Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson: Off the Road to Freedom Loud and Steady

Making a difference in the history of Motorbikes and setting a premium base in the market. Harley Davidson is a name that every rider knows and has a dream of riding it. 

In 1903, William Harley and Arthur Davidson founded the company named Harley Davidson in Milwaukee, USA. The shared passion for motorbikes led to the invention of this truly iconic motorbike. 

The first model was a single-cylinder, 40-cubic-inch engine with a speed of up to 60 miles per hour but couldn’t climb the hills.

Later on, working on the drawback they created a machine that had a bigger engine. In 1904, the model participated in motorcycle racing at State Fair Park in Milwaukee. 

And after winning the racing event, officially the model was launched in 1905. Later in 1906, they built a factory on Chestnut Street in Milwaukee producing 50 bikes annually. 

It slowly became popular and increased its production every year. At the end of the 1920s, it became the largest manufacturer of the motorbike industry. 

With the improved design, reliability and strength Harley Davidson served the US military with high production of new models. The overall sales increased, resulting in the growth of the company at that time. 

Whereas, in 1929, the dark days for Harley started as the Great Depression affected the price of stocks, reduced industrial production and increased the rate of poverty. 

But being a symbol of individualism and freedom for all the bikers; Harley Davidson somehow revived from this era by shifting its target audience. Then, they started to sell the bikes to the Police Departments. 

The product became popular among civilians and the military as well.

Again with the hit of World War II, Harley Davidson served the military with even more advanced design and strength. It received two Army-Navy E Awards in 1943 and 1945 respectively for “Excellence in Production.”

And with that, Harley Davidson became a lifestyle brand that even sold t-shirts, vests and jackets. People lived a lifestyle that even led to the creation of a club known as Harley Owners Group. 

The economic progress of the population and customer loyalty positively impacted the sales of the company. 

Despite surviving the recession, the brand somehow forgot to target the younger audience which led to the gradual downfall. Most of the customers of Harley Davidson were turning middle-aged which seemed to be a fall for the company. 

Likewise, the younger generation was unable to understand the ethos of the motorbike.

As the motorbike was too bulky and over-priced; the younger audience was not able to purchase it. This affected the overall sales of the company which made them reduce the price and work on restructuring.

It introduced models such as Street 500 and Street 750 to attract the younger groups. After some time, the company also introduced the Live Wire S2 Del Mar model which grabbed the attention of environmentally conscious people. 

Just staying in the same lane didn’t seem to work for Harley Davidson. So, to tap into the global opportunities it expanded its market in countries such as China, Switzerland, Italy, Thailand, Korea etc. The distribution had a great impact on international growth and created a strong customer base.

Operating in a global world is not an easy job, the company faced a lot of challenges during the journey. Some of the challenges were rising tariffs and the existence of competitors such as Ducati, Honda, Polaris, Royal Enfield and many more.

But somehow to sustain itself in the market it improved the quality & focused on diversification. This helped the company to stand in the competitive market and build a strong brand identity. Till now it stands as a symbol of freedom, individualism, adventure and status for most people. 

Harley Davidson‘s Marketing Strategies

To come all this way, Harley Davidson surely has implemented some marketing strategies that made them what they are today. So, let’s explore their key marketing strategies and tactics.

Building a Strong Brand Image 

By choosing the right target audience, this brand has built a strong image over the years. This iconic motorbike symbolizes freedom & strength.  So their customers are always the ones who want to be free and bold. More than that, Harley Davidson has crafted a lifestyle for its customers and connected with them.

Establishing Community 

When it comes to brand success, loyalty & interaction are the key components. The company recognizes that the customers share a common passion which led to the building of a community named the Harley Owners Group. Here, riders got an opportunity to share their experiences and even plan rides together.  

Various events and motorcycle rallies were conducted for charity purposes which made the rides a fundraiser-ride. Over the years, the community got bigger, having millions of members around the world. Hence, Harley Davidson solidified the bond between the enthusiasts and maintained brand loyalty among customers.

Collaboration with Public Figures 

To enhance its reach to a wider audience, Harley-Davidson endorsed celebrities. And while choosing the faces for promoting their bikes they became smart. The public figures included professional racers, stunt riders & actors such as Elvis Presley, Jason Momoa, Carey Hart etc. 

Harley Davidson now started to appear in movies, social media posts & events which caught the attention of even the younger generation. With this strategy, the company was able to showcase the unique features & capabilities of their products.

Product Differentiation

If you want to stand out in the market and differentiate, gaining a competitive advantage product differentiation is the way. And this was clearly understood by Harley Davidson offering customers a unique & customizable motorbike. The brand is known for its vintage styling, characteristic V-twin engines, and wide customization choices. 

Hence, this strategy sets HD apart from any other motorbike companies.

In the final analysis, we can say Harley Davidson has achieved remarkable success with these marketing tactics. Harley Davidson has truly established itself as an iconic motorcycle brand in the industry. From inspiring the bikers to reviving itself as a brand, Harley Davidson has come a long way!

By understanding the marketing strategies of this brand. We might have realized how developing powerful marketing strategies can serve a brand. 

Marketing strategies play a pivotal role in building a brand and community for your products and services. Are you ready to unfold the exciting chapter of your brand?

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Mangobyte digital is a 360 marketing solution provider for brands and businesses looking for digital marketing.
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