Competition and one's ability to succeed in the face of competition is crucial to a business's success. But often times, a business will employ any measure to ensure that they get a step up over the competition. Often times, unethical measures are used such as spying on the competition, slandering them, or bribing customers not to go to a certain business. It is true that the competition can be cut throat, but there are ethical measures one can take in order to succeed and maintain the business's integrity.
#1: Focus Your Marketing Efforts On What Your Business Does Well, Not What The Competition Is Doing Poorly
It's tempting in your marketing efforts to speak to what the competition is doing wrong or to put down your competition. I believe that the best way to make your business stand out above your competitors is to focus on the things you do best. If you give excellent customer service and always put the customer first, it's best to emphasize that as opposed to saying that your competition doesn't do well in the customer service department. If a situation arises where one inquires as to why your customer service is better than the competition, it is best to speak to what your business does exceptionally well as to customer service and make the point that it's something that makes your business unique. This will help set your business apart from the competition and not set off any ethical alarms.
#2: If Someone Else Is Putting Your Business Down, Resist The Temptation To Fight Back
It's easy not to make insulting comments about another business, but what happens when that business makes insulting comments about yours? It's hard to sit there and do nothing as there is no telling what impact the insults may have on the prospective leads that you are trying to get. Striking back is never the right answer because it starts a back and forth war of words and insults that could lead to disastrous results down the road.
If a rival business makes insulting comments about your business that are true, the best course of action is to address the criticisms and make it clear how you plan to address them. Use the comments as a chance to make changes and improve your business. If a rival business makes insulting comments that are not true, your best course of action is to do nothing and continue on. If your current customers are believing the comments, it is best to address that to them personally instead of the business who made the comments. Always keep your cool and keep your focus on your business.