William Higham

William Higham



  • How to Monetise Consumer Change
  • Future-proof Your Business
  • How to Appeal to Tomorrow’s Consumer
  • Creating a Strong Innovation Culture
  • Attract and Retain Tomorrow’s Employee

What he offers

William provides early warning of future market trends. He uses consumer research and systematic analysis of change patterns and cultural dynamics, to help clients identify and target new consumer markets.

How he presents

His tailored trend interpretation are actionable and innovative helping business with solutions for today – and tomorrow. He is a highly popular speaker at internal and public conferences.

William Higham is a worldwide authority on future and evolving consumer behaviours. 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 1990s. 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’ which has been translated into four languages.


  • The Next Big Thing: Spotting & Forecasting Consumer Trends for Profit (2009)


“We’ve been tapping into Next Big Thing for several years now, within our local and international agencies. William has looked into the future for us at conferences and client events, presenting an insightful and energetic blend of media and consumer trends. We’ve also worked with Next Big Thing to identify client-facing global trends, and analyse what the implications might be for businesses. In a world where many evangelists masquerade as trend-spotters, William is a rare talent, cutting through the hype to reveal what is really going out there, and what could be round the corner.”

“William’s insights have helped us learn a great deal about a wide variety of consumers. He really understands how consumers think and behave. I’m especially impressed with his mindset work. It rocks.”

“Next Big Thing’s insights into the attitudes and behaviour of consumers have proved highly useful stimulus material for us.”

“Their insights have proved very useful to us helping inform our marketing campaigns.”

“William has provided us with useable insights into behaviour- and values-based demographic groups that helped add extra weight to some important new business pitches. Not only does heunderstand how UK consumers think and behave, he also knows how to apply those insights on a practical level.”

“It has been a great pleasure to work with such a professional speaker as William. He met our expectations in terms of quality and flexibility. He delivers his presentations in a very systematic and structured way, giving to the audience the opportunity to share and understand future trends in the market.”

“I’ve found William and The Next Big Thing excellent to work with. They are insightful and provide spot-on consultancy, as well as delivering what they promise on time and on budget. William has managed several major qualitative and quantitative research projects for us and has come up with meaty results which we have successfully used for PR purposes.”

“William is an unfailingly reliable source of clever and provocative insights into cultural and business trends. Whatever the subject, he’ll be able to give it an alternative spin that adds a richness to the story.”

“His presentation was extremely high standard: the Q&A proved testimony to that. I look forward to working with him again.”

“Next Big Thing provides really fresh insight into what’s going on out there and why. They have a knack of uncovering new values-based insights that consistently feed directly into helping shape our communications plans.”

“William’s research has contributed to several successful marketing campaigns.”

“I always turn to Next Big Thing when I want to find out what’s really going on in the UK. They have a remarkable insight into a wide range of consumer groups. I have used their findings to inform strategy, editorial and new business pitches.”

“We have found Next Big Thing’s regular bulletin’s very useful in keeping up to date with ever changing consumer trends and we regularly plunder their online library for ideas.”

Presentation Languages: English

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