Nick Westergaard

By Nick Westergaard on August 20, 2018

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Exploring the New Reality of Brand Building with Cathy Hackl

cathy hackl on brand

“Content is expanding — it’s shifting. It used to be 2D and flat.” Now we have VR, AR, MR, and XR. What’s a marketer to do? Luckily, we can get this entire world demystified for us by extended reality expert and futurist Cathy Hackl on this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast.

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Cathy Hackl

Cathy Hackl is the lead Futurist at You Are Here Immersive Labs, one of the Southeast’s most prominent XR labs. Hackl is an Emmy-nominated communicator turned augmented reality & virtual reality global speaker, producer and author. She is also a Partner at Mixed Reality Ventures. Prior to joining You Are Here, she worked as an HTC VIVE VR Evangelist during the launch of their latest headset, the VIVE Pro, and during the company’s partnership with Warner Brothers’ blockbuster, Ready Player One. She’s the co-author of Marketing New Realities: An Introduction to VR & AR Marketing, Branding & Communications.

Hackl has been featured in media outlets like Mic, CNN, Silicon Beat, Entrepreneur, CMO.com, Forbes, VentureBeat and Mashable. She is a global advisor for the VR AR Association and a leading voice in the VR AR marketing and enterprise space. Before working in AR and VR, Hackl worked as a journalist for CNN, Discovery Communications, and ABC News.

Episode Highlights

Let’s start with a glossary of terms. Virtual reality, or VR, is fully immersive and creates new worlds through tools like the Oculus headset. Augmented reality, or AR, adds to your world. Mixed reality, or MR, is when VR and AR collide and you interact with digital elements in the real world. And, finally, Extended reality, or XR, is the melding of all of this.

When VR/AR meets utility. Cathy shared a story about a recent project with Porsche where AR was used to create a custom build of a car without setting foot in a dealership. And guess what? Customers who built cars using tools like this are even more likely to buy cars. This is being called vCommerce.

What can we do to be ready for what’s next with VR/AR/MR/ER? Cathy gave us a few places to start. “First, start playing around with the free tools like Snapchat’s Lens Studio. My book is also a good primer. Finally, keep an eye on what Apple’s doing.”

What brand has made Allen smile recently? Casper Pillows! Cathy loved a recent social media interaction after purchasing a pillow at Target.

To learn more, go to cathyhackl.com and connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter.

As We Wrap …

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

On Brand is sponsored by my new book Brand NowDiscover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!



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Nick Westergaard
Email Brand Driven Digital

is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.


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