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

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  140 ratings  ·  21 reviews

If you're still chasing customers online, you're looking at the challenge backward.

Aaron Shapiro helps companies build thriving digitally driven businesses. In his firm's extensive study of the Fortune 1000, a clear pattern emerged: the most successful companies drive sales by focusing on users instead of just customers. This is a fundamental strategic shift.


256 pages
Published October 27th 2011 by Portfolio
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 ·  140 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Pat Pujolas
Aug 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Essential reading for anyone in the advertising industry. Some of the case studies are starting to get dated or the companies have gone out of business, but the wisdom is there. If this had more personality or humor, I might give it four stars. But I definitely learned a few things.
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book really is a guide for how any business needs to evolve if they want to survive in the digital age. My work book club had the opportunity to discuss the book with Aaron Shapiro and everyone really enjoyed it. We work for an organization that is pretty conservative and old school so it really gave us something to think about. I liked the real life examples of companies that we all deal with on a day to day basis.
Martin Bihl
Oct 19, 2011 rated it liked it
please see my review on Advertising Age at:

you may also see it here:
Glauber Laender
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
O livro é muito bom, sobre como criar uma empresa user-first. Porém, peca pelo excesso de exemplos, que se fosse direto ao ponto, o livro teria a metade das páginas.
Oct 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Users: Not Consumers
Aaron Shapiro

Users: Not Consumers is designed as a manual for entrepreneurs and small business owners who are interested in establishing an online presence to attract new customers. Entrepreneurs and small business owners need to convince potential customers arriving at the new website to try the company’s product or service. Mr. Shapiro has evaluated 349 of the top companies comprising the Fortune 1000 ranging over 19 industries. By the end of the book, Mr. Shapiro expects t
Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Have you ever given up on a website because it was too difficult to use? Have you ever written a bad online review because your experience with a company was so terrible you just had to share it with the world? Have you ever thought of ways your own company could avoid these problems?

Aaron Shapiro, CEO of digital marketing and design company, HUGE, identified a list of Fortune 1,000 companies that were using digital technology effectively in order to illustrate why businesses should be focusing
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting book. He focuses mostly on for-profit companies but there is a lot non-profits can learn from it.

Mr. Shapiro's premise is that in this digital age, we as companies need to realize that our customers have because users, and that much of our business is done online and if the company does not have a good digital presence then there is a good chance they will lose the customer. He believes that the most sucessful companies create online experiences that leads their users
Clare Cannon
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book had so many good ideas it gave me heart palpitations... there are too many things I want to put into practice! Much of its content explained changes I'd already noticed but hadn't yet thought through the consequences of. Things like: the difference between a user and a customer; how to make sure the management in your company is directed towards users; building a concentric business around meeting user needs; the importance of disposable (modular) technology which can adapt and change; ...more
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
A great look at the necessity of creating a digital interface that is slick, simple, and joy-giving not just for your customers, but for all users of your business - staff, clients, job applicants, followers - any one who may come into contact with your businesses digital world.

The hard part in reading this as a librarian is that 1) I have little power to change anything in our digital world. 2) The library world does its very best to stay current and user-experience focused, but much of our dig
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads, business
This was an ok business book. Of course we all want better, faster online experiences but I didn't get much from the book. I did enjoy the parts on bilateral customer service and he did have plenty of good examples.

However, I think the correlations between the stories and his thoughts were often off. Sometimes authors study companies, find what is great and then share their findings (Good to great, seven habits), sometimes they think up something they think is innovative and try to force exampl
Shane Cormier
Nov 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book couldnt be more correct on the futures of how people shop. That first paragraph caught my attention so much I had to force myself to put it down each night so I could get sleep. I know that I personally will be using my smart phone for comparing prices more often now that my eyes have been opened at a new way to save money. :)
Jennifer Ware
Oct 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: goodreads
I received this book for free from This book would be very helpful for a business student or small business owner. I did learn a lot, got some helpful hints for my next garage sale or craft sale and learned some interesting facts about my two favorite companies, Target and
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design-thinking
Aaron Shapiro does an excellent job explaining why user-centric models are shaping the future successes of businesses.

I recommend reading although the 2nd half is more about implementation (and much slower/repetitive)
Troy Swinehart
Book #2 for 2013 - Another book that has been on my mind for awhile. I am curious how to apply this to da Vinci's Resume.

(RESTART after my summer of distractions with the new job and new house.)
Benjamin Holcomb
Oct 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I am currently reading – and enjoying – this immensely. Very thankful to have received this through the Goodreads First-Read program, and I will add to this review upon completion.
Oct 25, 2011 marked it as to-read
I won this book from the first reads giveaways and I am so excited to read it. Thanks.
Jose Papo
Dec 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting book that gives many examples about user experience and the power of digital.
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Okay business book he used a lot of great points that have been made by other people
Steven Ng
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
A good book!
Brenda Wolfe
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great and easy read
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