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Thought-provoking and highly energetic keynotes on shopper behaviouralism


Ken Hughes

travels from Ireland

Leading consumer & shopper behaviouralist and thought leader in the field of shopper marketing and digital strategy

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About Ken

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Keynote speaker Ken Hughes is a global thought-leader in the fields of Shopper Marketing and Shopper Centricity, Omnichannel and Digital Strategy, and Retail Futurology. He delivers thought-provoking and inspiring speeches in a highly energetic and captivating style, all with a generous helping of Irish wit.

Keynote speaker Ken Hughes has dedicated most of his career to the question: Why do shoppers buy, and how can we make them buy more? With his vast expertise in consumer psychology, behavioural economics, social anthropology, and neuromarketing, Ken Hughes is Europe’s leading consumer and shopper behaviouralist – and he has the fans to prove it.

Ken Hughes is acknowledged as one of the most respected thought leaders in the fields of Shopper Marketing and Shopper Centricity, Omnichannel and Digital Strategy, and Retail Futurology. His life’s passion is human behavior, and how humans express their desires and expectations through how and what we buy.

With 15 years’ experience as the CEO of Glacier Consulting, a boutique consumer insight organization, Ken Hughes has used his vast expertise as strategic adviser for leading market retailers like Unilever, 3M, Ikea, Coca-Cola, AXA, and Heineken – among many others. He is a part-time professor in consumer behaviour and a board member & strategic advisor to many organisations on the future of consumerism and shopper trends. Furthermore, he has provided several TED talks in which he he showcases his unique approach as a Playologist, motivating individuals and corporate clients to unleash their creativity and innovation through a blend of discovery, fun, play, mischief, and risk.

Voted best speaker at most conferences that he attends, it is for his international career as a keynote speaker that Ken Hughes is most famous. His keynotes always receive extraordinary reviews, with attendees noting especially Hughes’ remarkable energy, enthusiasm, and humor, as well as his ability to motivate and inspire his audiences instantly with thought disrupting and surprising content. A keynote with our speaker Ken Hughes is guaranteed to have audiences hooked from beginning to end!

See keynotes with Ken Hughes

    Keynote by Speaker Ken Hughes

    Positive Disruption: The Blue Dot Consumer

    • Learn how the changes in consumer expectations have forever changed the game
    • This talk challenges any business to look at their survival and growth through the eyes of the consumer
    • Today’s consumer has little tolerance for failure but will become a loyal follower if you get it right


    Keynote by Speaker Ken Hughes

    The Digital Native Advance: A New Shopper DNA

    • The Shopper and Consumer blueprint has changed thereby impacting on their fundamental behaviours, needs and requirements as shoppers. What are the implications for your business and what do you need to do to survive?
    • This generation are less interested in buying ‘things’ and far more interested in having ‘experiences’. How can we use our brands to deliver the kind of life experiences this generation expect, and add real value within the new emerging ‘Sharing Economy’?
    • If peer networks have overtaken the brand’s own voice in terms of relevance, how best can we build conversations with our target market in the future?


    Keynote by Speaker Ken Hughes

    Experiential Retail: The Need for 360 degree Shopper Engagement

    • We live in an experiential economy and we must be better at engaging the consumer in-store
    • Triggering interest and a purchase in-store is more important than any marketing activity
    • It is easy to forget this in this Ecommerce and online world we live in, but it is what will pay your wages
    • In this talk you will learn how to make the best of an in-store moment and how to make it more effective
    • Learn the shopper’s five senses and gain a better understanding of consumer psychology


    Keynote by Speaker Ken Hughes

    Shopper Marketing: You Have a New Boss

    • Today the shopper holds all the power – more than ever before
    • Learn why Shopper Centricity is no longer a choice for consumer goods organisations but an ethos to embrace.
    • Shopper Marketing is not just a strategy – it is a culture!
    • Discover where your focus as an organization truly lies


    Keynote by Speaker Ken Hughes

    We’re All a Little Bit Crazy: Harnessing Shopper Irrationality

    • Discover how you can influence the consumer to buy through neuromarketing and behavioural economics
    • It is time to challenge the traditional sales tools and utilise the understanding we have of what the human mind craves
    • Learn more about the irrationality of the human decision making


    Keynote by Speaker Ken Hughes

    Time Bending: How to Catalyze Creativity & Innovation

    • Learn why routine and a fear of failure encourage organisations to play it safe and never reach their innovation potential
    • See how play and risk are the true catalysts of personal and professional change and why we should do much more of both
    • Understand why corporate innovation requires personal eureka moments and how organisations need to encourage a sense of personal play
Ken Hughes - video

Time bending - 365 ways to unlock creativity and innovation by speaker Ken Hughes at TEDxUniversityofNicosia

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See keynotes with Ken Hughes

Interview with Ken Hughes

What do you gain personally from being a public speaker?

Speaking across all industries means that you get to see the different challenges facing each, but also the same questions. How to optimise the customer experience? What effect millennials will have on demand? How to achieve true consumer centricity.

As a speaker there is nothing better than hearing the buzz from delegates during the network break after your speech. Seeing delegates discussing your content, and energized to ask and hear more is always rewarding. I believe in energizing a room and so I am always satisfied when the client and delegates give that energy back.

Ultimately speaking is about good story telling and so having others tell your stories afterwards on Twitter and Linked In is also a great feedback loop. A good story is a story worth re-telling.

Do you have a favourite experience from your speaking career?

There are many. Voted best speaker at the Global eCommerce Summit this year was nice. But then so are the small intimate CEO events too. I guess the TED talk stands out as a time I really felt that connection with an audience and was my first standing ovation. You always remember the first time your speech made someone get to their feet. That stays with you.

What types of results do clients experience after your programmes & keynotes?

I describe myself as a thought-leader but a client recently challenged me on it and argued I was more of a ‘thought disruptor’. I like that idea. It is always easier to stick with what you know. Doing things the same way. Sometimes it takes someone outside your company, or industry, to make you see things differently.

I like to challenge delegates and clients to see things differently, positively disrupt the status quo and get more creative. If a delegate walks out of the room Energized to do things differently and given some tools to start, then that’s a good start for me.

What is the biggest challenge facing businesses today in terms of sales?

I guess that depends on the market and product really. One of my most booked speeches in 2015 was “The Digital Native Advance: The New Shopper DNA”. This looks at how the demands of the digital native and millennial consumer changes the game for every industry. The social and cultural shifts to do with hyper-connectivity, sharing, instant gratification and self-centricity & personalisation pose huge challenges for consumerism in general. Adapting to these changes is both a challenge and an opportunity.

Can you provide three tips for achieving a successful shopper marketing strategy?

If it was that easy I’d have sold the silver bullet and be living in the Bahamas!! But I guess you can’t get away from these three:

  • Base everything you do on a deep insight of your consumer and shopper. The more you understand how and why people buy and consume, the more relevant your offering.
  • Be obsessive with your customer experience. Today you are only as good as the last experience someone has had with your product or service, or the reviews they have read of someone else’s experience. Create experiential equity.
  • Have a heart. Brands that build brand love will succeed long term. Brands that have an authentic story and connect. Brands that deliver on personalisation. The days of mass marketing are over. You have to be able to connect 1-to-1 with your customer today, and do it genuinely. Otherwise you are just white noise.
See keynotes with Ken Hughes
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Keynote topics with Ken Hughes