Ken Hughes is now acknowledged as being one of the world’s leading authorities on modern consumer and B2B culture. He is internationally renowned for helping his largely blue-chip client base to understand the future of consumerism, markets, society and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
With 20 years’ experience as CEO of a consumer insight agency, he blends his understanding of consumer & cyber psychology, digital anthropology, behavioural economics, and retail futurology to explore the needs of the new consumer and predict the changes to come.
Ken advises some of the biggest brands in the world on customer experience, omnichannel strategy, artificial intelligence, shopper marketing, retail trends, the millennial / Gen Z shopper and the peer-to-peer economy. As an accomplished author, TED speaker, part-time university lecturer and actor, his performances are insightful and thought-provoking. His presentations are infamous for their sheer energy, entertainment and passion, not to mention his generous Irish wit.
Drawing on his history as an actor, while his live stage performances are infamous, he is also now considered one of the world’s top virtual speakers, as engaging on screen as he is live in person.
As a behaviouralist and life strategist, he is also passionate about change, leadership, disruption, success, innovation, personal development and motivation. He brings this to life in his work with high performance athletes and executives all over the world.
Every year, Ken Hughes shares his thought-disrupting insight with tens of thousands of delegates globally. He is one of the most popular keynote speakers booked on the international conference and webinar circuit relating to the future of consumerism.
Regularly voted ‘Best Speaker’ at the events where he is invited to perform, he believes in engaging and delighting event attendees at every opportunity, live or virtually.
As we emerge from the pandemic, consumers and employees are looking to reconnect, as indeed is society as a whole. The values around vulnerability, honesty, transparency, trust, empathy and connection are all strong driving forces for brand relevance today, and ones we need to reflect to our customers and prospects. We speak a lot about Customer Lifetime Value, Brand Loyalty or the Customer/Employee Experience, but we have to start asking ourselves some hard questions relating to how we intend to build relationships deep enough to deliver.
This customer experience keynote takes 10 of the key attributes necessary for successful human relationships and maps them on to our customer interactions. We look at love & commitment, quality time together, intimacy, trust & honesty, effective communication, conflict resolution, acts of kindness & gift giving, personal responsibility, personal space, and humour. Applying these and activating them as love languages builds deeper, authentic relationships.
Every company and industry is resourcing for disruption, bending rules, breaking moulds and challenging norms. Preparing for change is difficult as by its very nature, change can be uncertain – that’s why they call it DISRUPTION and not PREDICTIVE CHANGE. The millennials were the warm up act, the generation that drove the switch from analog to everyday digital. Generation Z are now the main event, the tipping point of the first truly digital generation of consumers. Together, these two demographics have fundamentally reset consumer values for every business and brand globally.
This speech challenges any business to look at their future through the lens of their future consumer. We look at the social, cultural and cyber behavioural forces pressing on humanity, and how changes in consumer expectations have forever changed the game. Today’s consumer expects a frictionless and seamless experience at every touch-point, has little tolerance for failure but will become a tribal brand fan if you get it right. Disruption is a positive force if you harness what is happening around you but an amazingly destructive one if you ignore the changing nature of consumer values.
There is a reason everyone is talking about CX. Every article you read on Linked In, every congress you attend, every branding podcast you listen to. The Customer Experience is paramount to success. OK, we get it. Or do we? Some companies still see CX as a necessary part of what they have to do, as opposed to a unique proposition where they can strongly differentiate. Some businesses see CX as something that is just for the customer service roles and not for their entire path-to-purchase and brand philosophy. Even smart organisations can still be reactive with CX as opposed to predictive and proactive.
This speech is an entertaining and informative look at the modern consumer and their expectations, how and why the bar has been set high for CX and what your brand and business should be considering. Don’t be caught scratching your head, wondering why your business has lost share, muttering ‘what the FUCX’?
Artificial Intelligence is one of those wide terms that covers an enormous amount of activity, from natural language consumer-to-machine conversation (think Alexa and Siri) through to robotics, automation, algorithms and machine learning. The AI machine has buried its way into your everyday already. Just look at how our lives are influenced by the algorithms and machine learning all around us.
This speech looks at where we have come from, where we are and where it could all be going. AI isn’t about the machines. It is about how we keep our influence and consumer communications as the algorithms and robots step in.
How do we best inspire and motivate employees in today’s society? How do we manage their expectations about wanting to be the CEO within 24-months without crushing their desire to lead? How do we cope with their need for immediate continuous feedback? Simultaneously, they are a generation reared on collaboration (what is social media but a shared platform of Ideas and Information), and they will look for such collaborative opportunities in their everyday work. This may be great Inside your organization, but you might get upset when you see them at lunch with your competitors, eager to solve Industry issues.
This speech looks at the new values these employees now hold dear and how the workplace of the future needs to deliver. Work has changed. From the way we work, the hours we work, to the places we work. Yes, technology has driven a lot of these changes, but the actual expectations of the employee is now the step-change. In a post Covid-19 world, the new employee demands more from their work. They want an experience, not a set of tasks or goals. They want to be motivated and nurtured, regardless of if they are in the office or working from home.
Every corporate organisation recognises that creativity and innovation are the fuel that will drive their engine to success. The problem is that most organisations fail in catalysing this creativity, and so the innovation funnel runs dry. If we are to push established boundaries, challenge norms and solve problems in new ways then we have to change our approach. We have to avoid routine thinking, and it has to start with the individual.
This unique speech challenges delegates at an individual level to rewire how they think and act, to build a culture of creativity from the ground up. There will always be personal and professional disruption. The difference between being a victim and victor of these changes is in your response and attitude. This talk is highly entertaining, motivating and inspiring. It has lit a fuse under hundreds of thousands globally who have heard its message, either live or through Ken’s TED Talk on the subject.
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"Ken was one of the most inspiring speakers we have ever booked. His presentation was so engaging, insightful and entertaining. The feedback from our delegates has been outstanding, ‘the best ever’ was what I kept hearing. He is one of the superstars, no doubt, and I can see why he was recommended to us. We were not disappointed."
Merette Habberstad, NHO REISELIV
"A heartfelt thank you to the truly inspiring and energising speaker, Ken Hughes. He captivated us with a genuinely delightful speech. There are not enough words to describe the impact this session had on our employees and how personal and engaging it was. Simply magnificent."
Ana Butylkina, ING
"I’d consider Ken to be among the rockstars of professional speakers. His unique combination of great content, practical insight and engaging, energetic performance style was outstanding. As an organiser, it was an absolute pleasure to work with him and his team, as his professionalism ranks high among top speakers in our long list of UBA Trendsday conferences."
Luc Suykens, UBA TRENDSDAY
"Ken is an energetic, thought-provoking speaker. I’ve had Ken speak at two Google events now and Ken has scored higher than any other speaker I’ve ever had before, lasting a longtime in the memories of the delegates."
"I could listen to this guy all day. As always an amazing insight into customers and the essence of CX relationships."
"As a B2B brand we needed to stay relevant and connected with our customers during this time. Ken was the first person we thought about approaching and the webinar series he delivered has had such strong feedback. Sessions sold out way beyond our expectations and delegates stayed engaged far longer than we had ever hoped. It was entertaining, informative, and had all the usual magic and sparkle that Ken delivers onstage."
"Ken delivered a thought provoking and entertaining speech on the needs and desires of younger generations. The talk was highly appreciated by all our coaches and the post-event feedback we received has been outstanding."
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