Product summary reports vary from industry to industry and according to audience and purpose. Some report to the manufacturer about the product’s durability, some are written specifically for businesses trying to market a product, and some are written for consumers. Despite their differences, they all follow a similar pattern and are written with careful attention to descriptive detail.
Writing Product Summary Reports
State the key findings in a text block boldly on the first page. Sometimes this takes the form of an executive summary, covering the report’s most important findings in a short series of bulleted sentences.
Mention the report’s purpose in the introduction and provide key details about how the purpose was accomplished. Some reports tell the results of stress studies on products that are run or used continuously to see how long they will last; other reports focus on the usability of a product and are intended for consumers. Make clear in the first few lines exactly what your report’s purpose is and then stick to it throughout the rest of the report.
State the discoveries of the report clearly and concisely, using specific language. For example, don’t say that the cord was too short; report that the consumers did not like the 12-inch cord. Don’t say that the picture downloaded slowly, but say that it took 12.5 seconds to download.
Discuss the testing process, how the product was examined. Who tested the product? Were they engineers, focus groups, interviewed consumers, industry experts, journalists, competitors? What was done to the product? How was the test administered? How was data collected? Was it compared to competitor’s products?
Discuss key features of the product, including those that give it strength or appeal. This could be as simple as a variety of colors, being fireproof, integrating well with related products, longevity or portability. All positive features should be listed, but especially those that distinguish it from other products in its class.
Discuss the faults or weaknesses of the product. Manufacturers and marketers need a real sense of a product’s liabilities in order to improve it in the future or sell it effectively. Consumers, too, need this information in order to make informed decisions. If they do not get it before buying, they will reveal it online after buying.
Determine and state whether the strengths outweigh the weaknesses. This is the analytical portion of the report. Few products are absolutely superior in all categories, so even top-rate ones should have their flaws balanced with their superiorities. When writing in-house for a manufacturer, comparisons are not always necessary, but consumers always want a sense of how the item works in comparison with other buying options.
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