How to write a relevant and engaging case study

Referee and case study questions may only comprise a small part of a tender response, but their effect can be very powerful. Don’t fall into the trap of copying and pasting case studies from previous responses, or let the opportunity to prove your worth pass you by.


When including case studies in a tender response, most tenderers choose referees that are similar to their prospective customer and include a description of the project scope. But they often stop there.

Case studies are a great place to differentiate your company by showing that you understand the customer’s project challenges, and by providing concrete evidence of how you have helped other customers in the past.

Make sure your case studies include more than just an overview of the project. Start with a short factual background describing what the contract was for. Then outline any challenges your reference customer faced or outcomes they were looking to achieve.

After this you can start to describe how you helped them meet those challenges and provide evidence to support this. Use KPIs, specific benefits achieved, and any awards or other external recognition for the project. Your case study is strengthened if you include a testimonial or graphical evidence.

The most valuable case studies are those which demonstrate similarities to the tender scope and project challenges. By including a lot of irrelevant details you risk losing the attention of the evaluator.

As long as the challenges are similar, the case study doesn’t necessarily need to be from the same industry. Although of course it helps in demonstrating your sector experience.

It is useful to have a pre-prepared library of case studies available. If you don’t already have this in place, organise an in-depth interview with your referee to gather feedback. Ask for specific statistics that demonstrate the outcomes or benefits they achieved, and a testimonial to support their reference.

Remember that if you are copying and pasting from a case study library, take the time to review and tweak the information to make it relevant to the tender.

Always comply carefully with the information requirements the customer has. If the tender asks you to include Referee Name, Scope of Work, Key Challenges and Contact Person then provide the information in that order under the same headings, even if it is not your standard format for case studies. It makes it easier for evaluators to find the information they have asked for.

Showcasing great case studies also sets the tone for weaving your success stories throughout the rest of the response. Extend the case studies into other areas of the proposal by using specific examples to strengthen each section.

Finally, don’t forget to contact your referees before you include them in your proposal. Even if they have pre-approved use of the case study, it is courteous to let them know and prepare them for receiving a call from the customer.

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