Marketing of Harley Davidson

Essay by fletchkUniversity, Master'sA+, February 2004

download word file, 10 pages 3.4

Strategic Marketing, MKT 501

Module #1 - Case Assignment

"Harley Davidson Strategies and Tactics"

In 1903, the same year Henry Ford incorporated the Ford Motor Company and the Wright brothers flew, William Harley and his friends Arthur and Walter Davidson launched the Harley-Davidson Motor Company in Milwaukee, WI. The quintessential bad boy machine, their motorcycle has become an icon of American culture. More than a machine, Harley-Davidson has become a brand and a lifestyle. A Harley-Davidson is not just a motorcycle - "It's a revered American icon, a slap in the face to mainstream sensibilities, a club, a support group, a fantasy, a brotherhood, a religion, an obsession, something to believe in, an escape, and probably the best consumer product marketing device in history." The Harley-Davidson logo is as much a part of the world's image of America as Apple Pie, Baseball, blue jeans, McDonald's or Coke. The image is so powerful that companies with little or nothing to do with motorcycles (such as Rockwell International, Chevrolet, MTV, and Ford Motor Company) use Harley-Davidsons to add zip to their marketing.

You can buy a Harley-Davidson version of Monopoly for your kids, martini glasses, undergarments, memorabilia and even a black leather Harley jacket for your dog!

Harley-Davidson is the only major US maker and seller of heavyweight motorcycles nation-wide. They offer 24 models of touring and custom cycles and have held the largest share of the U.S. heavyweight motorcycle market since 1986. However, the Harley-Davidson of today does not limit itself to just sales of their bikes. They also sell a licensed line of clothing and accessories with the company logo. Recently attracting attention are the Harley-Davidson Cafes, which are located in various cities including New York City and Las Vegas. These successful restaurants provide Harley enthusiasts with great food,