Coach April Sims

iCoach * iTeach *iInspire

Learn fan management from the dead: Grateful Dead

I remember as a child seeing Dead Heads (what Grateful Dead fans are called) camping out in nearby shopping centers for weeks waiting for the Grateful Dead to come to the U.S. Air Arena (located in maryland).

One thing I have come to find is marketing is marketing is marketing AND a good marketing plan can be used across several genres. The game stays the same, however the brands and products stay the same.

I came across an interesting blog that Hypebot wrote titled “Fan Management Lessons From The Grateful Dead.”

Here is an excerpt from that blog

 “The Dead’s influence on the business world may turn out to be a significant part of its legacy. Without intending to… the band pioneered ideas and practices that were subsequently embraced by corporate America. One was to focus intensely on its most loyal fans. It established a telephone hotline to alert them to its touring schedule…They incorporated early on, and established a board of directors…They founded a profitable merchandising division.”

But they weren’t greedy, and they adapted well. They famously permitted fans to tape their shows, ceding a major revenue source in potential record sales…the decision was not entirely selfless: it reflected a shrewd assessment that…


tape sharing would widen their audience, a ban would be unenforceable, and anyone inclined to tape a show would probably spend money elsewhere, such as on merchandise or tickets. The Dead became one of the most profitable bands of all time.

…the connection between the Internet and the Dead’s business model was made 15 years ago by the band’s lyricist, John Perry Barlow, who became an Internet guru. Writing in Wired in 1994, Barlow posited that in the information economy, “the best way to raise demand for your product is to give it away.” …we couldn’t regulate [taping at] our shows, and you can’t online. The Internet doesn’t behave that way. But here’s the thing: if I give my song away to 20 people, and they give it to 20 people, pretty soon everybody knows me, and my value as a creator is dramatically enhanced. That was the value proposition with the Dead.”

This goes to show that Karma is alive, well, breathing and kicking. If you treat your fans good, they will treat you good in return.

Many are in “the game” for fast money, which will make them a fast twinkle in the music industry’s eye.

When researching bands don’t research who you believe is on top. Research who has proven over and over again to be on the top of their game. In the music industry you can research groups like The Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, U2 and more.

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April Sims
Financial, Health and Wellness Coach
iCoach * iTeach * iInspire
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