How to Name a Yoga Studio

How to Name a Yoga StudioChoosing a yoga studio name is critical to your yoga brand.

I caution that when determining your yoga studio name ensure you do the necessary due diligence as part of your yoga business blueprint.  First off, choose a name that doesn’t conflict with other yoga studio names – especially locally.

The way to do this is do a corporate search for your state or province or country. If you aren’t incorporating at the onset for whatever reason, the search will be useful because you may incorporate down the road. It would be a shame to lose your yoga studio name once you’ve built name-recognition.

Ways to name your yoga studio

1. Use your given name

You have a given name (i.e. Lisa Smith) and you can follow in the footsteps of lawyers and other professionals by titling your yoga studio with your name. If you’re well known (and liked) in your town, this is good option.  Even if you’re not well known, it’s an effective naming strategy.

Advantages to using your given name:

  • It’s unique and won’t be copied (at least in your town).
  • You can easily teach a variety of styles (not branded by style or niche audience).
  • If you become well known in the yoga community (as a teacher trainer, DVDs, books), then your popularity will transcend to your yoga studio (celebrity effect).
  • It’s easy to be consistent with logo (you name) with your Web site, blog, books, DVDs, etc.

Disadvantages to using your given name:

  • It may be more difficult to sell (it’s your name after all) – studio continuity issue.
  • It doesn’t describe what type of yoga you do or where you teach it.
  • May be difficult to bring on partners (they may want their name added – dilutes the brand).
  • Harder to attract students unless you are well-known (can alleviate this with good publicity).
  • Students may expect you (the name) to teach their class (if you have other teachers, this is an issue).

2.  Geographic name

If you live in Kalamazoo, Michigan, call your studio the Kalamazoo Yoga Studio or Kalamazoo Power Yoga or any title incorporating your town / or region.

Advantages to naming your yoga studio by geography

  • It’s a great name within your community and for advertising locally (if you’re first to grab it).
  • It’s good for localized search engine results on the internet.
  • You can easily combine it with further distinguishing branding such as established style (Kalamazoo Iyengar) or name (Lisa Smith’s Kalamazoo Yoga Studio), or niche audience (Kalamazoo Kids Yoga)

Disadvantages to naming your yoga studio by geography

  • It’s restricted geographically.
  • If another studio uses the town name, it’s probably not a good idea if you use it also (first come, first served principle).

3.  Name based on yoga style

If you focus on offering a particular style of yoga – name your studio on that style. For example if you teach Ashtanga, you can name your local studio “Ashtanga Yoga”.

Be sure you’re permitted to use any particular yoga style.  More and more styles are developed by various yogis, so you want to be sure you can use the style  name in your business name.

4.  Create a unique yoga studio name

This is much like creating your own yoga style. However, you can teach general Hatha yoga styles or even a particular style and still name your studio with a unique name.

An example would be BodyWorks Yoga (a fictional name).

5.  Combination approach to a yoga studio name

Combining names can be very good, but don’t combine too many so that you confuse your audience or make your name so long it sounds ridiculous.

Examples of good combinations:

  • geographic with existing yoga style: Kalamazoo Iyengar Yoga,
  • geographic with niche audience: Kalamazoo Back Injury Yoga Rehabilitation, and
  • niche audience with unique yoga style: Unique Style Kids Yoga.

Examples of bad combinations:

  • geographic with your own style: Kalamazoo Unique Style Yoga studio – it’s bad because you’re likely developing a new style for expansion. Geographic names restrict geographic expansion, and
  • existing style with your unique style: very contradictory and mixed message to your audience.

6.  Testing yoga studio names

An inexpensive and effective way to test proposed names of anything is to use a pay per click campaign.  You can use Google Adwords, Bing Adcenter and/or Facebook ads.

Here’s how you do it.

  • You create a separate campaign for each proposed name.
  • Target your ads to your yoga studio locations.
  • Be sure to stipulate a daily budget so you don’t spend too much.
  • Create your ads.  The title of each ad should be your proposed yoga studio names.  The rest of each ad across all your campaigns should be the same.
  • See which names get the highest rate of clicks.

Note, you’ll need to create a landing page with the various names on them.  If you don’t have a landing page, your ads won’t be approved.  Use the same landing pages except change the name.

7.  Should you add the incorporation abbreviations such ast Ltd., LLC, etc.?

No, it’s not necessary at least on your marketing materials.  You’ll need a disclaimer setting out that your business falls under a particular incorporated body (if you are incorporated).

In my view, keep your promoted yoga studio name as simple as possible.

8.  Which naming style do I like the best?

I like using your given name or coming up with a unique name not attached to any particular style of yoga.  It’s great for branding in the long term.  It also provides you flexibility with what you offer in the long term.  If you include a yoga style in the name, it’s hard to branch out into other yoga styles.

9.  Keep it simple

Shoot for 1 to 3 word names if you can.  The shorter and simpler business names are, the easier it is to remember.  1 to 2 words are best.  Combining two words works such as “BodyWorks”.

10.  What if a domain name isn’t available for your chosen yoga studio name?

First find out if the name is trademarked.  If not, you can still use the name on a website and other promotional materials.  It’s a good idea to trademark your name if you can.

Look for close variations.  An easy way to vary a name is to add “yoga” to it.  For example, if BodyWorks.com isn’t available, try BodyWorksYoga.com (FYI, both are taken already).  If you must, add “studio” to the domain.  This may or may not work.  You’ll have to continue being creative in finding a domain name or choose a different name.

11.  Things to avoid when choosing a name

1.  Other meanings

If you use an abbreviation or other words, is there a bad alternative meaning?

2.  Avoid names if there’s someone out there with the same name and a bad reputation.

3.  Watch out for legal issues

Consider trademarks, corporations, etc.  Consult a lawyer about your name.

4.  Expansion

Always choose a name with future potentialities in mind such as location and/or style expansion.

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