Deeper Discovery In A Hyper-connected World

By Tashi van der Waerden

Organisations that can facilitate authentic connection and sensorial immersion will win in this experience economy. Here we identify four examples of facilitated discovery, and consider how your brand could leverage this trend.


As boundaries between individuals, industries and the physical and digital planes vanish, the world is left feeling much smaller and more graspable than ever before. Consider, we can take a birds eye view of the Himalayas in HD and on demand (thank you David Attenborough and your camera mounted paraglider), then convert our Happy Meal boxes into VR Headsets for a virtual ski holiday, before seeing what are friends are doing right this minute, anywhere in the world through Snapchat.

Technology has literally placed the world in the palm of our hands, but ironically, simultaneously left us feeling removed and distant from ourselves, each other and the environment we share. These surface level encounters leave people craving a deeper level of connection and discovery. And it is within this tension that lies an exciting opportunity for brands to offer people greater value. Organisations that can facilitate authentic connection, richer insight and sensorial immersion will win in this ever-growing experience economy.

Interestingly, technology sits at the heart of both the problem and solution. By weaving together disciplines as diverse as science, art, commerce and politics, the possibilities for new and novel experiences is endless. Read on for four benchmark examples of facilitated discovery that offer ideas for how your brand can build deeper connections with consumers.

Bompas and Parr

‘Architectural foodsmiths’ Sam Bompas and Harry Parr elevate dining to the realm of immersive theatre. The duo have gone from strength to strength since opening shop in 2007, partnering with several high profile brands and institutions to bring their clients' unique narrative to life in the most captivating fashion. Noteworthy projects include a bioresponsive garden for Perrier-Jouët, fruit flavoured fireworks for Vodafone and next month they unveil their most ambitious adventure to date - an adults only grotto in Westfield London’s luxury precinct. Guests will be inspired by a fantastical mix of fairytale, myth and science fiction, as they travel by boat across an underwater lagoon, passing beneath a real waterfall to arrive in a gem-studded, merman staffed cocktail cave.

How might your brand help people explore new realms of ‘reality’?

Airbnb Trips

Airbnb continues to evolve the way we holiday as they extend their offering from short term rentals to include peer-to-peer travel experiences. Airbnb hosts will soon be able to offer complimentary services so that guests can truly ‘live like a local’. “Trips will make travel magical again by immersing travellers in communities around the world. Get unprecedented access to local passions and interests, like violin making in Paris or marathon running in Kenya; discover the hidden gems that only locals know about via personal recommendations; and socialise with other travellers and locals at exciting events.”

How can your brand help people to experience real connection with a place and people?


This innovative start-up combines cutting edge technology, nutrition and distribution to deliver personalised nutrition plans to your door. Start up kits enable users to collect and submit key vitals, genetic and metabolic information along with personal health goals, which the company then runs through machine learning algorithms to customize the ultimate diet. CEO and founder, Neil Grimmer, believes that “you deserve an owner’s manual for your body when it comes to food. And it should be written in a language you can actually understand.” Campbell’s have seen the potential in this next generation of nutrition, investing US$32 million, ahead of the 2017 launch.

How could your brand help people learn something new about themselves?

The Hive

Artist Wolfgang Buttress has fascinated visitors at Kew Garden with his multi-sensory installation (originally created as the centrepiece of the UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo). A towering steel lattice structure replicates the inner workings of an on-site beehive. Visitors are able to enter the structure which reveals the mystery and magic of the honey bee story and stands as a timely reminder of the ecological significance of pollination. Using sound and light, Buttress visualises the varying level of activity within the hive, in real time, to create an immersive, and unique soundtrack and visual display.

How can your brand help people to discover and connect with the magic in the everyday?

If you would like to discuss these thought starters and their relevance for your brand, then please get in touch with Tashi. 

Photo credit: Bompas & Parr

Recommended For You


Large companies are great at being great – finding efficiencies and scale through size – squeezing out every drop of margin by selling to the majority.

Nick Dormon

Last wet Wednesday evening, Echo took themselves down to the Taste of London Festival in Regent's Park to check out which food and drink trends are prevailing, and what we can see developing in our future. Here's what the team found.

Jeremy Davies

Echo have worked with the Sanghera Rum Company to design and name Five Rivers, their finest Indian small batch white rum. 

Nellie Veltman

The service industry has huge potential to reach beyond the realms of service to create a strong consumer engagement. 

Nellie Veltman