In 2004, Prahalad and Ramaswamy analyzed co-creation as a relatively new and critical development within the field of innovation. They provided examples of four building blocks by which co-creation occurs: dialogue, access, transparency and risk. In this article, we relate these elements to the phenomenon of branding, extending the building block framework, using the marketing concepts of brand community and brand co-creation. We use data from a longitudinal case study of the LEGO Group and its brand community LUGNET to derive propositions from our marketing-based reframing of co-creation. Our findings suggest a simplified model based on the dimensions of company/stakeholder engagement and organizational self-disclosure, which we recommend as central concerns to the developing theory of brand co-creation. We conclude by presenting the implications that our work suggests for brand management and brand governance, including the possibility that brands may allow society to regain control over massive international corporations lost during the recent period of globalization.
- Brands and branding
- Brand governance
- Company/stakeholder engagement
- Organizational self-disclosure