When you want to convey an example to illustrate how your product is used or how your service made life easier for someone, one of the most effective techniques is to create a fictional case study using a fictional person’s name. When you use a name, you create a stronger connection with the reader, and the story you tell becomes more meaningful.


Consider these two sample scenarios selling the same imaginary calendar software. The first paragraph is what most businesses would write. The second shares the same information in a more meaningful way.


CaliQick is a handy software package that allows you to track business meetings and appointments from one screen. You can also include information about personal activities and important days such as birthdays and anniversaries. One handy feature is the ability to click on any event and automatically generate an email to the other party.


After breakfast, architect Bill Thompson glances at his CaliQick home screen and sees the reminder that he has a 9:30 staff meeting before his 11:00 a.m. presentation to Gigantor. That RFP for the Peterson project needs to be in the courier’s hands by 4:00 p.m. He’ll have to reschedule his haircut appointment, so he clicks that part of the display to generate an email to his barber. And he sees an alert that his daughter’s school program is this evening.


If you’re like most people, you found the second paragraph more interesting and compelling. More important, you probably began to think of how you could use the software yourself.


Simple names work best. Resist the temptation to use obviously fake names like Diptheria Smithson, because readers will assume that your scenario is fake, too.