"We will accept the challenge of being favourites," said Gatland, who will form part of Ian McGeechan's coaching staff when the Lions travel to South Africa in four months time.
"It is a new experience for a lot of coaches, as well as players, but hopefully, it will be something heaped on us more regularly and something we learn to handle because our ambition is to improve and become one of the top four or five teams in the world."
Wales begin their Six Nations campaign against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 8, with Gatland fully aware of the importance of a good start.
Having crashed out of the World Cup at the group stages, very little had been expected of the Welsh in last season's competition but victory over England at Twickenham gave them a platform to secure their second Grand Slam in four years.
"It will be very much like last year - win the first game and create momentum for success; lose that first game, and we come home to England and then away to France, and it could be a completely different story.
"We have to make sure we are mentally right for Scotland. We will have different pressures on us, perhaps a fear of failure, and the expectation is on us to go out there and perform."