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Marketing Lessons From The Grateful Dead

Deadmarketing lessonsI recently got a great present from our son, Carl. It’s a book from two smart marketing guys, David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan called Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead. Carl is a smart boy and knew that by definition a book which combined two of my passions would be something I would like. In fact the only book that could top this would be Marketing lessons from the Dead and the Yankees.

I’ve long since said in earlier posts about the Grateful Dead that they understood the concept of social media long before the technology existed. The idea of community, sharing, becoming part of a movement and belonging are the bedrocks of social media. They have long been part of what the Grateful Dead stand for.

Interestingly the book is broken into 19 chapters, whose titles alone provide inspiration as follows:

PART ONE: THE BAND.
Chapter 1 Create a Unique Business Model.
Chapter 2 Choose Memorable Brand (and Band) Names.
Chapter 3 Build a Diverse Team.
Chapter 4 Be Yourself.
Chapter 5 Experiment, Experiment, Experiment.
Chapter 6 Embrace Technology.
Chapter 7 Establish a New Category.

PART TWO: THE FANS.
Chapter 8 Encourage Eccentricity.
Chapter 9 Bring People on an Odyssey.
Chapter 10 Put Fans in the Front Row.
Chapter 11 Build a Following.

PART THREE: THE BUSINESS.
Chapter 12 Cut Out the Middleman.
Chapter 13 Free Your Content.
Chapter 14 Be Spreadable.
Chapter 15 Upgrade to Premium.
Chapter 16 Loosen Up Your Brand.
Chapter 17 Partner with Entrepreneurs.
Chapter 18 Give Back.
Chapter 19 Do What You Love.

Each chapter also provides a “deep thought”/learning with relevance to marketing. Among the many thoughts here’s one that really nailed it:

The Grateful Dead teaches us that embracing technology enhances the creative process and drives success to the highest levels.

Powerful thought in today’s world that is not fully embraced by those who yearn for yesteryear and who think technology is evil. It’s interesting for a band with a 50 year heritage to be pioneers in thought leadership. In any event it’s a great book about a great band who continue to teach us lessons while bringing joy through their music. Thanks Carl




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