Think about how you're different to the competition - but don't degrade them

So you've earmarked your local competitors, and you keep a bit of an eye on what they're up to - their prices, marketing, sales tactics... it's important to know how they operate or you'll never be able to better their offering. We talk to loads of our clients who need help identifying what makes them different to their competitors to give them an edge on their marketing, and we often start by looking at what their competitiors' marketing looks like. This helps us to get an understanding of how other companies in the same field approach their sales, and also tells us what we can do differently to create a unique and successful campaign for our clients. One thing you will never ever find us doing is advocating a client to degrade their competition in their marketing. 'Use Smiths' Consultancy - so much better than Jones' Consultancy'. It's a desperate way to try and win business - and you could even find yourself facing a legal situation too.

Instead, focus on what you do differently to your competitors. What makes you different? Are you prices lower? Is your service faster, or more efficient? Are you renowned for your fantastic customer service, or your commitment to carrying out your business in an environmentally responsible way? Make sure you know what elements of your business are really important to your customers, and plug it. Never, though, should you reference your competitor. After all, if belittling the competition is the only thing you can think of, things aren't looking good...