“Read this book if you want to build a business model of the future.”

Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of LinkedIn, Partner at Greylock, and co-author of Blitzscaling



Connected Strategy: Building Continuous Customer Relationships for Competitive Advantage

Imagine creating a superior customer experience by transforming occasional, episodic transactions into long-term, continuous relationships with satisfied, loyal customers – and imagine doing it while simultaneously driving dramatic improvements in operational efficiency.  This is the promise of a Connected Strategy.

In this book, you’ll learn how a Connected Strategy can break the current trade-off that firms are forced to make between superior customer experience and low cost. And you’ll learn how to formulate, design and implement a Connected Strategy for your own company.

in our book, we reveal the emergence of Connected Strategies as a new source of competitive advantage across a broad array of industries.  Amazon, Alibaba, Google, Nike, Disney, Progressive Insurance, McGraw-Hill Education, Medtronic, Apple, and Tencent are all developing and competing on Connected Strategies.

In showing how to create a connected strategy, we describe the four pathways – Respond-To-Desire, Curated Offering, Coach Behavior, and Automatic Execution – for turning occasional, episodic interactions into continuous relationships. Integrating rich examples, how-to advice, and tools in the form of “workshop chapters,” we guide you how to:

  • Reshape the connections with your customers
  • Find new ways to connect with existing suppliers while also activating new sources of capacity
  • Create the right revenue model
  • Make the best technology choices to support your strategy

 Consider a few examples: Disneyland, often times referred to as the happiest place on earth, might also be in the race for being one of the most connected places on earth. In the old days, when you visited Disneyland, you would purchase a ticket at the entrance to the park and then decide which rides and attractions would be fun to visit. When hungry, you would head to one of the restaurants. And, when faced with a long wait at Magic Mountain, you would simply decide to come back a couple of hours later. While rides and attractions have mostly stayed the same, technology now has redefined how Disney connects with the visitors. Well before the visit to the theme park, you now get mailed a MagicBand, a wearable device that serves as your entry ticket to the park, as a digital wallet paying for food and souvenirs, and a key to your hotel room. Now, when hungry, you place an electronic order. Thanks to location sensors, your food will find you. When lines get long, technology attempts to convince you that you really don’t want to go to Magic Mountain and instead nudges you to go to another corner of the park.

Text-books for college students have gone through a similar transformation. In the old days, students would buy or rent their text-book, read the assigned chapter (or at least intend to do so) and then prepare for their final exam by tackling a set of practice problems at the end of the book chapters. Now, McGraw Hill Higher Education, for example, has abandoned the word ‘book’ and instead aims to sell digital learning experiences. Not only are books fully digital, they are also smart. As students go through the semester, technology tracks their reading. When struggling with an assignment, the book redirects the student to the appropriate chapter and potentially offers a short pre-recorded video of how to handle a similar assignment. Professors no longer have to write exams, they just specify the content they want to test – the smart book creates the exam for them. Exams then, of course, are automatically graded and grades then submitted to the university’s academic records.

To understand these new business challenges and opportunities in a systematic way, we have developed a framework that allows you to map the new business models according to what kind of customer experience they create and how the firm is connected to the value chain around it. We then show how our framework can be used to create new business models that exploit the new technological opportunities that have made more connected strategies feasible.



Siggelkow and Terwiesch’s important book addresses the major transformation in how companies interact with customers in the digital era. This is reshaping almost every dimension on which companies compete, including customer information sharing and business models based on product usage versus conventional purchasing. The book provides a rich, accessible and actionable roadmap for understanding these important changes and their implications, which every company and its leadership team needs to understand and address.
Michael Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School

In a connected world, companies live and die on their ability to create great customer experiences. In this book, two leading experts on strategy and innovation team up to explore how to do that in a rapidly changing world. Their lively, practical book offers rich cases, evidence, and frameworks for gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage.
Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take

This insightful book blends real academic rigor with practical, step-by-step tools that can help you design innovative business models for the Networked Age. Connected Strategy shows how to leverage continuous connectivity and emerging AI to make deep relationships that benefit customers and businesses alike.  Read this book if you want to build a business model of the future.
Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of Linkedin, Partner at Greylock, and co-author of Blitzscaling

A timely and practical guide and a great resource for how to create deeper relationships with consumers. In today’s increasingly competitive environment, connected strategies that seamlessly link consumers, companies, and suppliers will be the future in many industries.
William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc.

In their brilliant new book, Nicolaj Siggelkow and Christian Terwiesch upend traditional thinking about how to build enduring customer relationships that create competitive advantage. What makes this book special—and a must read—is the combination of a novel way of thinking about customer relationships with specific, practical advice on how to implement these ideas. I just ordered a stack of copies for my colleagues!
William McNabb III, former Chief Executive of The Vanguard Group


Nicolaj Siggelkow is the David M. Knott Professor of Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is a Co-Director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management. Having spearheaded groundbreaking research on strategy, Nicolaj has been named a Fellow of the Strategic Management Society, the world’s leading association of strategy researchers. He has run strategy workshops for Fortune 500 organizations and small firms alike, helping develop and analyze their strategies.

Christian Terwiesch is the Andrew M. Heller Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is Co-director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management, and also holds a faculty appointment In Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. From small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, Christian has helped companies become more innovative, often by implementing innovation tournament events and by helping to restructure their innovation portfolio.



Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn where we frequently post articles related to Connected Strategy.

If you think your organization wants to buy a larger number of books, please let us know. We can help you get bulk discounts from the publisher. For really large orders, we would also be happy to add a phone consultation or webinar. Please contact us at siggelkow (at) wharton.upenn.edu or terwiesch (at) wharton.upenn.edu

For media inquiries, please contact: Mark Fortier at 212-675-6460 or mark (at) fortierpr.com