Harley-Davidson: Evolution of Marketing Strategy


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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTA014
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1997-2003
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Harley-Davidson
Industry : Motorcycle Industry
Countries : USA

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Excerpts Contd...

Leveraging the Brand

H-D believed its key strength lay in its brand image rather than technology. It had built its brand image by expressing the emotional bonding of American Youth.

H-D's Ex-President and CEO, Richard Teerlink said,

"The bike represents to America, the adventurous pioneer spirit, the wild west, having your own horse, and going where you want to go - the motorcycle takes on some attributes of the iron horse. It suggests personal freedom and independence. Brand loyalty for H-D is emotional.

The H-D's symbol is based on a pattern of association that includes the American flag and the eagle; reflective of the passion for freedom Americans enjoyed."

H-D measured brand loyalty by the percentage of men and women who tattooed the company's logo on their body. By that measure, H-D had the highest loyalty of any brand in the world. The most popular tattoo in the US was the H-D shield. Many H-D owners, even those who did not have tattoos, saw H-D as an important part of their identity.

The experience of riding an H-D, or even an association that came from wearing H-D clothing, was a way for some to express their individuality.

H-D had a vigorous global program of trademark registration and enforcement...

Looking Ahead

H-D's ambitious vision was to more than double its production for the company's 100th anniversary.

The company had decided on a 9.6 percent annual increase in motorcycle production to 289,000 in 2003...

Exhibits

Exhibits I: H-D: Demographic Profile of Customers
Exhibits II: H-D: Types of Motorcycles
Exhibits III: H-D: Market Share

 

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