The idea that you need to do something different in order to stand out in today's crowded marketplace is obvious, but how do you do it?
Business Insider found some great examples of London bars that have embraced this notion:
BALLIE BALLERSON has an adult ball pit you can jump into--the UV balls glow in the dark. I wonder whether they occasionally find someone at the bottom at closing time...
At the spy-themed THE BLETCHLEY you crack codes to order cocktails, using simulated Enigma machines. They call it "escape room meets cocktail bar." CNN called it "the bar of the future." By the way, you can visit Bletchley Park, the actual home of the codebreakers, but you won't get any drinks there.
I'm not so sure about ALCOTRAZ, a pop-up prison-themed bar where you have to smuggle in your own booze and are given an inmate number and orange jumpsuit to wear. The Guardian wrote that it was "accused of being in poor taste by charities and the latest in the 'fetishisation of misfortune' by critics." It looks like it'll be open through April, 2018.
Japanese bar SHOCHU LOUNGE decorated their ceiling with hundreds of cherry blossoms to mark the season. That's over but the decor looks pretty cool even without the blossoms.
SKYLIGHT at Tobacco Dock featured a rooftop ice rink and amazing views. It's done for the winter, but comes back with croquet during the summer; bratwurst, pumpkins and cider in autumn, and the ice rink in November/December.
ABQ has a "Breaking Bad" theme. You 'cook up' your own cocktails inside an RV. It brands itself an "immersive molecular bar" and has no official relationship to the TV series. Because it's so small, it's best to book. You get 2 hours in the RV, with a welcome drink and two that you create yourself, for £30.
If you're not inspired yet for how to differentiate your product or service, go to one of these and have a cocktail or two.