Will Higham helps clients prepare for the future

By predicting new consumer behaviours, he enables them to:

About

About

Will Higham is one of the world’s most respected behavioural futurists.

He’s informed 1000s of business leaders via his talks, consultancy, articles and book ‘The Next Big Thing’. He’s spent almost 30,000 hours over the last 15 years analysing consumer trends and their implications for business.

Will founded consultancy Next Big Thing in 2002. The company’s worked on strategy and futures for clients from Amazon to HSBC.

Will is also a popular speaker at conferences for brands, media and industry: Barclaycard to Retail Week.

He’s been interviewed across media – BBC to Fast Company – and written for publications from The Economist to Ad Week.

He’s taken part in academic programmes like Cambridge University’s Open Innovation Forum and acted as a judge on prestigious panels such as WARC Innovation Awards.

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Contact Will:
020 3542 1900
info@next-big-thing.net
@next-big-thingco

Consulting

Will's consultancy Next Big Thing uses its understanding of future behaviours to drive growth across the whole organisation

  • Sales – providing data to drive lead generation and commercial strategy
  • R&D – inspiring successful product development and innovation
  • Marketing – predicting future markets and consumption demand
  • Communications – identifying effective channels & PR-able trends
  • Finance – improving investment and diversification decisions
  • HR  – driving talent acquisition and employee engagement.

Consulting

Will's consultancy Next Big Thing uses its understanding of future behaviours to drive growth across the whole organisation

  • Sales – providing data to drive lead generation and commercial strategy
  • R&D – inspiring successful product development and innovation
  • Marketing – predicting future markets and consumption demand
  • Communications – identifying effective channels & PR-able trends
  • Finance – improving investment and diversification decisions
  • HR  – driving talent acquisition and employee engagement.

Packages for every need

Next Big Thing has developed five future-proofing packages designed specifically to answer clients’ key strategic concerns:

How do we predict the future?

Behavioural changes are typically triggered by attitude changes, which themselves are triggered by specific (environmental) events.

By identifying an attitude change - or, better yet, identifying an event that’s likely to trigger an attitude change - you can confidently predict a behaviour change ...

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Next Big Thing Quiz #1. Test your trends skills.

In 2005 25% of Brits said they like to be first to try something. What's the figure now?

35%

What proportion of Chinese consumers now view slowing down as a luxury?

82%

What percentage marketshare did Nokia lose in just one year in the early '90s?

93%

“William really stands out from other futures specialists. He translates trends into commercial opportunities.”

Alex Owens, Head of Insight, Sainsbury’s

Speaking

Will Higham is one of the UK’s most popular and trusted speakers on Futures and Strategy.

He combines passion with usability and strategic inspiration with reliable insights. He paints practical pictures of tomorrow’s business and consumer landscapes, and explores the implications.

Will chairs, moderates and speaks at a wide variety of events, run by global brands, industry bodies and media leaders: Barclaycard and ABTA to The Financial Times and Retail Week. Events this year took Will from Manila to Austin TX.

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To book Will to give a talk, or find out more, click here

Will’s inspiring talks:
  • help audiences make friends with change: identifying the commercial opportunities disruption offers
  • act as a powerful wake-up call: alerting audiences to unexpected threats, disruption and competition
  • offer insights and examples from multiple industries and 15 years of trends experience
They address key concerns:
  • price vs privacy vs convenience
  • skills needs and shortages
  • online vs offline vs omnichannel retail
  • ownership vs access-ship
  • new luxury and premium drivers
  • how to appeal to new consumers

Make friends with change.

Will’s talks explain:
  • how to take advantage of new opportunities
  • ways to embed innovation into the enterprise
  • how to anticipate and head off outlier competitors
  • which trends will impact specific industry sectors

“Will gave us great insights."

Michaela Ridgeway, Financial Times Global Conferences

Showreel

Audiences come away from Will's talks:

  • More informed about, and prepared for, the business future
  • With practical growth strategies they can action immediately
  • Confident that neither they nor their company will get left behind
  • Excited, inspired … and ready to start innovating

Showreel

Audiences come away from Will's talks:


* More informed about, and prepared for, the business future

* With practical growth strategies they can action immediately

* Confident that neither they nor their company will get left behind

* Excited, inspired ... and ready to start innovating

“Will got the brief exactly and delivered just the speech we wanted.”

Laura Kozasvili, Head of Events, British Property Federation

Talks for all occasions

Will speaks knowledgeably on strategy across many sectors. To explore his top four keynotes, just click on the titles below . To book one tailored to you, send an email.

Email

Don’t be distracted by success. Success today is no guarantee of success tomorrow.

Clients

Will has worked with some of the world's biggest brands

His consultancy's helped many companies make key strategic decisions:

  • helped a Top 10 global telecoms company create a successful new broadcast strategy
  • inspired one of the world’s biggest banks to design products for the Boomer market
  • identified first ‘hipsters’ to help a Top 3 global beer co shed outdated brand image
  • created a luxury trends report that drove sales for an international media agency
  • identified new Youth attitudes that helped a global media owner boost ad revenues

  • helped a Top 10 global telecoms company create a successful new broadcast strategy
  • inspired one of the world’s biggest banks to design products for the Boomer market
  • researched early ‘hipsters’ to help a Top 3 global beer co shed an outdated brand image
  • created a luxury trends report that drove sales for an international media agency
  • identified new Youth attitudes that helped a global media owner boost ad revenues

To learn how we can help your company, email us.

Testimonials

What Will's Clients Say

You can view change as a threat or an opportunity.
Successful companies view it as an opportunity.

Next Big Thing Quiz #2. Give it a go.

What proportion of citizens globally distrust their governments, businesses, or both?

80%        ** Companies and govts need to address trust issues **

What percentage of Spanish consumers typically sleep holding their handsets?

60%        ** Have we reached ‘peak tech’? **

Which company could have bought Netflix for just $50 million in 2000?

Blockbuster    ** Companies must look out for innovative new competitors**

Media

Will's appearances in the Media

"The brain is the most rational thing in the universe.
But the way it solves problems is ad hoc and very local."

Nick Chater, Professor of Behavioural Science, Warwick Business School

Next Big Thing Quiz #3. Try your luck.

How many requests per week does Apple’s voice-activated service Siri get globally?

One billion.       ** Voice activated assistance is a huge growth area **

How many Germans think social justice more important than the economy?

52%       ** In Europe, social issues are starting to compete with financial ones **

How many Americans say their ‘family’ now includes friends who aren’t relatives?

75%       ** ‘People like us’ are becoming increasingly important **

Blog

Will's writings

  • Old is the New Young | Ad Week

    Will writes on new generations in Ad Week | "Standard age-related targeting can't be relied on any more. Today many adolescents act like they're 'middle-aged', while older consumers maintain 'adolescent' interests, outlooks and behaviours ..."
  • Make way for ‘smart staff’ | Director

    Will's monthly column on trends in Director | The personal technology employees are using to navigate their lives outside of office hours are improving their skillsets in work-relevant areas. Improved staff skills means improved efficiency, innovation, sales. Greater confidence means more individual and team-based responsibility ...
  • Recession Generation not Gen Z | Huffington Post

    Will writes on today's Teens for Huffington Post | Today's teenagers - the younger brothers and sisters of the Millennials - are very different from the sort of teenager we’re used to. They’re more serious and more realistic - and they're going to drive products, sales and marketing for the next ten years ...
  • Reach future charity consumers | Rathbones

    Will writes on charity trends in Rathbones | The average online donation has grown by 32% over three years to £70. This sounds like good news. But sadly poll after poll shows that the charity sector is not taking enough advantage of the opportunities the Internet offers ...

FAQs

What actually is a behavioural futurist?

A behavioural futurist studies people’s evolving attitudes, and the influences on them, and predicts how consumers’ behaviours, expectations and needs are likely to change in future.

Can anyone predict the future?

Everybody forecasts the future to an extent. Predicting whether an event will be worth going to, a shopping mall will be busy or a supplier will deliver what we need. We make judgement calls based on the facts we have, our knowledge of human nature and our previous experience. Futurists take a similar approach. And like all skills, the best in class tend to (a) have a natural affinity for it and (b) spend a lot of time honing their craft.

How do we predict the future?

We analyse available data (from research reports to box office receipts), combine it with an understanding of social psychology and consumer behaviour and explore how similar situations have played out in the past, to build potential future scenarios of how consumers are likely to respond to changing environments, technologies and economic situations.

Have we ever got it wrong?

When Will first started, he’d sometimes get over-excited and expect trends to hit the mainstream more quickly than they did. But he soon learned that the leap from Early Adopter to Early Mainstream can take a long time. The trends we predict today have typically already begun somewhere: the skill is to tell our clients how quickly – and how widely – they’ll spread.

Do all our predictions come true?

No-one can guarantee the future. But we only highlight trends that are likely to occur. And to enable clients to manage risk, we base each of my predictions on most likely outcomes, and give a percentage chance of if/when/how strongly each trend might happen.

Will you get the same advice as everyone else?

No. Every client has different needs. So every project or presentation is at least partially tailored towards a client’s individual needs. Workshops, audits etc are almost entirely bespoke.

Will you be able to deal with Will Higham directly?

Yes. Will only takes on projects he has the time and knowledge to fulfil himself. When you hire him, you get him. But the team provides him with all the data, analysis and/or administrative assistance he needs. Scouts scan news, reports and other media to help identify trends.

Can your company afford to use Next Big Thing?

Probably. We offer a broad range of futures services, and are able to offer strategic benefits to suit most budgets.

Contact

To learn more, get a quick costing, or book Will to speak:

+44 (0) 20 3542 1900
info@next-big-thing.net


The Hub,
27 Dingley Place,
Islington,
London EC1V 8BR
United Kingdom

Contact

To learn more, get a quick costing, or book Will to speak:

+44 (0) 20 3542 1900
info@next-big-thing.net


The Hub,
27 Dingley Place,
Islington,
London EC1V 8BR
United Kingdom