The Marketing mix of Harley Davidson analyses the 4Ps of Harley Davidson, which includes the Product, Price, Place, and Promotion of Harley Davidson. The legacy of Harley Davidson began in the year 1903, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A., when two young and exuberant minds of two friends, William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson, started working on a project that was to overcome a hurdle of climbing hills on a cycle, in the nearby up hills.
To solve this situation, they planned to equip their cycle with a motorized engine. They utilized a garage space in the house of Mr. Davidson, where the very first engine with a capacity of 116 cc was developed and fit into a cycle.
What started as a mere experiment went on to become one of the most iconic brands in the motorcycle industry, which is sought after by people across age groups and borders alike and has created a niche for itself by providing out-of-the-box designs and the latest technology, constantly changing with times, and remaining abreast sometimes.
After more than 100 years since its inception, C.E.O Keith E. Wandell heads the company, has operations in almost all major countries across the globe, and has a strong employee base of more than 6000. This paper is focused on the marketing function of Harley Davidson and brings forth its marketing mix, highlighting re-mix and related public relations strategies.
About Harley Davidson
- Type: Motorcycle manufacturer
- Industry: Automotive
- Founded: 1903
- Founder: William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson
- Headquarters: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
- Area served: Worldwide
- Key people: Jochen Zeitz (Chairman) and Jochen Zeitz (CEO)
- Number of employees: 7,600
Table of Contents
Harley Davidson Product Strategy
From the very beginning, Harley Davidson has maintained a certain level of WOW factor in providing its bike models in the market and has always aimed at heavily built bikes that contain a strong engine, which gives both power and the motorcycle brand’s trademark thumping sound, which in a way is also its identity. Another trademark of Harley and harley davidson motorcycles are its design, which are customized as per the biker and there are so many unique bik designs that even the customer is spoilt for choice. All the designs are dashing and, most importantly, UNIQUE to Harley Davidson only.
These bikes are considered as “mean machines” that inspire awe and enchant millions with uniquely benchmarked shapes and designing. Harley Davidson is the icon of highway cruising bikes, which allow long stretch drives, inspired by the widespread road network of its parent company. Heavy and high displacement engines have been an inseparable part of Harley Davidson association, which have been known to bear any condition and outperform in severity. In all, they offer customers variety of models to choose from, apart from dealing with accessories, and engines, that can be traded cheaply, as the bikes are highly customizable and option windows are open to its customers and prospects.
Salient points for product in the marketing mix of Harley Davidson
- Motorcycles: Harley-Davidson offers various motorcycle models, each catering to different riding styles and preferences. These include: Cruiser bikes: Known for their iconic design and comfortable, laid-back riding style. Models like the Harley-Davidson Softail and Dyna series fall into this category; Touring bikes: Designed for long-distance riding and comfort. Popular models include the Harley-Davidson Road King, Street Glide, and Ultra Limited; Sportster: Entry-level and smaller-displacement motorcycles, often favored by newer riders. Models like the Harley-Davidson Iron 883 and Sportster 1200 are part of this category; Street bikes: Compact and urban-oriented motorcycles designed for city commuting. Examples include the Harley-Davidson Street 500 and Street 750.
- Parts and Accessories: Harley-Davidson offers a wide range of parts and accessories to customize and maintain their motorcycles. This includes aftermarket exhaust systems, seats, handlebars, and more.
- Apparel and Riding Gear: Harley-Davidson sells branded riding gear and apparel, including helmets, jackets, gloves, boots, and T-shirts.
- Merchandise: The company also licenses its brand for various merchandise, such as clothing, collectibles, and home decor items.
- Motorcycle Services: Harley-Davidson provides a range of services to support its customers, including maintenance and repair services, motorcycle customization, and rider training courses.
- Financial Services: Harley-Davidson offers financial services, including financing and insurance options for motorcycle buyers.
- Electric Motorcycles: Harley-Davidson had introduced electric motorcycles under the “LiveWire” brand. This marked their entry into the electric motorcycle market, reflecting a commitment to sustainability and innovation.
Harley Davidson Pricing Strategy
As the company’s motorcycles deal mainly in heavy-built chassis and high displacement engines, it denotes that it aims at a particular level of quality in its products and, simultaneously, at a specific segment or class of customers. Harley Davidson has always been an ultra-premium priced product for the motorcycle segment, and it makes no excuses.
However, due to this policy, to maximize sales revenues, the company’s products have experienced inevitable setbacks and have gone through red periods in its profit curves, which were overcome by rightsizing and layoffs. Still, it carries its bandwagon forward with similar strategies in pricing function. The effect is that Harley Davidson probably has the best position regarding the names of premium motorcycles. A lot of this premium positioning is attributed to the bike’s Price.
Salient points for Price in the marketing mix of Harley Davidson
- Premium Pricing Positioning: Harley-Davidson is positioned as a premium brand in the motorcycle industry, known for its iconic heritage and craftsmanship. As such, the company employs a premium pricing strategy that sets its motorcycles at a higher price point compared to many competitors.
- Price Skimming: Harley-Davidson often utilizes a price skimming strategy when introducing new models or limited-edition motorcycles. By initially setting higher prices for these exclusive offerings, the company caters to early adopters and enthusiasts willing to pay a premium for the latest and most unique Harley-Davidson products.
- Value-Based Pricing: Harley-Davidson strongly emphasizes value-based pricing, where the Price of their motorcycles reflects the tangible features and specifications and the intangible value associated with the Harley-Davidson lifestyle.
- Bundling and Accessories: Harley-Davidson often bundles its motorcycles with accessories, riding gear, and services, creating value for customers. This strategy allows them to justify higher price points while providing customers with a comprehensive riding experience.
- Economic Considerations: Harley-Davidson also takes economic factors into account when setting prices. Factors such as manufacturing costs, currency exchange rates, and market demand influence pricing decisions to ensure competitiveness while maintaining profitability.
- Seasonal Promotions: To stimulate sales during specific seasons or events, Harley-Davidson may offer promotional pricing, financing deals, or limited-time discounts.
Harley Davidson Place Strategy
An ideal place is where the customer is. This is undoubtedly the motto of any successful business strategist and market analyst, and in Harley Davidson, it seems this motto is being widely publicized and followed. Due to massive exposure that it has achieved with promotions, outdoor advertising, and media, and with time, Harley Davidson has got a fantastic brand equity, resulting in extensive demands from across the globe.
Furthermore, a rise in buying potential has given power to customers, and thus, it was likely that Harley Davidson decided to expand globally. It has been exporting bikes, motorcycle parts, and spares to most parts of the world for a very long time; however, it affects its pricing to a greater extent due to the involvement of tax structure and heavy custom duties, which in turn limits sales revenues this product to only the ardent fans or the growing markets.
Major strategic changes are made in production policies, and two major production units are now announced outside the home country, namely in India for the Asian market and Brazil, to cover distributions in Latin America, a prominent “Placement” competitive advantage for Harley Davidson.
1. Selective distribution
2. Showrooms are found in premium locations only.
Here are five key elements of Harley-Davidson’s place strategy:
- Dealership Network: Harley-Davidson has an extensive global network of authorized dealerships and retail outlets. These dealerships serve as primary points of contact for customers, offering sales, service, and parts to ensure a seamless customer experience.
- Brand Boutiques: Besides traditional dealerships, Harley-Davidson strategically establishes brand boutiques or flagship stores. These boutiques showcase the brand’s lifestyle and merchandise, reinforcing the Harley-Davidson experience beyond motorcycles.
- Online Presence: Recognizing the importance of e-commerce, Harley-Davidson has an online store where customers can purchase merchandise, parts, and accessories. They also utilize their website to provide product information, locate dealerships, and offer online shopping options for select products.
- International Presence: Harley-Davidson maintains a global presence by strategically locating dealerships and outlets in key international markets. This ensures that customers worldwide have access to their products and services.
- Event and Rally Participation: Harley-Davidson participates in motorcycle events and rallies worldwide. By attending and sponsoring these events, the company directly reaches its target audience, fosters brand loyalty, and creates opportunities for test rides and product showcases.
Harley Davidson Promotion Strategy
Promotion function has always been very strategically designed and intricately executed by Harley Davidson, which has maintained its class. Rather than going out and out in terms of promotion, it has carried out its campaigns in a very subtle manner by sensibly lpacing Harley bikes and displaying their muscle and glorifying them in movies and television series.
It has promoted rallies, bike ride tours, cross country marathon for Harley Davidson owners and introducing HOG (Harley-Davidson Owner’s Groups) culture, enticing new customers and promoting loyalty among current owners. Apart from these, it has organized sale fares, which promote heavy discounts in retail stores during times of low sales and constantly has been carrying out lucky draws and coupons for discounts on services, free services, and spare parts, making the promotion function innovative, classy and out of the box, with the complete package.
Because of the strong product portfolio, Harley Davidson does not believe in generalizing itself and therefore advertises only in the top of the line magazines, hoardings and print media vehicles. The primary pull for the various product lines is created through the product and the display of the product. Most importantly, Harley Davidson over the year stands for qualities such as strength, friendship, and enjoying the journey of life. Harley encourages its customers to take to the road and drive the bike to the fill of their heart. With such brand elements, it is hard not to become a top brand in the market.
Harley-Davidson employs a promotion at marketing strategy that leverages its iconic brand image and lifestyle association through digital marketing:
- Experiential Marketing: Hosting events, rallies, and test ride opportunities to immerse customers in the Harley-Davidson lifestyle.
- Content Marketing: Creating compelling online and offline content to engage and educate its audience about the brand’s heritage and products.
- Social Media and Influencer Marketing: Utilizing social platforms and partnering with influencers to connect with a broader, younger demographic and reinforce the Harley-Davidson community.
Some Recent Video ads and Print ads of Harley Davidson are:
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