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Harley Davidson Analysis

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Harley Davidson Analysis

We think it would be interesting to quote first Harley-Davidson's mission, in order to get a first approach of what is the purpose of the company from their point of view. The mission talks first about dreams, rather than motorcycles, which is what the public has in mind. This mission says:

"We fulfill dreams through the experience of motorcycling, by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public an expanding line of motorcycles and branded products and services in selected market segments."

We are going to see how their promotional strategy keeps the track of their mission statement, and how they try always to fulfill those dreams.

Harley-Davidson uses advertising and personnel selling for their promotional mix. The advertising that Harley-Davidson utilizes nationally are four to five television commercials a year. These commercials are institutional because they are advertising the company and not a specific product. They also have institutional advertisements in national magazines such as Road & Track, Popular Science, and Fortune as well as specific motorcycle magazines as Easy Rider. Locally, individual Harley-Davidson dealers advertise on the radio and through direct mail. Harley-Davidson uses personnel through their 595 dealerships located throughout the United States. A customer has to go to a dealership in order to purchase a motorcycle. While they are there they are attended to by sales people that answer any questions they have and help them pick out the motorcycle they want.

Harley-Davidson institutes a pull strategy in the promotion of the FXDS-CONV Dyna Convertible. Due to the limited number of dealerships (for example, there are only five in Nashville and the surrounding communities) customers must actively seek out a location to purchase this bike. Also, because so many customers decide to customize their Dyna Convertibles, they must place a special order with the dealer, who in turn must contact intermediaries along the distribution channel in order to satisfy the customer. Further, the fact that demand for Harley motorcycles far exceeds the supply indicates that a pull strategy is in place.

The mass media advertising implemented by Harley-Davidson is intended to reach as many members of the general public as possible. Generally, this type of advertisement is used because of its depth in effectively reaching people. These ads are intended to target both potential repeat customers as well as first time buyers. Locally, C&S Harley-Davidson uses direct mailings to specifically target previous owners of their motorcycles as well as owners of competing brands. The mailings are directed towards specific customers depending on what the message the dealership wants to convey. For instance, when C&S has a benefit picnic, they mail to previous Harley owners, but when a new model year comes out, they mail to their full list which includes both past Harley customers and customers of competing brands. Similar to marketing to the public, dealerships promote their models to institutional buyers through direct mailings. However, they also employ personal selling because it is cost effective to send a sales rep to the institutional buyer's headquarters due to the possibility of generating multiple sales at one time.

The purpose of Harley-Davidson's mass media advertising is to inform and remind. Harley-Davidson's advertisements are not usually geared towards a specific model such as the FXDS-CONV Dyna Convertible, but instead they focus on the allure and mystique of Harley ownership. For those who are unfamiliar with Harley-Davidson, these ads inform customers about the existence of the company and its main product. For those who have purchased Harley products in the past, these ads serve to remind them of the benefits they enjoy through their ownership. The purpose of Harley-Davidson's

personal selling is to persuade customers to purchase their motorcycles, parts, and accessories. A direct response is generated through the contact between the sales representative and the customer.

Harley-Davidson's promotion is designed to move customers from ignorance to awareness. Harley-Davidson's advertisements contain very little if any persuasive material on specific models or comparisons between other brands. Instead, they simply show the product in use in a typical setting. Because Harley-Davidson has built such a strong reputation over the years, much of their promotion occurs through word of mouth. At this stage in the company's long history their main promotional goal is simply to inform customers that the company still exists.

The advertising copy instituted by Harley-Davidson is particularly limited. Beyond simply mentioning the name of the company and the

location of the nearest dealership, no other written message is conveyed. Instead, the company focuses the customer's attention on the art

portion of the advertisement. Generally, this portion of the ad shows



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