Marketing by Giving It Away

Dead and Company has just released its summer tour schedule for 2020, and as the band continues to extend its legacy as what can be argued, love them or hate them, to be the most iconic rock band ever, it’s interesting to consider some of the things that keeps this marketing machine so well oiled.

There’s a lot we can learn from the journey of the band, and the values to which they adhered: improvisational playfulness, inclusiveness, community mindedness, to name just a few. Perhaps the single most notorious aspect that gets pointed out is how they created the freemium model, allowing fans to records and share tapes of their shows. Instead of trying to control this distribution network, they encouraged it, cementing their legacy in a manner that would have never been achieved by traditional sales alone. Indeed, much of our current social media culture is based on the same model.

To take an investigation of these principles further, consider these two fascinating books:

So, no need to wait for the deal to go down.


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