So I'm preparing my brochure for a bridal show in January, and I want to include a comparison chart comparing my prices and what they include to my competitors... But I want to identify specific competitors because I always end up with clients that come to me from the same 2 or 3 companies. 

My question is, if I'm taking info directly from their sites and not changing *anything*, is it crossing the line? Am I allowed to do this or no? Has anyone else done this and had a negative response?

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if you mention any vendor directly you open yourself up for the same level of criticism, so as long as you are ok with the consequencs
It's smart to know your competition, so I don't think it's unethical to collect the information and use it in your materials. But I do have a question...

Aren't we trying to get away from the price question? By creating a comparison list of pricing, it seems like you'd be laser-focusing the brides even more on price.

Can you differentiate yourself from your competitors in another way? Unless you're planning to the be discount alternative, which can be a viable option, I think you're going to be a magnet for price shoppers.
hmm... very very valid point stephanie.

i'm definitely not trying to be a discount alternative, all i'm trying to demonstrate is this: for the same price that you get product A from supplier A, you can buy my product which most will agree is designed better, is of better quality, and is unique.

i'm actually trying to get away from the discount/budget brides and attempting to market myself as an option for higher budget brides, but still want to retain my average-budget client base.
If you are trying to get away from budget brides then don't make price your selling point. I agree, you should show the benefits of your services/product. A budget bride doesn't care about how much service they are getting, they only care about price. A bride that cares about quality and the level of service will see that in you.
I think this is a good question with legitimate concerns. I personally believe a vendor or suppliers thought process should be more about what one offers over their competitors. Show the added value. Let the bride and/or groom know what makes you different besides just prices. If your potential customers are coming to you after they have visited others (as they apparently mention to you), they already know what the competitors prices are and the services they are offering. Instead of giving your competitors even a mention and obvious recognition, just focus on your product and more importantly your customer.

You are allowed to share any information you want, especially if it is factual information but putting something in writing could lead to some issues that I don't think are even worth the risk. If you are really set on doing so, I would suggest not putting specific names or logos in your references, but rather just refer to them as other vendors. Don't be specific!

If you are all about offering a lower price, this might be the way to go but I would have a hard time believing that is the case. In closing, I would just reiterate that I think one should focus on what makes them unique, special and different. Tell the brides and grooms what you can and will do for them. Make it about them because after all, it is all about them.

Either way I wish you he best of luck at your future show...
I would list all of your advantages/benefits like this:
Your name Competitor 1 Competitor 2 Competitor 3
Square foot:
Price per square foot:
What it includes:
Any other benefits you have

And then, show how they compare. If they have a benefit you don't have, don't list it.
You will only receive a negative response from the competitors who are not as good as you.
It seems like your idea is an apples vs oranges comparison of the features you offer. Which can work okay, but it's not directly connected to the benefit your clients receive.

Brides really don't care about the features; they care about what it can do for them.

For example, the beauty of the invitations, the texture and weight of the paper, the originality of the design...that's not what they really want or care about.

What do they want? They really want to feel special. They want other people to oooh and ahhh over their choice. They want to showcase their unique style.

You pitch will be far more effective if you can demonstrate to brides how you can do that and give them those things, rather than focusing on the enhanced features you have over your competitors.

(Note: I'm just making up the benefits brides want here since I don't know your market. But I imagine I'm not too far off.)
I always believe, "if in doubt...Don't".

This may back-fire on you.

You want a healthy business on your own merit. Let the clients come as they wish, but once you do what you are about to do, may be viewed a personal attack.
I would say, put yourself in the other vendor's shoes. If someone did this to you at a bridal show, and you were there, how would you feel? Would the information included in the brochure make you feel attacked? Someone said it already, but if you are having doubts, don't do it.

Maybe you can write the brochure like you are comparing your business to others but don't mention the other businesses. Really highlight what makes you stand out from these other vendors. Instead of saying A & B don't do this but I do, say I have done blank, which is a uniqe service.

Good luck with your brochure! I am in the process of doing some for the same reason and it's hard to find content to fill up the brochure!
Knowing your competition is the key to success... however you really need to find ALL of your competitive advantages over the other few people you often compete with, not just price. There's nothing wrong with beating other's prices, but not everyone picks you over others just because you are cheaper. You need to sell your services, not your price.

What do you offer that they dont offer?

What products do you use that may be better than theirs?

What services do you offer that show your creativity and make you stand out?

What is your customer satisfaction rating compared to your competition?

If your prices are lower than others, this will get their attention at first, but they will want to see the value that they are getting for their money no matter what your price is, so if you can show them that you are cheaper than others, and offer more value for their money, and how... this will work and that would be completely legal / ethical to quote your specific competitors, but if your only advantage is showing your price is lower than theirs, this doesn't tell them much since again, they are not buying your price, they are buying your service / products... show the value in your price and you will get the sale!

Phillip Brunelle
Phillip Brunelle Photography
Free Link Exchanges - Wedding Directory Ads - Premier Banner Advertising
thanks everyone for the awesome feedback — hearing everyone's POV has definitely been interesting and thought-provoking!! i've decided to do a generic comparison using "company abc" and myself in a chart that shows dollar value and what you get for said dollar value hopefully showing how much more you get for the same price tag from my company. i've also come up with some ideas for my trade show booth from your discussions (which just shows how awesome you all are), and hopefully some of you will visit me at my blog later on in january to see my posting about the bridal show :)
I see why you want to do this, but I am not so sure it is a good idea. Even though they are your competitors, you still should try to maintain some level of rapport with them. I can't tell you how many of my competitors have referred work to me because either they don't have time, or I am more suitable for the job. In today's market, I think it is better for you to get along with the others in your field, you never know when you may want to team up! Just my thought :)


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