It's almost obvious when you think about it, but is the Grateful Dead an American brand now? Branding is the goal of most major bands, singers, actors and generally any business today, and while it wasn't as much of a thing when The Dead formed, they definitely fulfilled some major tenements to brand development without meaning to do so. They had a clear philosophy, they made sure that fans shared in it and they had their own look. We could argue that a lot of bands worked on brand-making before it was even a thing, but would Jerry Garcia be happy to be called a brand today?
Maybe not in the traditional sense, but I think he'd be proud knowing how much his music and his philosophy still resonates with fans today. Some say that theirs may be one of the greatest brands of the country, and I'm not sure how he'd feel about that news.
What do you think of the Dead as a brand?