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Roadmap For Success

Do you know anything about yoga? Neither do I, which is one of the reasons I was eager to meet the founders of a well-known yoga studio in San Francisco. A former client had connected us and asked if I would meet to learn more about their business challenges.

That first day we met I recall seeing their employees putting the finishing touches on a facelift to their entrance and merchandising area. This was just one of many activities they were initiating as they wrestled with how to grow. It seems their once-strong studio had hit a ceiling in 2015 and business had become tougher in recent years. While they could guess at the cause, they were not exactly sure of the reason. In short the market had changed since 1998, with more studios opening in the city, along with the introduction of new and different yoga styles and an ever changing customer demographic.

In that first meeting we just listened as the owners discussed the ups and downs of their business. It was immediately apparent how capable and committed both were to their studio and to the yoga community they helped build. But it was also apparent they had become disconnected from the market.

Following that first meeting we (I pulled in a very experienced researcher, Karen Stephens, co-owner of Baccus Research) prepared a “strategic roadmap” for this potential client. Our plan incorporated a learning phase, that involved speaking with current & lapsed customers as well as yoga trainers. This was followed by a second phase, using this new learning to craft a stronger and more relevant brand position for the yoga studio. But we didn’t stop there. We also laid out for them the activities that would likely follow this research and positioning work including; evolving their name, logo or tagline, updating their stationery & collateral materials, strengthening their web site, etc. In other words we gave them an outline of all the activities they would need to complete in order to get their business back on track.

I’ve seen companies, both big and small, conduct research with only a foggy view of what they will do differently pending the results. For these two yoga studio owners it was important to lay out a roadmap of the likely steps they’d need to complete in order to effectively evolve and strengthen their business. While a bit daunting, I believe that knowing where you are headed is the first step towards getting there ... learn more at

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