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We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World Paperback – 4 Oct 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; Reprint edition (4 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230341632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230341630
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 1.9 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,708,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Named "Strategy + Business" best marketing book of 2011"Social media--viral, borderless--is the perfect vehicle to promote "contributory consumerism," and Mainwaring has fascinating suggestions for technological innovation and systemic change...the author's enthusiasm and evidence make an excellent (and counterintuitive) case for big business's ability to make major strides in creating a more equitable world."--"Publishers Weekly""Offers clearly written and well-informed solutions...A must-read for those who want to understand and engage the power and potential of social media to promote a healthier, more equitable world."--"Kirkus Reviews""Few understand the power of brands and consumers better than Simon Mainwaring. In We First he presents a truly compelling vision of how to transform that power to the benefit of society and the good of capitalism."--Jeff Jarvis, author of "What Would Google Do?" and New Media columnist for "The Guardian"""We First "lays out a movement to transform corporate America, providing plenty of food for thought for the business leaders of today and tomorrow."--Tony Hsieh, New York Times bestselling author of "Delivering Happiness" and CEO of Zappos.com, Inc."Simon Mainwaring shows how to use social technologies to create and deepen business relationships, which in turn drive profits. Put meaning back into your business by buying this book. Actually, buy two and give one away to someone who is also yearning to take their business to the next level."--Charlene Li, author of "Open Leadership and Founder of Altimeter Group""Simon is the new master of the 'three wins' - for your company, for you customers and for the planet. He shows us clearly that companies that mean more actually make more, turning customers into their most important evangelists. Today, values count as much as value, and Simon shows us how to find, foster and share the best of both."--Steve Hayden, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide"Simon Mainwaring

Book Description

An insightful look into the world of social media. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. T. R. Smyth on 10 Feb 2013
Format: Hardcover
We need a much more radical book than this. Mainwairing argues that we are manipulating the new media. I would argue that we are the ones in danger of being manipulated by "social media".
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 23 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A Very Important Book & Quite Possibly the Start of a Global Movement 7 Jun 2011
By Morgan Wells - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A lot of people have dreams of making an impact, and some even offer well-intended suggestions of what needs to be fixed. In his new book, We First, author and branding expert Simon Mainwaring actually shows us how. What I like most about this book is that it provides concrete solutions and plans for HOW to solve problems like world hunger, poverty and disease rather than just a diatribe of wishful thinking. And, what's more, it takes into account the fact that capitalist businesses are out to make profit. Period.

Because Mainwaring acknowledges the necessity of the profit motive rather than deploring it, the solutions he suggests are all the more believable. I mean, what business is going to turn away from big profits to sing Kumbaya? None. However, what businesses will do is pay attention to increasingly strong consumer demand for socially conscious and environmentally sound practices. As We First suggests, social media puts the power back in the hands of the ordinary consumer, and it also gives companies and brands the tools to connect directly with those consumers. So, profit is tied to purpose. Genius work from an expert who really knows what he's talking about in practical terms. This is not only going to be a very important book, but the start of a global movement.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Cleverly disguised political diatribe 10 Nov 2011
By The Marketing Guy Who Drives Sales -r - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Author Simon Mainwaring has written a book ostensibly to discuss how brands and consumers can change the world through the use of social media but instead delivers a lengthy political diatribe that describes how to bring about his version of global social justice.

The social media aspects of this book seem only incidental in Mainwaring's mission to create a global society of activists who "create reputational damage" to corporations using social media. Not all corporations mind you, just the ones he views as not living up to their social, ethical and/or moral contract with all global citizens of the world. This "fairness of rewards" for the global citizenship is a very high ideal indeed, and one that simply cannot be attained until there are equal outcomes for all people on the planet. If this seems like something other than a book about social media and branding then please place a gold star on your forehead and move to the head of the class. When the author sticks to the issue of using social media he delivers solid information but he seems rather stuck on the "why to" employ social media as an activist tactic rather than a "how to" go about using social media the proper way.

From the onset of the book the author tries (a little too hard) to convince us that he is not anti-capitalist but that he thinks capitalism could use a little freshening up or transformation. There is little evidence to suggest that he is anything but anti-capitalist as he then goes on and on (and on) about everything that is wrong with capitalism. It is clear the author stands firmly against capitalism and prefers a system that is more "morally-sustainable, ethically-sustainable" and "environmentally-sustainable." A system that transfers wealth to poorer nations, creates fairness of rewards on a global basis and ascribes to "universal values." He would like to see a world that "more fairly share[s] the spoils of wealth" to cure poverty, address global climate change and make up for unfair use of natural resources. You get the idea. The social media aspects of the book seem to get dwarfed by the call to action for social justice.

The author's prescription for the cure reveals interesting insights about where he is coming from. He offers us Three Pillars of Change that are: 1) Government 2) Philanthropy & NGO's and 3) Corporations/the private sector. It is noteworthy that he ordered these pillars the way he did. He points to the government as the primary driver of social change and makes it clear that he is enamored with executive branch power because of its ability to set and drive the social justice agenda of an entire government. As for corporations and the private sector? Well, the author tells us that they only act on their one-sided self-interest and they simply will not behave the right way unless a global band of activists also apply pressure on them to behave more morally using social media and any other tool at their disposal to create reputational damage to those firms with whom they disagree.

Had the author written [the bulk of the material] about how to use social media to put pressure on corporations so they behave in a transparent and socially responsible manner I think he would have been alright. He could have brought sole focus to the idea that companies simply cannot exist without pleasing their customers and it is up to customers to let companies know what they want and expect in terms of products and corporate behavior. He then could have made the emphasis of the book about how to use social media to achieve this result. After all, if consumers do not like the way a company behaves they are free to spread the word as widely as they can using social media and if there are enough like-minded people these companies will be either forced to change or go out of business because consumers will simply spend their money elsewhere. That, my friend, is what capitalism is all about. I ask you, what company can stay in business by acting exclusively in its own self-interest to the destruction of others without any paying customers?

I believe the author let his own politics get in the way of what could have been a very good and insightful book. He builds his case well and employs great depth in his arguments but missed the boat when he turns to a top-down, coercive, governmental and cooperative corporate/consumer/governmental partnerships approach under the guise of a book about social media which is inherently a bottom-up, grassroots approach.

If you like the idea of a "Happy Planet Index" replacing GDP, the idea that all wealth should be spread equally around the globe and the idea that governments should act in a coercive manner to bring about global social justice then you will love this book. Just bear in mind that you as a consumer using social media to apply pressure to companies are only a minor player in Mainwaring's plan.

If you have doubts about FDR's New Deal initiatives after the Great Depression (mentioned in the book) and other similar types of social engineering experiments or are uneasy around concepts such as global social justice, collective action to bring about fairness in rewards, social transformation and transfer of wealth throughout the global community then you'll have a hard time getting through this work.

It is skewed too much toward political/economic ideology and not enough on branding and social media. When he focuses on social media and corporate responsibility he excels but the message is dwarfed by the global call to action.

~~Review by the author of the e-book, "How to Build and Manage Your Brand (in sickness and in health)."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"We First" - Me First to We First / Social Media Drivers / Time Is Now - Today!!!... 10 Nov 2011
By Michael GreenGold - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
>>>..."We First" is a MustRead Future View, Vision & Think about how the Power of Social Media through Private Sector TeamWork of Brands & Consumers can Use Social Media to Create a New Version of Capitalism (MeFirst to WeFirst), etc. that will establish them as Partners in building a Better World, starting Now / Today!!!...Author Simon Mainwaring has put together 250+ pages of Knowledge, Context & Content that may facilitate the Intellectual & Behavioral shifts that must occur for the entire Private sector to come together as a third pillar of Social Change, working with governments and philanthropic organizations to advance the Well-Being of All!!!...>>> If this is of Interest to You, Your Journey begins Now!!!...
>>>..."We First" opens with a MustRead Dedication, Acknowledgments & Prologue!!!...>>>...Author Simon Mainwaring indicates that the First Half of "We First" / Chapters 1 to 5 examines why we need to change the thinking behind our current practice of Capitalism, while the Second Half of "We First" / Chapters 6 to 10 explains how we go about doing it!!!...
>>>...Chapters 01 to 05.
>>>...Chapter 01 - Transforming The Engine Of Capitalism.
>>>...Chapter 02 - Redefining Self-Interest From Me First To We First.
>>>...Chapter 03 - The Future of Profit Is Purpose.
>>>...Chapter 04 - Creating Sustainable Capitalism In Five Ways.
>>>...Chapter 05 - Instilling We First Values Into Capitalism.
>>>...Chapters 06 to 10.
>>>...Chapter 06 - Why The World Needs A Responsible Private Sector.
>>>...Chapter 07 - How Brands Build Their Business And A Better World.
>>>...Chapter 08 - How Consumers Build Responsible Brands And A Better World.
>>>...Chapter 09 - How Contributory Consumption Creates Sustainable Social Change.
>>>...Chapter 10 - The Global Brand Initiative : The Future Of The Private Sector.
>>>...In Closing, is a MustRead CallToAction Epilogue & Sections on Resources, Reference Guide of a Partial List of Leading Companies using Social Media to Build their Brand Communities & make a Positive Impact on the World, Notes, and the ever helpful Index!!!...
>>>...A Timely Thought...>>>Going Forward, If You Care...>>> Invest in Your PurchaseReview of "We First"...Now / Today...Remember We Are The Only Ones Who Will Build The World We Want!!!...Simon Mainwaring Invites Us To Join the We First Movement -(See Resources Page for Information, etc.)-...>>> There Is No Time To Waste!!!...Carpe Diem / Seize The Day!!!...Michael!We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Highly recommend for consumers and business thought leaders 24 July 2011
By Eric Jensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Simon Mainwaring makes a compelling argument for the need to redefine capitalism, factoring the social and environmental footprint into how we evaluate and support corporations. Social communication technologies provide consumers with an increasing array of tools fostering transparency and intentional, purpose-driven consumption.

At first I thought Mainwaring was preaching to the choir, but as I continued to read this thorough and well documented manifesto, I became more and more excited. There are many innovative examples and practical ideas here that can be applied by corporations, consumers, government agencies and non-profits to foster sustainable business practices and create a better world.

Highly recommended.

Eric Jensen
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A book not just thought leaders; but anyone old enough to comprehend the topics at hand! 22 Jun 2011
By Chris Ee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Put behavioral economics, corporate social responsibility and social media - Three topics causing quite a stir in the business community today; and you get "We First".

As a millennial myself growing up in the circumstances which Simon paints so vividly with facts and figures to support - I can say that this book has done a great job in assessing the mindset of the people in my generation. Some people of the older generation may insist that we have eroded moral values and have been greatly misguided by the monster known as the internet - but make no doubt about it. As much as our cultural and generational values change, we are no fools either.

Social media has been a great driving force in disseminating information,educating and shaping perceptions of people on the issues of the world today. It has been a platform for democratization in voicing out and fighting against the problems of the world that we have created as a society. I would not just recommend this book to thought leaders, but also to those who are old enough to comprehend the weight of the topics at hand as it may just shape the way they view things from a "Me First" - to a "We First" perspective.
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