Users, Not Customers: Who Really Determines the Success of Your Business

Aaron Shapiro, Author
Aaron Shapiro. Penguin/Portfolio, $26.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-59184-386-3
Reviewed on: 08/22/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
CEO of the digital marketing agency Huge, Shapiro argues that companies need to stop focusing on scrounging for the customer dollar in favor of improving a “user experience” that will keep prospective consumers engaged. In one generation, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in how we buy things; we are, in short (the eponymous), users not customers. Our engagement with brands goes far beyond merely purchasing a product or service; we’re more motivated by the ease and experience of our engagement with the brand, and the quality of a company’s digital presence. Shapiro discusses companies that have gotten it right (Hulu, Zipcar, Groupon) and those who have failed (Blockbuster, Borders), walking readers through becoming a truly user-first company: structuring the business, balancing goals with technical feasibility and consumer needs, creating social value, and attracting users by giving, not taking. Shapiro’s ideas are smart and perceptive, and his approach to strategy pleasingly concrete; he urges business owners to create a digital experience that’s in service of customers, not trying to trick them. A much-needed, incisive guide to creating a genuinely appealing digital presence. (Oct.)
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