Ken Hughes

Expertise: Consumer Behaviouralist
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Ken Hughes

Ken Hughes is now acknowledged as being one of the world’s leading authorities on consumer and shopper behaviour, internationally renowned for helping his largely blue-chip client base to understand the future of consumerism.

With over 18 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, shopper marketing, retail trends, the millennial and Gen Z shopper and the peer-to-peer economy. As an accomplished author, TED speaker, part-time university professor and actor, his performances are not only insightful and thought-provoking, but are infamous for their sheer energy, entertainment and passion, not to mention his generous Irish wit.

As a behaviouralist and life strategist, he is also passionate about change, success, personal development and motivation, which he brings to life in his work with high performance athletes and executives all over the world.
Every year, Ken shares his thought-disrupting insight with tens of thousands of delegates globally, as one of the most popular keynote speakers booked on the international conference circuit relating to the future of consumerism. Regularly voted best speaker at events to which he is invited to speak, he believes in engaging and delighting event attendees at every opportunity.
World’s leading Consumer & Shopper Behaviouralist.

In every crisis and change there is significant opportunity…. don’t be the victim of change, be the victor.

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 long time in the memories of
the delegates”  Fiona Jones – Google EMEA 

New Customer Experience Keynote:

Love is a Verb Embedding Connection in our ‘Digital First’ World

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.

In our new ‘digital first’ world (where most product/service interactions start digitally), it can all get very transactional. While digital convenience continues to accelerate (get everything you need in one-click, one-swipe, instantly) it can be very two-dimensional, and often lacks any depth, empathy or connection.

This speech takes the psychology of human relationship and maps it on to the customer experience. How can we expect customer lifetime value or brand loyalty unless we put the effort into building and maintaining a relationship? Brands claim to have Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, but what they actually have are Customer DATA Management (CDM) systems. Data doesn’t build relationships, actions do. Love is a Verb; it is something you show.

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.

Love is a Verb is designed as a speech to inspire and engage, to entertain and to challenge how we think about the nature of relationship and connection. It has been sculpted to tug at the heart-strings of an audience, to connect with them personally as well as professionally.

If we are serious about deepening our customer and employee relationships, we have to invest in emotional intelligence. It starts here.

Key Take-aways

  • For everything digital offers us, it also erodes potential depth of human connection and relationship which are key to building relationships.
  • Relationships are built over time and with significant effort. Brands need to re-think their KPIs and prioritize long-term relationship over short-term ‘satisfaction’ or NPS scores.
  • The 10 key components of healthy happy human relationships can easily be activated along a customer journey and employee experience. This is about the humanization of experience, regardless of technology.
  • Love languages are how we express and communicate that we care. In personal relationships we understand this, but in customer experience we seem to abandon the things that feel right in favour of profit or ease. Learn to live your love languages as a brand.

    If we are serious about trust, connection and authenticity (which are all strong key customer and societal values today) we need to embed them in how we do business. We need to make customers ‘feel’ something, that is how loyalty and trust are built. Emotional engagement is critical.

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