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Building Brand Community On The Harley Davidson Posse Ride T His Case Describes Marketing Techniques In The Motorcicle Industry, Particularly Harley Davidson

1272 words - 6 pages

Recommendations:1.Harley-Davidson should continue to sponsor HOG, and the Posse Rides.2.More resources should be spent on the Posse Rides to meet the rising expectations of participants.3.Dealerships should be more integrated into the Posse Rides.4.The Posse Rides should not be seen as direct profit centers.Reasoning:1.HOG has been phenomenally successful at attracting members and chapters. From nothing in 1983 it has grown to half a million members in 1,160 chapters. This is the core of Harley-Davidson's market and it is easily reachable through Hog Tales magazine. This is particularly important for Harley given that its customers are so varied making it hard to reach them through ...view middle of the document...

It allows these people to differentiate themselves from the larger group of Harley owners. The first Posse Ride was a big success, giving participants bragging rights that they promptly exercised on return to their HOG chapters. This word of mouth raised expectations for the sequel which, like many sequels, it failed to live up to.Participants expected their T-shirts stop after stop, and they expected to mingle with management to share their views. The results of the pre and post-ride surveys (see Exhibit 1) show high satisfaction with their bikes and the ride itself, but much lower satisfaction with HOG and Harley as a company, particularly afterwards. This is dangerous as it undermines brands loyalty. Barbara Hammet is right when she says "Harley certainly has enough money that if they have to eat a shirt or two, it shouldn't matter." Given the importance of T-shirts as souvenirs, or markers, to participants there is no excuse for not having enough on hand. If management had been paying attention on the 1st Posse they should know this. One has to ask why the mangers ride together at all? They can meet at the office, or have their own intra-office Posse. They should be seen to be part of the larger group. 400 people over ten days is not many people to 'meet and greet' for say, four managers. Mike Keefe defends management by saying "What they don't see is the research that occurs unobtrusively..." The end of his sentence is unimportant because if they do not see it, or more importantly feel it, it is worthless. The old axiom, 'If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right', applies here. Harley should spend more time and resources doing so.3.That the Posse Rides are worth doing should not be doubted. They are part of the brand image; a two-mile long rolling billboard for Harley. Seeing old and young, male and female Posse Riders traveling together projects an open, inclusive image for Harley. The Posses are advertising for Harley and its dealers and Harley should exploit this more. It should encourage, even subsidize, dealers to build on the Posse Rides in ways such as the dealer in Duluth did on the 1st Posse. Coordination with local TV and radio should be used to raise awareness and crowds. The dealer network...

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