Commercial white papers are universal tools to inform clients of what is behind of what is being sold.
But white papers are extremely useful in some cases and extremely useless in others. It is necessary to understand their nature in order to define when and how to use them and how to design their content.
A commercial white paper explains the solution that is behind a product or service. It is not a description of a product or a service; that is the functionality of a brochure.
The design of white papers needs to be neutral, it cannot sell anything. It is implicitly a “teaching material”, which means that it has to be focused on providing something useful.
Therefore, commercial white papers have to be useful information for the market that helps readers to solve a problem.
They need to provide the basics of the technology that sustains the solution of the problem and need to be sustained by the authoritative role that is implicit in the brand of the company. If the brand doesn’t suffice, a personal, credible and authoritative role can be a substitute for it.
The adequate use of white papers allows expanding the boundaries of a business into other areas where the solutions provided are useful.
Some typical markets for the use of white papers are: medicine, technology, industry, knowledge businesses, information technology, sports, etc.