I am not a business owner and have never done business market research but have been a consumer for a long long time
I have seen commercials (can't name specific companies) but they have said things like "...and no hidden fees"....isn't that showing a consumer the difference between your company and your competition?
I have seen lots of commericals with similar tag lines...it just seem to be a marketing strategy that a is fairly common..to show why you should choose them over their competition and in order for them to tout this in an advertisement (or sales meeting, or??) then I would think they would have had to have done their market research.
I'm not offended when I hear a commercial like this (and I'm thinking that a bridal cake consultation is basically a commercial ad, well kinda sorta anyway)...don't even think anything about it really.
in fact it must be a good strategy cuz as a consumer that has stuck in my head and when faced with making a decision between two companies I am probably going to chose the company that has shown me that they are the better deal for (especially when faced with spending hundreds of dollars for an item ie: wedding cake).
I would expect, from the consumer prospective, that a company is going to get creative when trying to sell their product. I would be much more disappointed in a company that has promised me the "pot at the end of the rainbow" with their product/service only to find out that they have flat out lied to get my business("yes our price is $4.00 a serving...great get me a contract...oh you charge a $1.00 a mile for delivery...oh you charge for decoration, well is icing a decoration, cuz I am confused now, oh you charge a preservation fee...huh wth? I thought it was $4.00 a serving?) than to find out that the company I have chosen has sent out market spies (or used any other tool for market research) as a way to sell me what they offer.