It is easy to follow the mainstream and compete with existing products and services with your USP but what about breaking free from the mainstream with a divergent offering. Something that goes against the grain. Because let's face it, the mainstream is crowded, full of competitors and essentially has already been done and maybe on the downward curve anyway.
Don't chase the hot thing!
Looking at your business, what is there that could go against the mainstream and appeal to a niche group of potential customers that could be aimed at personalisation or being customised to suit a particular niche group. This may include products aimed at status, offering a product of very high value where certain groups desire luxury and notoriety. There may be a range of standard products (or service) out there but what about seriously upgrading your product to aim at the say, top 5% of potential customers who will pay for exclusivity.
If you want some ideas on how to market a high end product click here
To see how divergence thinking can be a real winner in your business just take a look at Red Bull. Let's face it it doesn't taste great. It is not cheap either, intentionally to separate it from the major brands like Coke. It was also marketed as slightly mysterious. It wasn't aimed at a certain demographic, it was marketed to "a state of mind"
It was also linked to rumours as to where the ingredients came from. (A certain part of a bull!) this appealed to individuals who saw themselves as macho testosterone charged males.
It was sold as "an efficiency product" "to boost endurance, concentration and reaction time" aimed at certain lifestyles. But it still tasted awful and was high-priced. However the drink was marketed as non-conformist which had a rebellious edge to it and appealed to groups who saw themselves as just that.
And the slogan "Red Bull gives you wings" added to the perception that this was the drink you needed if you wanted to be non-conformist and part of a unique group.
Authorities in the US were trying to ban it which only added to the intrigue and only fueled the brand and enhanced it's appeal.
The example of the Red Bull story illustrates that your product/service doesn't need to be perfect if you employ courageous postioning. In the case of Red Bull the awful taste and high price helped to play to the drink's purported near-medicinal quality. and not least it tapped into people's desire to be different.
Choosing to ignore a well-beaten path may just spark a new lucrative business idea outside of a crowded space.