Creating brand values can help your business to establish a clear identity and great habits from day one. We spoke to Tola Osundina of For the Core – a family-owned yoga and Pilates studio based in Hackney – and found out the meaning behind “the three Ps”.
When asked about For the Core, I could opt to describe it as simply a yoga and Pilates studio. Instead, I choose to describe it as a local, family-owned, small group yoga and Pilates studio and wellness hub in Hoxton, East London. Why? The latter communicates For the Core’s brand values and represents how we set ourselves apart.
Embedding brand values into For the Core naturally flowed as a result of three key components. Some have dubbed these three components as the “three Ps”: our offering (Proposition), our name (Purpose) and – arguably the most important factor – us (Personality).
Our offering (Proposition)
When it comes to the world of health and fitness, a case could be made for the yoga community being the most tightly knit. With yoga’s foundations in mindfulness, the practice is founded on its value of the connectivity between the mind, body and soul. In some ways, yoga itself is a brand which lies at the heart of For the Core.
Meanwhile, Pilates is founded on the premise of building and sustaining inner strength, and encouraging a greater focus on your body and how it endures challenges – through slow movement.
Let’s dissect my earlier description and focus on For the Core as a ‘small group’ yoga and Pilates studio. When focusing on our Proposition, our brand values are emphasized by the size of our classes. We allow a maximum 14 students in each class to ensure that the teacher has the ability to focus on each individual and – more importantly – to ensure that each student is constantly developing through regular practice at For the Core.
Our name (Purpose)
When it came to choosing our name, For the Core was a no-brainer. We asked ourselves:
- Why do people practice yoga?
- Why is Pilates important?
- Why are we starting this business?
The answers to these questions pointed to one multi-faceted Purpose: the core. The core is defined as ‘the central or most important part of something’ or ‘the part of something that is central to its existence or character’. And, anatomically, the core is where your power is generated in order to carry out any movement.
Our name is the alignment of our Proposition with our Purpose. Again turning to my earlier description, For the Core is a ‘wellness hub’ – wellness is a catch-all phrase which represents being in good health, both physically and mentally. For the Core seeks to encourage the active pursuit of strong mental health. This is because the clarity and content of our thoughts are central to how our characters develop and how we function as human beings. For the Core seeks to encourage the active pursuit of physical health, which helps to ensure that our bodies can mobilise and live up to the potential that our minds envisage (in other words, living life to the fullest).
We apply this in practice through Meditation Mondays, our free weekly session on Monday evenings. These are open to the community and help them to set the tone for the week. These sessions are by donation only, with proceeds being given to the mental health charity, Mind. Once we decided that our brand values would be committed to the core, our business began to take shape.
For the Core is a local business founded by three Hackney-born and raised, black British sisters – with the studio itself taking the place of a retail unit owned by our parents since 1994!
We are from and for the community in which we now have a business; and this very fact continues to inform our brand values and business decisions every day. We want the local community to know who we are and feel encouraged through every encounter they have with For the Core. And as a black-owned business, we actively seek to promote diversity and inclusiveness through our members of staff, instructors and events.
We firmly believe that our Personality is what makes us unique and cannot be easily replicated by our competitors. So, we actively communicate our values through the workshops we host, the brands we partner with and the content of our weekly newsletter. To finish with a few wise words: ‘If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand’.
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