Remember that episode of Full House where DJ starts junior high and is embarrassed because the other girls wear make up and clothes fit for a 20-year-old club hopper and she’s wearing the same outfit as the teacher?

Talk about mortifying.

Everyone has been in situations where they feel like they just don’t fit in. Whether you’re self-conscious about your outfit or feel like you have nothing to add to the conversation, it’s uncomfortable, awkward and makes you doubt yourself. But it’s even worse to pretend like you’re something you’re not. People can always tell when someone is faking it.

For Businesses, Image is Everything
This is especially true of businesses. As a business owner, you have the power to impact a lot of people – your employees, your customers, other business owners. You need to make sure you don’t abuse that power by playing with your public image.

This usually comes in the form of a business owner trying to please multiple groups of people. Trying to do so you will end up alienating customers and destroying your credibility.

Instead, focus on what your brand stands for. To have a successful content marketing campaign, consumers have to take you seriously and know they can trust you.

Think of how betrayed you felt when your hair stylist gave you blunt bangs when you clearly asked for side swept. She may have been trying to mix things up or attract an edgier audience, but she did it in a way that affected – and upset – a loyal client.

Build a Loyal Community, Stand by Your Brand
Let’s look at Bravado Designs, a company that knows how to please customers. They specialize in maternity intimate apparel and have three main goals:

  • To bolster and enhance the self-esteem of pregnant and nursing women
  • Offer women maternity and nursing lingerie that makes them feel supported, comfortable and attractive
  • Provide credible and non-judgmental information and pregnancy and breastfeeding

To push this message, Bravado Designs has several special features on their website:

  • A monthly newsletter with information on breastfeeding and online offers
  • An online resource library with topics for every stage of pregnancy
  • Weekly blogs by moms and experts
  • A branded website called Bravado Breastfeeding Information Council that offers unbiased statistics, analysis and expert opinions
  • Consumer testers who try every product
  • Consumer models to show off each item the company offers

Although similar brands have offered different approaches, Bravado Designs has not altered their mission to try and attract more customers. They continue to provide unbiased information in a format that is easy for their community to access on their time. Bravado Designs could make some changes to appeal to a wider range of customers, but they would risk losing a portion of their committed community. Nobody likes feeling like a second choice, and if you start alienating a group of people who are committed to you, you may not get the chance to win them back.