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‘Nudging’ Consumers Along: New Rotman-UTP Book Helps Organizations Solve the “Last Mile” Problem

August 18, 2015

Toronto - Most organizations spend much of their effort on the start of the value creation process: namely, creating a strategy, developing new products or services, and analyzing the market. They pay a lot less attention to the end: the crucial “last mile” where consumers come to their website, store, or sales representatives and make a choice.

In, The Last Mile: Creating Social and Economic Value from Behavioral Insights, a new book from Rotman-UTP Publishing, author Dilip Soman shows how to use insights from behavioral science in order to close that gap. Beginning with an introduction to the last mile problem and the concept of choice architecture, Soman, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, leads readers on a deep dive into the psychology of choice, money, and time. The book explains how to construct behavioral experiments and understand the data on preferences that they provide. Finally, it provides a range of practical tools with which to overcome common last mile difficulties.

The Last Mile helps lay readers not only to understand behavioral science, but to apply its lessons to their own organizations’ last mile problems, whether they work in business, government, or the non-profit sector. Appealing to anyone who was fascinated by Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s Nudge, or Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow but was not sure how those insights could be practically used, The Last Mile is full of solid, practical advice on how to put the lessons of behavioral science to work.

Select Advance Praise for The Last Mile

 “The Last Mile covers many areas in social psychology, judgement, and decision making, and it does so in a way that is easy to understand but never trivial. The scholarship here is absolutely top-notch.”  -- Simona Botti, Assistant Professor of Marketing, London Business School

The Last Mile is an engaging, sophisticated, and practical overview of how behavioral science can be applied to business, retail, and government. It skillfully weaves together findings from Soman’s own considerable and inventive research, with the punchy teaching style of an experienced business school professor. I’ve no doubt it will be a must-read for students in business schools across the world, and for anyone who wants to understand why, if they don’t let the last mile right, their grand strategies will fail.”  - David Halpern, Chief Executive, The Behavioural Insights Team, London, UK

“Dilip Soman teaches a course called Behavioral Economics in Action, which could also be the title for this book. The keywords being ‘in action.’ The writing is dynamic and fast paced. The insights are both important and fascinating. And all of it is.”  -- Sendhil Mullainathan, Professor of Economics, Harvard University

“There are many reasons why businesses succeed. But there is one quality which all highly successful businesses share: they have all cracked the last mile. Many otherwise admirable businesses – and government programs – have failed simply because they have overlooked this. It is a topic which has been neglected for far too long, and this wonderful book is years overdue.” -- R.H. Sutherland, Vice-Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Group UK

Dilip Soman is a professor of marketing and holds the Corus Chair in Communications Strategy at the Rotman School of Management. A behavioral scientist with a PhD from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, he is director of the University of Toronto’s India Innovation Institute and the coordinator of the Behavioural Economics in Action research cluster.

Publication Date: August 2015

296 pp | 978-1442650435| $34.95 |hardcover

Founded in 1901, University of Toronto Press (UTP) is Canada's leading scholarly publisher and one of the largest university presses in North America, releasing over 200 new scholarly, reference, and general-interest books each year, as well as maintaining a backlist of over 3500 titles in print. For more information, visit

The Rotman School of Management is located in the heart of Canada’s commercial and cultural capital and is part of the University of Toronto, one of the world’s top 20 research universities. The Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables our graduates to tackle today’s global business challenges.  For more information, visit


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