William Higham

William Higham - Trends The Future  Speaker


About William Higham - Consumer Futurist, Speaker, and Author of The Next Big Thing:

William Higham  is a worldwide authority on future and evolving consumer behaviors. He helps organizations to understand how tomorrow’s Smart Consumers will think, feel, behave and how they can benefit from this in their business. William creates consumer strategy reports, runs management planning and innovation workshops, and writes and presents on trends

He gained his initial experience with consumers in the entertainment industry in the 1990's. He began in marketing communications at Sony Music, where he worked on Michael Jackson, Motorhead and Alice Cooper. He later worked as Marketing Manager at Virgin & Universal, where he ran campaigns for The Rolling Stones, The Cure, Meat Loaf, Verve, XTC and Smashing Pumpkins.

His first trends role was Senior Trends Consultant at the Breaking Trends consultancy, whose clients included British Telecom and Levis. He was later appointed MD of research agency OnePoll, whose clients included Kelloggs, Findus and Hilton Hotels. He founded strategic consultancy Next Big Thing in 2002. The company has worked with a wide range of blue chip clients: from BBC to HSBC, Sainsbury’s to Siemens.

William has spoken at, chaired and facilitated conferences and internal events for brands, media and industry bodies: from Barclaycard to Retail Week, Hiscox to FHM.

He’s been interviewed across the media - BBC to Bloomberg TV, Cosmopolitan to The Times. He currently writes consumer trends columns for The Institute of Directors (IoD) magazine ‘Director’ and The Huffington Post.

He wrote one of the first ever handbooks for consumer trend forecasters: The Next Big Thing: Spotting & Forecasting Consumer Trends For Profit (Kogan Page, 2009), which has been translated into four languages. 

William’s interactive cocktail of the most up to date research guarantees maximum audience engagement. He mixes insight, inspiration and information in a way that always leaves an audience feeling energized and inspired.

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What William Higham Talks About: 

How to appeal to Tomorrow’s Consumer
Once brands and advertisers drove the business agenda, but today consumers are increasingly taking charge. Aware of their power, they seek greater control over their purchasing, media behaviors.. They are developing a whole new set of attitudes, expectations and needs. This topic shows you how to anticipate & appeal to tomorrow’s new Smart Consumer.

Key take-aways:

  • Discover what will motivate future customers & how best to appeal to them
  • Gain insights into a new consumer type that will be here for years to come
  • Actionable consumer insights to implement into marketing, communications & strategy plans

Future proof your Business: Create products and strategies to appeal to tomorrow’s Smart Consumer
Everything we create in business – from products to sales campaigns – succeeds or fails due to consumer demand. But how can you predict what that demand will be? William Higham helps you take the guesswork out of planning, by identifying what the key needs, attitudes and behaviors of tomorrow’s Smart Consumer will be. 

Key take-aways:

  • Gain practical insights into new customer needs that you can use straight away
  • Marketers will learn how to appeal to future consumers
  • CEOs to better focus future company strategies
  • Product designers will gain insights into what consumers will want from their products.

Creating a Strong Innovation Culture: Developing tomorrow’s business models for the new Smart Consumer
Innovation is increasingly being driven not by company needs but by those of the consumer. 

As part of your Innovation program, this keynote offers emerging foresights on future consumer needs. Key trends and future thinking to inform and drive your business innovation in a fast changing market.

Key take-aways:

  • Learn how tomorrow’s Smart Consumers will think, feel & behave
  • Gain the strategic clarity to develop a more effective market strategy
  • Prepare your services & products for the needs of the new Smart Consumer

Changing Fortunes: How You Can Make Sense of - and Monetize - Consumer Change
We are living in turbulent times. Few industries – or parts of our lives - are safe from change. But change offers possibilities as well as threats. To help you anticipate and adapt your strategies to all these changes, global futurist and author William Higham will take you on a tour of the emerging trends, drivers, ideas and developments shaping tomorrow’s world – and tomorrow’s new Smart Consumer - identifying the implications and opportunities for individuals, large and small firms, NGO’s and industry associations. 

Key take-aways:

  • Learn about emerging global trends across sectors & the threats & opportunities they pose.
  • Gain profound insight into new consumer drivers to help you create more informed strategies.
  • Obtain practical action points that will immediately help ‘future proof’ your business.

Attract and Retain Tomorrow’s Employee: The Opportunities and Threats of New Employee Attitudes
Employee attitudes to work, schedules, hierarchies and rewards are changing. Technological change is driving individual empowerment. Traditional ways to attract and retain staff are failing. How can you please your employees while improving bottom line? This topic helps you understand how to get the best out of the new generation of ‘Smart Staff.’

Key take-aways:

  • Better understand the new needs & drivers of your employees
  • Gain a road-map to improved workplace motivation & efficiency
  • Learn how to future-proof your hiring, retention & HR policy to secure motivated employees

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 Recent Publications

William’s presentations on new consumer trends provides great food for thought. He focuses on the opportunities, threats and needs of our industry and customers, but is unafraid to explore relevant trends outside of it too. As well as stimulating ideas for individuals, his talks have also proved the basis for further discussion and work-shopping.

Charlie Gower, Head of Insight & Research, Hiscox

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