A B2B Case Study Example: How Stripe Is Paying It Forward

BY Holly Yoos
March 15, 2023

A good B2B case study example isn’t always easy to find. So when I saw Stripe sharing their customer success stories online, I was impressed.

I was immediately struck by how Stripe consistently positions their customers as the hero of their customer success stories. It’s a thread that runs through all—and every part of—their stories, from the challenges section of their written case studies to their video testimonials to their social media posts.

Stripe also puts these success stories to work across their sales and marketing funnel, which isn’t just good for Stripe but also shows respect for those customers who gave up their time to participate.

Not incidentally, casting their customers in the best possible light also encourages other customers to participate and gives Stripe’s sales team the confidence to offer up their best accounts as potential case study candidates.

It’s a win-win all around.


By making their customers look good, Stripe encourages other customers to participate—and emboldens their sales team to offer up their best accounts as case study candidates.


If you’d like to see how Stipe pays their success forward by making their customers look like superheroes, join me for a deep dive into this great B2B case study example.

Table of contents

I. What is Stripe?

II. How Stripe makes their customers look GREAT

B2B case studies on the Stripe website

The case study challenges section

The customer success story overview page

Video case studies and testimonials

III. How Stripe makes their partners look good (and vice versa)

IV. Repurposing customer success stories to show respect

Creating multiple written case studies from one success story

Repurposing video case studies

Deploying success stories as newsroom articles

Sharing case studies on social media

Using case studies in email marketing

Using B2B case studies for sales

V. Stripe demonstrates the power of paying it forward

I. What is Stripe?

As most of you probably know, Stripe is a payment platform that businesses—from new startups to public companies—use to accept payments and manage their businesses online.

Stripe was founded by brothers John and Patrick Collision in 2009 with seed funding from Y Combinator accelerator. (This Wired article tells the story of Stripe in compelling detail. It’s well worth the read.)

Stripe’s current internal valuation is $62 billion. Dual-headquartered in San Francisco and Dublin, Stripe has offices in London, Paris, Singapore, and Tokyo, among other parts of the world.

II. How Stripe makes their customers look GREAT

In both their written and video case studies, Stripe consistently takes a back seat and puts their customers in the driver’s seat to make them the heroes of their stories.

They also show respect to their customers by maintaining high-quality levels in both the content and design of their written and video case studies—from copy to layout to production.

Making customers look good in these ways might sound like a given. But it’s shockingly common for companies to throw their customers under the bus as they scramble to take credit for solving customer challenges.

Let’s take a look at some B2B case study examples from Stripe by examining an individual case study, Stripe’s case study overview page, and then a video case study.  

B2B case studies on the Stripe website

When looking at the Stripe website, it’s quickly apparent that Stripe understands the value of customer success stories. And not just a few stories. Lots of stories!

By my rough count, Stripe has 186 written case studies on their website—a number well above the average of 132 that we calculated for the top 50 SaaS companies (as detailed in our report, The State of SaaS Customer Success Stories). 

Stripe’s case studies are well laid out online, with a nice synopsis on top and sidebar with key metrics.

Looks good, right?

 

Postmates case study example
Stripe-Postmates case study example

The pull quote at the bottom (screenshot below) is also a nice touch. However, an accompanying headshot of the customer providing the quote would have amplified the impact.

Postmates - case study pull quote
Stripe-Postmates case study pull quote

A few more ideas to make this page stronger:

  • Use more descriptive subheadings to accompany the “challenge,” “solutions,” and “results” main headings.
  • Add the option to download a nicely designed PDF.
  • Embed or link to a video case study or testimonial if one exists. (Stripe does, in fact, have embedded video on some of their case study pages, such as this case study from Lightspeed.)

But all in all, this is a very nice example of a customer success story, well presented for the online reader. Well done!

The case study challenges section

So far, so good. But where many B2Bs trip up is in the challenges section of their written case studies. 

If they’re not careful, they can make their customers look like idiots for getting themselves into a challenging situation that only the B2B could get them out of.

Not here.

In the challenges section of the Postmates case study shown above, for example, we can see how Stripe positions the customer as the hero (bolding added): 

Most importantly, Postmates recognized the value in having excellent authorization rates. Samantha Philips, Payments Product Lead, said, “Postmates is in the on-demand service industry. To provide the best customer experience possible, our product teams are dedicated to optimizing each step of the journey for our customers. At checkout, that means selecting a payment processor with the highest success rates to ensure the best customer experience. 

In a competitive industry with high customer-acquisition costs, even a small percentage increase in authorization rates would increase revenue while maintaining high customer satisfaction.

Stripe makes the case that Postmates’ commitment to excellent customer experience was the driving force behind their decision to move to Stripe—not some failure on their part.

Instead of writing something like: “Postmates’ current payment processing was abysmal. How could they let that happen?” Stripe states: “…even a small percentage increase in authorization rates would increase revenue.”

In other words, authorization rates were already good. Postmates wanted to make them even better.

The customer success story overview page

Stripe also shows respect to their customers through the care they take in organizing their case studies on their customer success overview page.

Right off the bat, Stripe makes the customer stories page easy to find, right from their home page. They put a link to the page in the top navigation bar, under Resources (circled in red):

Stripe - link to case studies in navigation bar
Link to customer success stories in navigation bar

When you click on this link, you’re taken to an interim page that highlights a few select stories. This isn’t something I’ve seen a lot. It’s a nice way to throw light on particular stories, although it does force viewers to click through to get a complete list of case studies. It’s something to test.

Stripe also uses this interim page to feature their biggest, most recognizable customer logos. They also pull together some of their most impressive metrics from different case studies:

Stripe case study overview page success metrics
Success metrics on Stripe’s case study overview page

From this page, you can click through to see all of Stripe’s customer success stories (or, at least, the ones they’ve put online—there may be more behind the scenes).

 

Case study overview page with list of case studies
List of case studies on Stripe’s overview page

I love the inclusion of logos for every case study. The background images also communicate a little something about the nature of the customer, which is great. The short, concise headlines are also good.

The filters that Stripe provides to help prospective customers find case studies relevant to them (i.e. company size, use cases, solution, and region) are well thought out.

Everything is clear and organized. It’s a page where most companies would be happy to put their logo. Respect!

Video case studies and testimonials

Next, let’s take a look at Stripe’s video case studies and testimonials to see how they treat their customers in video format.

The “Customer” playlist on Stripe’s YouTube channel only consists of 20 videos, but I suspect they have many more based on what I found through search and on their social media platforms.

Here’s a beautiful example:

I’m a total sucker for this type of customer success story. The gorgeous footage, stirring music, and lovely voiceover with a charming Irish lilt are guaranteed to make me weepy and long for the green, rolling hills of Ireland. (And I’ve never even been!)

Note that Stripe isn’t even mentioned until the 1:50 mark—past the halfway point. They give the customer plenty of space to tell their own story. It all seems chivalrous—in the best possible way.

III. How Stripe makes their partners look good (and vice versa)

So far, I’ve shown how Stripe makes their customers look like rockstars in their success stories. A bit more digging shows that Stripe does the same with their partners.

Take Stripe’s partnership with Amazon, for example. The two companies are long-standing partners that just recently signed an expanded global agreement.

Under this agreement, Stripe will expand its use of Amazon Web Services to provide crucial infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Amazon will expand its use of Stripe’s core payments platform.

It’s instructive to see how both companies tell the joint story of their success in their marketing.

To pick a few examples, Stripe has a couple of AWS “customer success stories” on its website (I put “customer success stories” in quotes because they don’t exactly fit the usual case study format). This one is an interview with Rich Geraffo, VP of AWS North America. Note that the role of Stripe at AWS is a topic they cover (reference circled in red):

Stripe-AWS interview with VP
Stripe interview with Amazon Web Services VP

 

This one describes how Stripe helped Amazon simplify international payments.

Meanwhile, AWS invited Stripe’s Manager of Infrastructure, Jorge Ortiz, to give a keynote presentation at their 2015 Invent conference. In this presentation, Jorge describes how Stripe built its infrastructure on AWS—and AWS posted it to their YouTube channel.

Again, both sides come off looking good—something the marketing teams of both companies capture and celebrate in a number of ways, including case studies.

(I only wish AWS had selected a more flattering thumbnail!)

IV. Repurposing customer success stories to show respect

So we’ve seen how Stripe makes their customers the hero of their success stories, whether in written or video format.

But there’s another way that Stripe demonstrates their respect for their customers—and honors the leap of faith (and not to mention the time and effort) that customers took to participate in these case studies.

Stripe shows respect for their customers by NOT letting these stories live only on Stripe’s website and YouTube channel.


Stripe shows respect for their customers by NOT letting these stories live ONLY on Stripe’s website and YouTube channel.


In fact, Stripe wrings every ounce of value out of their customer success stories by repurposing and redeploying them in multiple ways. Which, if you put yourself in the shoes of the customer, is something you’d want to see—especially when the case study makes you look so darned good!

Creating multiple written case studies from one success story

One strategy Stripe uses to get more value out of every customer success story is to create MULTIPLE stories from each one when possible. They recognize that the same story can be told in different ways, with a different focus, to appeal to different audiences to get more mileage.

For example, Stripe tells the story of Blockchain.com in two ways.

In the first story, Stripe emphasizes how they helped Blockchain.com remove payment friction from the crypto onboarding process:

Stripe-Blockchain case study example - removing payment friction
Stripe-Blockchain case study example – removing payment friction

In the second story, Stripe focuses on how their professional services team helped Blockchain.com build a tailored solution:

Stripe-Blockchain case study example - professional services
Stripe-Blockchain case study example – professional services

Stripe could have easily put everything into one story but didn’t. They tailored the same story to two different audiences, doubling the value.

By the way, the Postmates case study referenced earlier also has a twin—this time with the focus on saving on card network fees.

Repurposing video case studies

Stripe also gets maximum leverage from its video case studies by breaking the mold of telling only one customer success story per video.

In the example below, Stripe brings together five businesses to announce Stripe’s expansion into Mexico and the Latin American market.

I strongly suspect that Stripe has individual videos for each of these customer success stories and repurposed them for this promotional piece.

Deploying success stories as newsroom articles

Stripe is also repurposing their customer success stories as news articles—something I haven’t seen much from other B2B companies, but it’s a good idea.

The Postmates customer success story, for example, is found on Stripe’s newsroom page

Strike-Postmates - case study as a newsroom example
Stripe-Postmates – case study as a newsroom article

As you can see, this newsroom item brings both Postmates case studies together, highlighting the $70 million in revenue (from case study number one) and the $3 million saved (from case study number two).

Sharing case studies on social media

Not only has Stripe created diverse case study assets, they’re also doing a good job of deploying these assets on their social media accounts.

Remember the emotionally stirring Merry Mill case study video? Stripe shared it to their LinkedIn account, garnering 252 reactions:

Stripe’s customers are also sharing THEIR Stripe success stories from THEIR social media accounts. In this example, Sean Geoghegan, Cofounder and CTO at Sendle, shared the case study they did for Stripe to LinkedIn. Stripe later reposted it to their account:

Naturally, Stripe is also sharing their customer success stories on Twitter, tagging customers to see if they can get some engagement, as they did here with Shopify:

Remember those Postmates case studies that were turned into a newsroom article? Patrick Collison, one of the founders of Stripe, tweeted the case-study-turned-news-article out to his 406,600+ followers:

Using case studies in email marketing

One more example: Stripe is also deploying their customer success stories in their email marketing.

Here’s an excerpt of an email we recently received from Stripe (with links to the case study circled in red):

Stripe-GlossGenius case study in email marketing example
Stripe-GlossGenius case study in email marketing example

Click on the link, and you’re taken to the full GlossGenius-Stripe case study:

Stripe-GlossGenius case study example
Stripe-GlossGenius case study example

 

Just as in the previous examples, the customer is positioned as the hero:

The company wanted to avoid cobbling together a set of disparate solutions, which can cause development pain and frustrating, disconnected experiences for merchants.

In other words, GlossGenius was determined to prioritize the needs of their customers and wouldn’t settle for anything subpar. So they turned to Stripe.

Using B2B case study examples for sales

Given what we’ve seen so far, it’s reasonable to think that Stripe’s sales team is also using these case studies to help close deals.

I’d be shocked if they weren’t referencing them in pitch decks, including them in sales presentations, handing them out at trade shows, or using them in many other ways.

Again, this is a show of respect for customers who agreed to participate in Stripe’s written or video case studies. In my opinion, it would be kinda rude to bring customers through your case study production process—and then not put those assets in the hands of your sales team.

V. Stripe demonstrates the power of paying it forward

When you make the customer look good in EVERY customer success story you tell, you knock down resistance you might encounter from customers you’d like to feature in future case studies.

And you demonstrate to your sales team, over and over, that they can trust you to treat their most valued customers with the care and respect that they deserve.

And that, my friends, is a vital ingredient in the fuel that fires up successful B2B case study programs.

Want us to help you fire up your case study program?

Contact us to learn how we can help.

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