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William Higham

International business speaker and best-selling business author, William Higham, is an expert consumer futurist.  He helps companies predict customer needs and to anticipate and prepare for change.

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Consumer futurist, William Higham, is the founder of strategic consultancy, Next Big Thing, and author of a book with the same title. He is an acknowledged authority in predicting consumer trends.  He helps audiences understand all aspects from technology, to media use,  to the economy that might influence them.

By continually researching the latest shifts in consumer tastes, new products, innovations in marketing and communications, William builds a picture of the key issues an organisation will have to address in the future. He looks in to the issues likely to affect an industry or sector, from internal cultures, to employee expectations, to retail and marketing. With these insights he offers strategic and tactical advice on reaching customers.  He looks at what customers expect, and what shifts in culture, technology, spending and attitudes mean.

William speaks about trends within a specified market or demographic, or in society at large.  He highlights digital transformations, from crowd-sourcing to non-friction (a seamless journey across media and platforms).  He shows how the desire for ownership is increasingly concentrated on the emotional or aesthetic. Where this doesn’t apply, a rise in the swapping, sharing or resale of items will prevail, as well as a demand for value over cheapness.

William started his career in the music industry, first as a press officer and then marketing acts from The Rolling Stones to Smashing Pumpkins. He moved to a research consultancy working on high profile brands, before specialising in forecasting. Working in these areas provided an insight in to how to study consumer patterns first hand and in the media, to decide if they hint at a new direction, and then to consider the impact and how long they might last. He now applies this process across retail, service and any product areas – and for any and all demographic groups.

His latest speech,  Meet the Post Pandemic Consumer, can be delivered both live and in interactive online presentations. His other speaking themes include looking at what your customers will be doing tomorrow and what will they want from companies. He also looks at how to take advantage of trends and create relevant products and services.  He is an accomplished business speaker and testimonials on his presentations include:

“Will’s provocative insights inspired the audience to think up new ways to serve tomorrow’s consumer.” Matt Houston, Director of Strategy, Primark

William got the brief exactly, and delivered just the kind of speech we wanted him to. The feedback was all really positive, and I personally found him very easy and a real pleasure to work with.” Laura Kozasvili, Head of Events, British Property Federation, BPF Future For Real Estate Conference

“William was the best possible opening speaker for a conference looking at the future: and he got the conference off to a brilliant start. The feedback from the audience was excellent.” Gail Cohen Director General, UK Gift Card & Voucher Association , UKGCVA Annual Conference

“It was a great pleasure to work with such a professional speaker as William Higham.” Birgit Oidram, Baltic Conferences, Estonia

Good mix of industry examples, links to the past and future predictions” Abbvie

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