Sir; Two letters from The Grocer dated September 2 2000 perfectly illustrate approaches for smaller manufacturers to succeed in the face of what can seem overwhelming competition from the "big boys". Stephen Thompson, marketing director at Morning Noon & Night, experienced the corporate arrogance of two major manufacturers as they turned up unannounced and unexpected to relay one of his store fixtures. Such presumptuous and disdainful behaviour from blue-chip companies is not that unusual. The potential benefits for companies adopting the opposite approach of a thoughtful and unassuming customer-oriented service are obvious. Thompson's plea for manufacturers and retailers to "work together, not against each other" shows the value retailers place on this. On the other hand, Brandon Pilling at Acdoco, with Lever Brothers as competition to contend with, asserts that although his company is not the biggest in its market, they have a "track record of being up with, if not ahead of, innovation." OK, so superior innovation and customer service are hardly rocket science. However, when really put into practise against larger companies that may only preach about them, they can be keys to success for smaller manufacturers. Gareth Bird MD, GBA {{LETTERS }}