1. Focus on your qualities.No matter what industry your business operates in, there’s always going to be a lot of competition. The marketplace is constantly changing, forcing businesses to re-evaluate their marketing strategies. In order to stick out from the crowd, you’ve got to set yourself apart from the others.Why are you better than your competitors? Why should consumers use your service or product versus another? If you’ve already figured out what your business’ competitive advantage is, that’s great. If not, the time is now!Once you’ve figured out why you’re so special, focus on highlighting that benefit.2. Do your research.Try IBIS World (http://www.IBISworld.com), a website that can be accessed by anyone. They offer free in-depth researched reports for all industries (covering over 700 different market segments). IBISWorld research offers the very latest content on every U.S. industry to help you make better decisions, faster. These reports are full of statistics about market share, competitors, and an outlook into the future of your industry, all in a format that is easy to understand.Research the industry you are doing business in. By knowing what the climate of your business in and the forecasts of your industry, you will be able to plan for the future in a better way. Knowing your industry in and out is beneficial in too many ways to count.3. Who are your competitors? Are they ahead of you? and Why?This might be an obvious question, but are you keeping tabs on your competitors? Yes, this is a lot of work, but in order to beat your competitors you must know who they are, and if they are ahead of you, Why? If you see competition emerging in your market and surpassing you, be sure that you understand why. Look at why their customers are choosing them over you, and adjust the quality of your products & services, customer service, convenience factor, or marketing techniques accordingly.4. Understand that most incentive programs do not equal brand loyalty.Most business operations, whether it be a sandwich shop or an electrical company offer some sort of incentive or promotion to encourage a repeat purchase. Business News Daily Online says, “Incentive programs are great, but don’t rely on them to produce a customer who remains loyal to your brand right off the bat.” Instead, ensure that their following purchases are of high quality and delivered with great customer service, this, will increase your likelihood of them becoming a frequent customer.