Amazon

Overview
We helped create a futures report exciting and robust enough to help Amazon cut through a noisy media landscape and generate massive media coverage.
Client issue
Innovation is at the heart of consumer, business and financial confidence for B2C technology companies like Amazon. So when it revealed its new ‘Shop the Future’ platform, it was critical to gain credibility across the world’s media platforms.
Our approach
Amazon wanted to appeal to consumers and business partners with an impressive, scientifically founded report on the future consumer. We researched global consumer trends around technology to create a relatable story founded on current trends. Amazon PR agency Mission took it to media with Will as spokesman.

 

“It was an absolute pleasure working with Next Big Thing. They provided great thought-provoking insights. We’d definitely work with them again and would recommend them to anyone.”

Letitia Thomas, Campaign Director, Mission

Outcomes
  • Coverage in every UK national newspaper and major radio station
  • Coverage in global media: Forbes and NBC, to RTL TV Netherlands and Sputnik Radio in Russia
  • Success led Amazon to ask Will to co-author another ‘Shop The Future’ campaign the next year

BBC

Overview:
We predicted the topics UK viewers would demand over the next five years; and  identified the embryonic ‘Strictly’ as their most important show
Client issue:
BBC Entertainment sought to identify the topics consumers would want to watch over the next five years. Then to determine which of their new shows would be most in demand, and therefore where they should allocate resource.
Our approach:
We created a detailed presentation exploring what consumers would be interested in, and why. Will Higham presented this at the senior team’s away day. We then audited their in-production shows and identified ‘Strictly’ as their flagship.

“Next Big Thing’s insights into the attitudes and behaviour of UK consumers proved really useful.” 

Wayne Garvie, Head of Entertainment, BBC

Outcomes:
  • Strictly has become a cornerstone show for the BBC.
  • The format (sold as ‘Dancing with the Stars’) was world’s most popular TV show in 2006 and 2007 and made the Guinness Book of Records for it.
  • Report also informed other new shows and formats.

British Telecom

Overview:
We delivered a series of consumer trends presentations to senior BT management to help develop a more future consumer- and innovation-focused internal culture.
Client issue:
British Telecom recognised the importance of both constant innovation and a future focus. So it wanted to develop its internal culture to ensure an organisational focus on two things:
  • its future customers and their needs
  • innovation as part of day-to-day working.
Our approach:
We worked with a training consultancy on a series of senior management seminars. We created and delivered presentations outlining key consumer trends, and the opportunities they presented for the client.
Outcomes:
Very positive feedback from:
  • senior HR running events
  • senior management team taking part in events
Client saw the process as a real contribution to the creation of a strong new innovation culture.

Fellowes

Overview:
Produced a report on future workplace health trends in conjunction with a life size model of the ‘colleague of the future’
Client issue:
Fellowes wanted to highlight rising problem of poor workplace health. They wanted powerful way to show how their products could help reduce danger, without seeming to exploit the topic.
Our approach:
Working in conjunction with their PR agency, we wrote report on future workplace health trends (incl. stats and findings from medical white papers, interviews with health professionals). 
We also briefed manufacturer on the creation of a model of the fictional ‘colleague of the future’, christened Emma. 
Founder Will Higham was used (alongside Emma) as face of media campaign.
Outcomes:
  • Coverage was well beyond client expectations. It has since become focus of all company marketing.
  • UK coverage incl Jonathan Ross ITV, Channel 5, The Times, Daily Mail
  • Global coverage included national TV, print and online across markets
  • We were asked to do second campaign

Hachette

Overview:
We provided regular predictions of the topics and innovations we believed would resonate with future book buyers. This inspired several successful book launches across imprints.
Client issue:
Hachette sought guidance on identifying and harnessing trends to develop successful titles. They were concerned that new product development proactive about future planning and aimed to embed a culture of ‘trends awareness’ across all imprints.
Our approach:
After lengthy consultation with Hachette on the best format for informing and updating the team on trends and forecasting, we agreed a programme that included quarterly input seminars, workshops and imprint-specific ‘clinics’. 
Next Big Thing identified new trends, offered content and format recommendations, then facilitated product brainstorms.
“They helped us embed trends research into the heart of our culture and inspired our teams. I’d definitely recommend  talking to them if your business has any requirement for future thinking.”
Louisa Livingston, Group Insight & Innovation Dev. Director, Hachette UK
Outcomes:
Excellent staff engagement, leading to very positive feedback from both the central insights team and imprints’ senior management.
Initial six-month contract proved so successful, it continued for another two years.

Hearst

Overview:
Our company-wide strategic consultation campaign helped build an innovation culture across the company and identified practical directions for future strategy
Client issue:
Hearst is among the world’s leading publishers and has built its success through constant innovation. But leadership was concerned their approach had perhaps become too piecemeal. 
They wanted to focus innovation around new consumer trends, to enable them to identify immediate business opportunities.
Our approach:
Hearst has a huge resource in its people: we believed their shared experience could be better utilised in the innovation process. 
We identified 10 trend-opportunities for Hearst. We ran a sequence of plenary seminars and workshops around these, that drew insights from senior leadership and a 50-strong cross section of editorial and commercial staff, to ideate a series of actionable strategies.
Outcomes:
  • Introduced ongoing employee-focused innovation structure
  • so successful, we were integrated into innovation team
  • Helped inform successful brand repositioning strategies

Merlin

Overview:
We created a futures report predicting future of Leisure in 2030 to help Merlin build future-proof strategic roadmap
Client issue:
Merlin wanted to understand what the leisure industry would look like in 2030 and how their company could thrive in that context, and then create a roadmap to evolve the company towards that future.
Our approach:
We worked with Merlin senior management to understand the company’s skill sets, heritage, products and culture, to gain an understanding of what might be relevant to them in future. 
We then scanned multiple sources – from global polling data to interviews with industry experts – in order to create a picture of what the leisure consumer / industry might look like in 2030. 
Finally we analysed the insights to identify the opportunities and threats the future offered, and how the company could best adapt.
Outcomes:
  • Introduced ongoing employee-focused innovation structure
  • so successful, we were integrated into innovation team
  • Helped inform successful brand repositioning strategies

MTV

Overview:
Our report helped MTV create a multi-media narrative on future Youth consumer needs. This helped re-position them as a Millennial and Gen Z knowledge hub.
Client issue:
The client was looking for new strategic, consumer-led revenue opportunities in the communications sector. The insights team also needed to communicate these convincingly to Global Leadership
Our approach:
We suggested an expansive report on future global consumer communications behaviours and needs. We combined consumer insights, media and technology industry trends, and behavioural theory to produce a  data-rich report.
Outcomes:
Helped MTV re-assert position as Youth knowledge hub
Commercial team used report as basis of their brand presentations for next 6 months

Sky

Overview:
Created in-depth report on future consumer media needs for Sky to present to James Murdoch as part of annual strategy review.
Client issue:
Sky’s senior strategy management team were putting together a presentation for their annual review with James Murdoch and needed it to be founded on robust consumer trends data.
Our approach:
We combined consumer, technology  and media data to create a picture of  how tomorrow’s consumer would be likely to access and consume broadcast media.
Outcomes:
Report was used as one of the building blocks for the annual strategy review
Insights from the report inspired new services and products.

Telefonica

Overview:
Our report on future consumer communications trends informed Telefonica’s global strategic policy. 
Client issue:
The client was looking for new strategic, consumer-led revenue opportunities in the communications sector. The insights team also needed to communicate these convincingly to Global Leadership
Our approach:
We suggested an expansive report on future global consumer communications behaviours and needs. We combined consumer insights, media and technology industry trends, and behavioural theory to produce a  data-rich report.
Outcomes:
  • Insights inspired range of new strategic ideas
  • Insights also influenced one key global strategic shift, for which we contributed another trends report

“Next Big Thing helped us identify the macro trends set to influence future communication behaviour. Their practical insights and in-depth analysis helped us kick off strategic decisions in important areas.”

Natalie Malevsky, Head of Insights and Future Comms, Telefonica Digital