One of the tool, companies use to project their brand is to offer case studies. Companies publish case studies of their products in the real life on their websites or in the technical journals. The benefits to the company of telling a good case study are legion. Yet, the objective seems to be the accumulation of cookie-cutter problem/solution/benefit PDFs that few will ever have the desire or stamina to read.
Case studies shouldn’t be boring and bland. Case studies should be held to the standards of professional journalism and tell a story. That includes acknowledgment that sometimes there are obstacles along the way and things that didn’t go as planned. In most of the case studies humanity of the story is completely overlooked in favor lifeless fatuous non-information, which no one reads with relish.
I think that criticizing ‘the case studies’ and tailoring them, is very difficult on a company-wide basis, the most likely route for improvement is going to come from the seams. Bold mid-level managers running small projects that ask for forgiveness rather than for permission. If they succeed and the landscape changes, everyone will take it for granted but we’ll know how and why things changed, also these have the passion for the product or service, and when their inputs will be included in the case study, it will be more lively, colorful and a joy to read.
Existing and potential users place greater trust in a story which is realistic about the challenges confronted. No-one expects everything to be plain sailing. So be realistic about issues and offer advice on how to overcome them. Credibility in the eyes of the users will increase enormously.