The Minimalist Guide to Case Studies

Most people aren’t confident when talking about themselves. And companies are no different. Feel confident about your products and services through a business case study.

Case studies are a powerful way to boost your confidence. They’re also known as success stories, and for good reason. They’re a powerful way for you to offer potential clients the confidence in what you’re offering them.

When they read how you helped other customers, your potential clients gain valuable information about your products and services, and which ultimately confirms their decision to work with you.

Case Studies are Success Stories

A case study is a fancy term for a success story. They explain how you helped a customer achieve results, usually by solving an issue that they were facing. For example, how you helped a client decrease overall employee expenses by better tracking buddy punching. Or how your software solution streamlined a client’s intake process by over 25%. Any time you were able to help a client achieve a significant result is the perfect time to consider writing a business case study. Consider them long testimonials.

Who uses case studies?

Anyone with a product or service that involves a “considered” buying decision. That is, where the buyer is not a single individual. Most B2B companies are like that, as purchasing decisions tend to be done by committee.

Case studies also work well for products that are complex and difficult to explain to potential clients, like technology products. That’s because the software solutions are usually complex, and their benefits aren’t always obvious to potential clients.

What do I get with a case study?


Potential clients add more weight to the words of first-hand comments from customers than anything else you may write.

Think about your own experiences with personal products. You take first-hand comments from friends and family more seriously than any ad you may see on tv, right? It’s the same about your company’s product or service.


Case studies are extremely versatile. You can print them and hand them out at trade shows or sales calls. You can publish them directly on your website. Screen a video case study at a conference. There are so many formats, audiences and uses, it’s hard to find another marketing tool that beats it.

Knowledge Sharing

The bigger the price tag, the more research we tend to do on the item. And companies are no different. Before they invest in what you have to offer, they do the same amount of  homework. So having a customer case study ready lets you build that value and confidence quickly.

What’s the best format for a case study?

It really depends on your audience. Shorter versions are better for sales people and trade shows, as potential clients just want “the facts”. Longer versions are better for sales visits and major presentations at client sites or conferences.

Online versions offer more options, as you can have them appear as a web page, a blog post, file download, or a short video, a format that is gaining popularity and credibility right now.

Both Dell (link) and Microsoft (link) are using video case studies right now, alongside the traditional formats.

There really is no right or wrong format to a case study. Just choose the one that suits your product and audience and start writing!

Julia Borgini helps create winning case studies for software companies. If you’d like to start talking about your customer successes, contact me today.