Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 115–127 | Cite as

The penguin’s window: Corporate brands from an open-source perspective

  • Leyland F. Pitt
  • Richard T. Watson
  • Pierre Berthon
  • Donald Wynn
  • George Zinkhan


The open source (OS) movement allows us to re-vision corporate branding from a corporate to a coproducer perspective. Corporations own their brands and unilaterally determine their positioning and evolution. Power and control are centralized and hierarchical: producers produce brands, which customers then consume. With OS, power and control are radically decentralized and hierarchical: producers and consumers coalesce into “prosumers.” The authors introduce marketers to the OS phenomenon and develop a typology of brand aspects that can be “open” or “closed”: physical, textual, meaning, and experience. The authors elaborate new dimensions for brands and revisit the functions that brands perform and link these to the evolutionary trajectory of branding, arguing that OS represents a final phase in the evolution of corporate brands from closed to open brands. The article concludes with a research agenda.


brands open source brand typology prosumer brand function brand evolution 


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leyland F. Pitt
    • 1
  • Richard T. Watson
    • 2
  • Pierre Berthon
    • 3
  • Donald Wynn
    • 2
  • George Zinkhan
    • 2
  1. 1.Simon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  2. 2.University of GeorgiaUSA
  3. 3.Bentley CollegeWalthamUSA

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