Here Is A List Of Top 20 Books That Every Entrepreneur Needs To Read To Better Understand Their Customers

By Steve Biko / Published August 21, 2023 | 9:24 am



Storytelling

Understanding the nature and behavior of customers is crucial for entrepreneurs looking to build successful businesses.

We have seen many great start-ups that have raised billions in capital failing because they did not understand the nature of their target clients. More than 4000 businesses are closing down every day in Kenya and the number is in hundreds of thousands across Africa.

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How best can we as entrepreneurs understand our clients and in the process understand the market? For me, the answer lies in reading and reading the right books. Here are my top 20 a must read books for any entrepreneur who is worth their salt;

  1. “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini

This classic explores the principles of persuasion, helping entrepreneurs grasp the psychology behind customer decisions and actions.

  1. “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman

Kahneman delves into the two systems of thinking that drive human behavior, aiding entrepreneurs in comprehending customer decision-making processes.

  1. “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely

Ariely explains how irrational behaviors shape consumer choices, providing entrepreneurs with a deeper understanding of customer behavior.

  1. “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products” by Nir Eyal

This book examines how to create products that become integral to customers’ lives by forming habits, giving entrepreneurs strategies to increase customer engagement.

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  1. “Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age” by Jonah Berger

Berger identifies the factors that make content or products go viral, enabling entrepreneurs to create marketing campaigns that resonate with customers.

  1. “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

The Heath brothers dissect why certain ideas stick in customers’ minds, helping entrepreneurs craft messages that resonate and endure.

  1. “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

This book introduces a strategic framework for creating uncontested market space, guiding entrepreneurs to understand and meet unfulfilled customer needs.

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  1. “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries

Ries introduces the concept of validated learning and a build-measure-learn feedback loop, assisting entrepreneurs in creating products that customers truly want.

  1. “The Innovator’s Dilemma” by Clayton M. Christensen

Christensen examines why successful companies often fail when confronted with disruptive innovation, giving entrepreneurs insights into evolving customer preferences.

  1. “Customer Centricity: Focus on the Right Customers for Strategic Advantage” by Peter Fader

Fader explores the concept of customer lifetime value and helps entrepreneurs identify and cater to high-value customers.

  1. “Customer Loyalty: How to Earn It, How to Keep It” by Jill Griffin

Griffin outlines strategies for cultivating lasting customer loyalty, providing entrepreneurs with tactics to build strong, long-term customer relationships.

  1. “The Experience Economy” by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore

Pine and Gilmore propose that businesses should create memorable experiences for customers, offering entrepreneurs strategies to enhance customer interactions.

  1. “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable” by Seth Godin

Godin emphasizes the importance of uniqueness in marketing and product development, guiding entrepreneurs to stand out and captivate customers.

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  1. “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey A. Moore

Moore presents a framework for understanding the adoption of innovative products, helping entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of transitioning from early adopters to mainstream customers.

  1. “The Art of Choosing” by Sheena Iyengar

Iyengar explores the psychology of choice and its impact on customer decision-making, equipping entrepreneurs with insights to optimize product offerings.

  1. “Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days” by Jake Knapp

Knapp outlines a process for rapid prototyping and testing ideas, assisting entrepreneurs in quickly validating customer preferences.

  1. “The Power of Moments” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

This book focuses on creating memorable customer experiences, providing entrepreneurs with techniques to make significant moments that customers cherish.

  1. “Competing on Analytics” by Thomas H. Davenport and Jeanne G. Harris

Davenport and Harris discuss how analytics can drive business success by uncovering customer insights and guiding entrepreneurs in leveraging data effectively.

  1. “Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth” by Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin

Baer and Lemin emphasize the role of customer conversations in marketing, offering entrepreneurs strategies to create remarkable talk triggers.

  1. “Jobs to be Done: Theory to Practice” by Anthony W. Ulwick

Ulwick introduces the Jobs-to-be-Done framework, helping entrepreneurs understand the core needs that customers seek to fulfill, leading to innovative product development.

These 20 books collectively provide entrepreneurs with a comprehensive toolkit to delve into the intricacies of customer behavior and successfully tailor their business strategies to meet customer needs. Unless we read and we travel a lot, we will forever fail. These two aspects of life allow us to move from our comfort zone and to aptly pick out our path deliberately.

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