A friend of mine who works at a large, urban university on the West Coast shared an example of a business person who did NOT think about their audience. And the person's choice led to the loss of a customer order.
The university's Department of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion wanted to buy some swag (promotional items) for a student event. Keychains seemed like a good type of swag, and the university asked a vendor to send a sample for consideration. The vendor complied.
At first my friend was confused by the word 2nd on the keychain's face, so she flipped to the other side. The image instantly clarified its meaning.
Was this "My Guns, My Right, My Country" Second Amendment keychain a good sample for the Department of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at a large, urban university in a blue (leans Democratic) state?
Nope, it doesn't match the audience.
If you can imagine yourself as that potential customer, how would you feel about receiving that inappropriate sample? Please share your thoughts in a comment.
My friend burst out laughing when they saw the keychain. But then the group decided to abandon the idea of purchasing keychains–at least from that vendor.
Know your audience!
To those who are starting their academic year, I wish you great success and rich experiences. If you are an instructor of business writing, consider my free course curriculum as a resource.