Meet the Mindset team: Greer Hughes

At WGSN, our clients rely on our extensive network of industry experts, based in 15 regional offices to provide inspiration to a community of designers and thought leaders in 32 global markets.

Our Mindset team of consultants have sat on your side of the table. Their experience in different industries, design and research means they can deliver bespoke trend forecasts and analytics targeted to your business and its needs. We caught up with our EMEA Consultant Director, Greer Hughes to talk about her journey with the WGSN team, and what she’s excited about for the future.

Meet the team: Greer Hughes

When did you start working with WGSN?

I joined WGSN Hong Kong in 2013 by way of Stylesight, so have been here over seven years. This has flown by mainly because I’ve spent my time collaborating with our clients in different parts of Asia and around the world. After working in fashion design in the UK and Australia, living in Asia and moving into trend forecasting was a big change, but incredibly rewarding. After six and half years in Hong Kong and despite my love for dumplings and the sight of Victoria Harbour from the Star Ferry, I moved to London to lead our EMEA Mindset team. 

How has the move to London changed your work?

I feel incredibly fortunate for the experience of living in different countries and cultures throughout my life. It can be as simple as being able to relate to local references, even if it’s just pop culture or a type of food (growing up in New Zealand and the UK, I enjoyed TV gems such as Shortland Street and Grange Hill!), but also being able to balance this with a global perspective. My lifestyle, much like everyone else, has changed significantly and while I’m no longer on a plane every other week, I’m still working with clients on consumer insights or brand strategy projects, for diverse industries from food and drink, to automotive, gaming and beauty.

Do you find that the market trends in Europe are very different compared to Asia?

Asia is a region that will shape a lot of trends in the future, whether through digital innovation or the growing consumer base in countries such as China, India and Indonesia. European brands are having to understand these evolving consumers better, but also maintain a strong brand identity, which is sometimes filtered through distribution and franchise relationships where they don’t have direct retail. Many of our clients also recognise that a one size fits all approach doesn’t work for Europe, and partner with us to uncover consumer and market nuances between countries and even at a city level. 

Speaking of the future, as we always are, what future shift are you really excited for?

Understanding trends is essentially about capturing collective emotions and aspirations, and identifying the drivers of change that are creating these shifts. That’s never been more true or more important than right now and I’m really excited to see CSR initiatives being pulled out of the depths of corporate websites to the forefront of brands.

Innovation is needed not only in product design and services, but business models and internal structures, where health and wellbeing, inclusivity and sustainability have to effectively interweave throughout. For many this means needing support to do a deep dive to evaluate the purpose of their business and how to adapt their reason for being, beyond creating products. It’s a difficult, but crucial process to undertake to ensure future success.  

Find out more about the Mindset team, and how they can help your business. 

To understand how consumers will think, feel and shop in the future, download white paper Future Consumer 2022

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.

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