When I first started my business my tagline was "Writing withreader in mind." My brother said "everyone does that." No. Dan. They don't. They think they do, but they don't.
But I changed my tagline to Words People Read and that gets to the same point, however, I am a firm believer that unless you truly understand your reader/customer/target audience, you'll never make a magical connection.
In his August 10th post about preparing his mind for vacation he shared a stream of visuals that offer tons of opportunity for great thought.
This one was really my favorite: 4 Simple Steps to Becoming a Compassionate Designer.
1. Get out of the office
2. Talk to someone
3. Sleep, dream curiosity
4. Do what they do.
In step 4 he offers that you do the things your target customer does, go to the places they go and in the final comment he says "better yet just walk WITH them."
I like that. If you are marketing/designing/writing for a store – shop in it, for a manufacturer – visit it and talk to the workers, for a service industry – sit by their side and listen to them.
Become engaged with your customer so that you might write/work/design with them in mind.
Deborah Chaddock Brown