This article contributes to the emerging demand-side perspective in strategy by explaining the demand-side sources of the systematic performance differences (a) between firms that diversify to offer complementary products and those who choose not to diversify, and (b) across and within diversifying firms over time. The US Telecommunications Services sector during 1990–1996 provides a dynamic research setting to test our hypotheses concerning the value-generating effect of shared demand-side strategic assets across the diversifying firms' home- and target-market. We find that the overall quality of demand-side strategic assets of local telephone companies who chose to diversify to offer complementary long-distance services (to their local telephony customers) is higher than those who chose not to diversify. We also find that the variation in market-shares of the diversified local telephone companies in their respective target market(s) for complementary long-distance services is positively influenced by the quality of demand-side strategic assets deployed in the target markets.
Journal of Strategic Marketing. August 01, 2015.