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Users, Not Customers: Who Really Determines the Success of Your Business [Kindle Edition]

Aaron Shapiro
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $12.99
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

If you still think “the customer is king,” you’re falling behind. Today’s most powerful growth engine is users—people who interact with a company through digital media and technology even if they have never spent a dime. Become indispensable to users and the profits will follow.
As CEO of the digital marketing agency HUGE, Aaron Shapiro goes inside blue-chip companies to advise them on how to thrive in this new business reality. He led an extensive study of the Fortune 1000 and found that the most successful companies focus on users first. Look at Facebook and Google. They built their businesses before they even figured out what they were selling, let alone who their customers were.
Shapiro argues that every business needs to stop obsessing about customers and start creating powerful user experiences. For instance: made the easiest and most effective interface for controlling your personal finances, and once there, you can follow ads that let you improve your financial performance even more. And Net_ ix took down Blockbuster by treating its subscribers as users, not customers. It continually changed and improved its technology to create the best possible experience instead of maximizing rental fees and late fees.

Editorial Reviews


Aaron Shapiro wants to take over the world


Aaron Shapiro wants to take over the world Gavin O'Malley A must-read for anyone seeking to integrate digital experiences with their products and services -- Ramon Casadesus-Masanell, Harvard Business School

Product Details

  • File Size: 955 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; Updated edition (October 27, 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XFYND8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,683 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Users and Stakeholders November 1, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought the Kindle edition and enjoyed reading it. Along with the new B Corporation [...] movement the author promotes serving users (stakeholders?) as well as customers primarily by advocating quality digital design in addition to the the businesses other forms like stores. The examples including JetBlue, Apple, American Express are mostly large businesses but Crutchfields in Charlottesville (one of my favorites)was mentioned as well. I would have also enjoyed some examples of universities, govt and some professional services focusing on users. This book is a good start on the subject of business design that will be a big part of business education in the future especially as the "Post Digitals" come on board.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a broad based Technologist by trade, it always surprises me when other professionals in my industries miss a huge paradigm shift. We are, after all, technologists. But sometimes we fail when we make subjective assessments about technology usefulness while ignoring the change it could make in the lives of its users.

I remember when Windows first came out and so many said it would never be allowed in their enterprise. It was wasteful with resources and the features weren't needed. The same people were saying that Local Area Networks were not needed as long as a floppy was available and a printer was close by. Then the internet came onto the scene and others like them could not see the value of email, or see what could justify the cost of getting good bandwidth (ISDN at the time) into their offices. Smartphone's were similarly dismissed as a young adult toy. I actually had a highly respected peer tell me after I purchased one of the very first Androids that the Google Android was a fluke and would die out soon. Now Android has taken over smartphone sales.

The sad thing about all of this is that many good people saw their careers fade into obscurity when they missed a technology curve. The pundits against windows were technologically obsolete when windows 3.1 came out and everyone adopted windows. A vast sea of top notch PC vendors who specialized in local support were relegated to commodity level vendors when Local Area Network houses started moving in and taking the high spot for local office technology support. Most of the executives that dismissed email and the Internet were no longer leading anything just a few years later. And smartphones, well that story tells itself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for anyone interesting in digital media November 17, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Users Not Customers is a fascinating exploration of what it takes for a business to succeed in the digital era. Shapiro provides numerous examples of companies who had the right digital strategy as well as cautionary tales of those that did not-- forming a comprehensive portrayal of what works and what doesn't. The book contains not only enlightening anecdotes but also actionable steps readers can take to ensure their businesses thrive online. On top of that, it's a great read. I highly recommend Users Not Customers to anyone looking to understand the digital space.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Transformational View of "Customers" February 4, 2012
Aaron Shapiro in "Users, Not Customers" offers an update on how to view our customers. Since the world - and it seems everything and everybody in it too - has gone digital, we need a refresh and new lens through which to view our customers. And here it is! This is a transformational view of the customer constituency, one that is non-partisan, meaning neither B2B nor B2C. It is universal, i.e., B2U. Shapiro's message is that, unless we incorporate all the various new 360º elements into our marketing perspective, we are missing out and will be on the way to obsolescence. It boils down to being a cultural issue. Customers, prospects and leads are still important but we can't be limited to these alone. We need to visit the total user experience and that now includes likes, fans, followers, contacts, influencers, favorites, page views, visitors, et al. Who is going on line? Where are they going and why? We need to think of everybody as "users" and make them happy so they will eventually become customers. And everybody does matter.Users, Not Customers: Who Really Determines the Success of Your Business
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The User's Always Right October 31, 2011
Users, Not Customers really got my brain charged with new ways to increase my business. Definitely worth the read. Reading Aaron Shapiro's book and Steve Job's biography in the same week is like drinking 20 cups of coffee at one sitting.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every marketer should use October 28, 2011
By scuppe
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I found this book to be a great guide for anyone in marketing. I will make it required reading at my company and suggest my clients read it, too.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring mindset, but very generic October 2, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Almost entirely focused on business to consumer, hence little relevance for b-2-b; there is little room for emotion in a world based on SAP or oracle.
Business cases mentioned are very generic and speculative, particularly about what caused companies to either fail or succeed.
And then, ironically, after all the preaching about user experience, a quantitative analysis ...
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More About the Author

Aaron Shapiro is the CEO of Huge, a digital marketing agency that helps global companies reimagine how they interact with their customers and manage their business in the online economy. Prior to Huge, Shapiro was a technology entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and management consultant. He lives in New York City.


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