Customers now more than ever are seeking multisensory experiences, reaching beyond sight and sound, and engaging in ways that are authentic, spontaneous and immersive. Globally the ‘experience economy’ momentum is shaping marketing plans, as brands are increasingly striving to incorporate new ways to interact with their customers. Here are three examples of brands that have stepped out of their comfort zone to adopt new elements of customer experience by emerging uses of technology.

Greenpeace unleashes the power of VR using headsets at events like Glastonbury to encourage charity sign-ups. And in April 2017 the Greenpeace VR Explorer app was released, which allows users to immerse themselves in far-flung locations like the Amazon rainforest or the Arctic. VR is a tool providing to create empathy, as a Facebook reports 48% of people who view charity content in VR are likely to donate to the cause.

McDonalds rolled out their new digital ordering kiosks in 2017 following a few rocky years where the fast food chain saw a 15% decline in net income. After an extensive market analysis, McDonalds announced a new business model centered around customers, which involves self-serve kiosks and mobile ordering. The initiative provides customers with more freedom and control by empowering them to decide what they order, how they pay and how they are served. The venture was a massive success and resulted in their shares hitting an all-time high.

Adobe moved away from their legacy software business and launched the creative cloud where customers pay a monthly subscription fee. This bold move was made after a series of customer feedback surveys and aimed at making their products more attainable, streamline workflows between programmes, combat piracy and have a more direct relationship with their customers. As a result, revenues soared by 44% year-on-year to reach $733 million.

With the uprising of customer experience brands, like the above, are proving to be successful through reacting quickly to change and adapting to meet the expectations in their target markets.

This purchasing trend has been shaping for quite some time and was clearly marked over the Christmas period, where consumers are favouring experiences over objects. It’s been cemented within the first-two major buying periods, Valentine’s and Mother’s Day, as a decline of big-ticket purchases such as jewellery and other possessions, was revealed. Buyers aren’t opting out of gift-buying altogether, they’re just swaying more towards experience-led gifts, such as romantic getaways or cocktail masterclass in an effort to create memories that can be shared.