chapter ‘Reaching and keeping your student clientele’
We have the misconception of trying to reach a huge chunk of people through advertising, but it is a waste of money as it gets diluted. It’s way more effective to invest less money in a more targeted area, population, and gender.
Also, differentiating from your competition is a very important factor to create your own identity as a yoga studio – it should convey what makes you the person to go to… You should provide something special, different, and unique.