William Higham
William Higham is a Consumer Futurist and author. He is also founder and CEO of strategic consultancy The Next Big Thing.

Higham predicts future consumer behaviour, writes strategy reports, runs management trend workshops and oversees primary research. He has worked with clients across Media (BBC to MTV), Technology (02 to AOL), Finance (RBS to HSBC), Food (Aga to Budweiser) and Advertising (Ogilvy to WPP).

Higham is considered an authority on future trends, and has been frequently quoted in the Media: from ‘The Economist’ to ‘Cosmopolitan’. He wrote the UK’s first handbook for trend forecasters: ‘The Next Big Thing: Spotting & Forecasting Consumer Trends For Profit’ (Kogan Page, 2009).

Higham began his career in the entertainment industry: running marketing and communications campaigns at Sony, Virgin and Universal, for artists from Michael Jackson and David Gray to Motorhead and The Rolling Stones. He moved into research in 1999, working as a consultant for global trends network Breaking Trends on Levi’s and British Telecom. He set up The Next Big Thing in 2002. In 2010, he also worked as acting MD at renowned online research agency OnePoll.

Entries by William Higham

Millennials? Y-ers? Z-ers? AA-ers? Can We Please Sort Out Our Generations?

(0) Comments | Posted 21 October 2015 | (11:56)

Teenagers today are probably the most observed and analysed generation ever. So it's ironic that we're unable to come up with a definitive name for them. Not one that refers to their parents or elder siblings. Nor one that changes weekly. But something that references the distinct era they grew...

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Stop Teaching Your Child to Read!

(1) Comments | Posted 9 September 2014 | (13:22)

The government is launching a new campaign this week to encourage better reading among the young: "Read On. Get On". Based on a report that links the inability to "read well" with potential joblessness later in life, it's the latest of many articles and reports bemoaning a decline in traditional...

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The Mate Escape

(0) Comments | Posted 29 July 2014 | (22:29)

Friends and Framily
According to the UN, today (30th July) is 'International Friendship Day'. So what better time to look at one of the biggest trends in Britain: the growing importance of friendship.

From festivals to social media, we're spending more time with our friends. A growing number of...

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Will 'Saffy' Teens be Absolutely Fabulous for Society?

(0) Comments | Posted 30 June 2014 | (09:54)

In my last article, I identified a new young generation, the SAFFYs: Serious, Active, Forward-Facing Youth. They're very different to the "typical teen" parodied by Kevin the Teenager. Less frivolous, hedonistic, lazy and 'devil may care'. More anxious and responsible about the future, and more respectful of the past.

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Is Your Teen a Saffy?

(1) Comments | Posted 4 June 2014 | (14:26)

SAFFY and Sober
Teenagers? We know what they're like, don't we. They're hedonistic and impetuous. They want their brands 'edgy' and their work easy. They kiss the future and shun the past. Sex, drugs and R&B.

Well maybe it used to be that way. And some publications still...

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Greatest Capes: Prog Rock Style

(1) Comments | Posted 10 April 2014 | (00:00)

First off, a huge thanks to the thousands of you who read, liked and shared my blog post on a potential prog rock revival. There are clearly a lot of proggers out there!

For those who asked about new prog bands, have a look at great sites like ProgRockMag.com,...

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Is Prog Rock the New Folk?

(73) Comments | Posted 21 March 2014 | (23:00)

The folk revival. It began with the artistic resurrection of Nick Drake, took in the folktronica of Four Tet and electronic folk pop of Kate Nash, and culminated in the Now compilation popularity of Mumford and Sons and Ed Sheeran.

But it didn't just stop at music. Folk was...

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2012 Trends: From Fashion to Fitness - This Year We'll Want Things Cheap and Cheerful

(0) Comments | Posted 6 February 2012 | (23:00)

Being a trend forecaster is a little like being a retailer, an accountant - or a professional Father Christmas: you're at your busiest around Christmas and the New Year. With the new year already well underway, everyone wants to know what the new trends will be. So, to offer a...

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What The Hell Is Steampunk?

(44) Comments | Posted 18 October 2011 | (00:00)

Steampunk is the most famous new trend that you've never heard of. To those in the know it's been around for years. For others, it's "Steam what?"

It's certainly not new. The first steampunk (SP) convention took place in 2006: and the word was actually added to The Oxford...

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Trends: The Death of the Bookshelf

(5) Comments | Posted 4 October 2011 | (00:00)

It's not often that the re-designing of a shelf signals a major new trend: but Ikea's rather unimposing new-look 'Billy' shelves is an unlikely exception. These shelves - previously created to hold books, CDs or DVDs - are being re-designed to hold ornaments and mementoes. Seems mundane? Actually it signals...

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