Best case scenario

Attention seeking

Specifiers are a very visually orientated but extremely time poor group.

Even so, they always want to see completed projects and will be drawn in by attractive images that resonate with their project portfolios.

Case studies are the perfect way of grabbing their attention and holding it by quickly communicating key information about your solution-providing skills.

Once they’ve zeroed in on a case study and admired your excellent work, they will want to know the salient project details very quickly. Roughly speaking, these are project name, sector, architect, contractor, product and colour used, and these are all details that should stand out at a glance.

Solution delivery

Next, they want to know specifically what your product or service brought to the party – how you solved problems and achieved solutions for the project in question…

Did you provide design expertise?
Did you carry out off site construction?
Did your products help meet Part L?
Did you provide insallation guidance on interfacing with other building elements?
Are your systems faster to install?
These are just examples and there are many more besides, but the key point is to really demonstrate your solution-delivering expertise in a concise and visually compelling form.

As a completed project, the ‘proof’ and the ‘pudding’ are already there for all to see, and this may encourage specifiers – architects especially – to contact the named specifiers on your case studies to see how your systems performed and made a critical difference.

If possible, a positive quote from client, specifier or contractor will endorse all of the above and underwrite the credibility of your product as a successful specifiable solution.

Building credibility

So, case studies have the benefits of attracting positive attention, delivering specifier-facing information and – crucially – anchoring and enhancing credibility and provenance through real life examples.

To leverage this kind of marketing power, the approach to identifying and producing case studies should be consistent and rigorous.

Despite the substantial time lag between original specification and photography-ready completed projects, it’s important to keep tabs on site progress, commission decent photography when the time comes, chase up facts and figures, and elicit endorsements for all your project candidates.

Making them work for you

This will enable you to build a suite of case studies; to sectorise them (health, education etc, or flooring, walling etc) and to make them filterable on your website so that you can guide users to what they need even faster and with better focus.

Furthermore, the raw ingredients of your case studies (text, images, endorsements and so on) can be recycled into social media, PDFs, html emails, exhibition graphics and much more, providing still further reach and better credibility.

CDP and case studies

We know exactly what they should say and how they should look to address your target audience.

We make them visually attractive, rapidly accessible, targeted on the key facts and solution focused. We’ll even tell you not to produce a case study where below-par images might damage your credibility, even if the project itself is a strong one (sometimes CGI can be a way around this).

If you want your case studies to work harder for you, we really can give you the best case scenario.

Anatomy of a case study

Ashley Collins

Ash Collins is a Writer and Director of Communication Design Partnership, a graphic design agency which specialises in designing and producing literature and digital publishing materials, exclusively for the construction industry.

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