Category Archives: Internet Marketing

Grateful Dead Internet Marketing Lessons, Part 2

For Part 2 of Internet Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, let’s look at their Unique Selling Position.

This is a recording of The Grateful Dead from the Filmore East 4/29/71.

You can hear them doing a version of Uncle John’s Band, right, here:

The Grateful Dead offered their own, USP (Unique selling position).

As promoter Bill Graham said: “They’re not the best at what they do, they’re the only ones who do what they do”.

Like most performers, the Dead did tours of multiple cities, during the Spring and Fall. Most performers will bring the exact same show to each city. That is the same exact song list for each concert. Even the encore is the same.

Not so with the Dead. Each show was different and unique. You can hear the New York crowd go wild after this tune. Even Bill Graham asks: “Is there anyone like the Grateful Dead?”

The Dead’s USP was that they were different from most every other rock band. Their best shows were totally spontaneous. They would not play the same songs night after night, they mixed things up.

Not only were the songs different, each concert was a virtual marathon. Dead shows lasted an average of 4 hours (with a break between sets.)

When you attended a Grateful Dead concert, you knew you were getting you money’s worth.

You were not only going to a concert, you were going to an event.

So much so, that the crowd became a part of the concert. The fans of the Grateful Dead even named themselves Dead Heads. Some fans became so fanatical, they would follow the band from city to city for an entire tour.

The Dead knew this, and realized that this was part of their USP as well. Not that every concert was spectacular, because it wasn’t. With the Dead, sometimes the magic worked and sometimes, it didn’t.

So what’s your USP? Are you trying to define your self as different or are you just like everyone else?

Here’s the encore from the same show:

You can find additional concerts and Grateful Dead information, here:

Wolfgang's Vault - Where live music lives

Any Jimmy Buffet fans?
Jimmy Buffett Live at Record Plant, October 24, 1974 – Available for Download

Respectfully submitted,
Albert Grande

Internet Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead Part 1

Wolfgang's Vault

The Grateful Dead knew their niche.

The Grateful Dead was a rag-tag bunch of misfits and malcontnets. They weren’t the best musicians. They weren’t slick. They never had a “hit” record. And yet they were (and still are), wildly popular.

They became friends with famous artists such as Salvador Dali. Their fan base consisted of U.S. Senators, lawyers, doctors, professionals, and working people.

They went from giving free concerts to a multi-million dollar organization that employed several hundred staff members.

At one time, the Grateful Dead sold out the largest music venues in the country. Generally for two to three days at a time. Sometimes, twice a year.

The organization still makes a bundle to this very day, and yet they have not released any new music.

Lesson 1: Know your niche.

The Grateful Dead did not try to become all things to all people.

They knew early on, their appeal was very limited. While they released music albums, they got very little commercial radio air play.

They understood their audience and their audience understood them. The Dead’s model was to take their music to the people.

They become known through word of mouth. One person would go to a Grateful Dead concert, and they would tell their friends. Soon, they would tell their friends. And on and on.

Their shows became viral messages, as more and more people attended their concerts.

Through it all, they concentrated on their fans. They never tried to appeal to everyone.

The Grateful Dead understood their niche and put their energies in devloping that niche.

you can listen to a great version of Truckin”, right here. (Song starts after 20 second intro…)

End of Part One: Internet Marketing Lessons from The Graeful Dead.

Discover some other Dead music here:

Have a Jerry Christmas and a Happy New Weir,

albert grande
Pizza for Dead Heads

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