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Harley Davidson

THE POSSE RIDE – A CONSUMER FIELD STUDY Arush Bhatnagar


Atharv Chauhan
Nitesh Panda
Utkarsh Vardhan
Harley Davidson – The H.O.G.
Community
 Harley Davidson, a giant in motorcycle manufacturing, needs no introduction!
 Formed Harley Owners Group (HOG) on 1983
 To control the influence of outlaw bikers gang
 Enhance Harley Davidson lifestyle experience and sense of freedom.
 First year free membership, initial applicants numbered to 33000.
 By 1999, numbers rose to half a million
 One third of HOG members participated in events organized by them
 Membership renewal rate is 75% per year
 Various chapters, local and international ones.
 Organise programs and benefits to Harley bike owners
 HOG rallies are organised throughout the year
 All international and local chapters reflect local values and interest but retain the essential ethos of
HOG organisation
Rolling Rallies
 Began with rider’s registration. Had special designed passports and checkpoint concept.
 1996 Route 66 rolling rally covered the historic highway that connected the rest of America to the
golden sands and Hollywood glitz and was attended by over 350 riders.
 Focus on riding as a major source of entertainment
 route selection for rallies > 'the road less travelled' theme.. more a sense of adventure’
 POSSE I
 1997, HOG national rally was being held in Portland, Oregon, when hog leadership, Mike Keefe, Joe Dowd
decided to ride coast to coast from Portland, Oregon to Portland, .Maine
 posse oath, tag along, few catch points

 POSSE II
 August 2000, Posse I success paved way for Posse II, this time border to border, South Padre, Texas to Canada.
 Wide range of people from all over the world.
 Case covers the impacts of the rallies that had on the brand building of Harley Davidson
Reasons for Harley Davidson’s iconic status
 Exclusivity
More than just a make of motorcycle
Building a brand into a cultural 

icon wasn’t easy, but the rewards  Clyde Fesseler, Vice President of business
development refers to the Harley Davidson
are immeasurable. Harley bikes as “iron horses”
Davidson is a brand that evolved  Riders believe that Harley riding and
into an icon organically over time participating in HOG is a life time
experience
in response to consumers’
interactions with the brand.  Lifestyle
Effective marketing supported  Lisa Landry says “It’s a mystique, a lifestyle
opposed to a brand”
that organic evolution.
 Culture
 Alan thinks of himself as Harley person, an
unspoken cultural understanding
Reasons for Harley Davidson’s iconic status

 A statement about who you are


 Social facilitator
 Lisa believes “ Harley is a social facilitator”
 Appeals to individuality
 Loyal customers
 Brand loyalty and high customer retention
 Focus on less travelled road
 Providing a sense of freedom and adventure
 Spontaneity in rides
Brand Community

Biker’s Need Benefits of long rides for riders


 Bikers want to live the Harley Davidson  Discovering landscapes – exploring the
Brand big country
 Common interest and passion for biking  Social facilitators – new friends, better
cultural understanding
 Share their feelings/experiences about
the ride  Thrills & excitements – challenging
experience
 Exclusivity fulfills the esteem needs
 Spontaneity factor – enhanced
experience due to uncertainty
 Memorials (T-shirts, tattoos etc.) –
preserved for a lifetime
 Freedom spirit – away from the routine
corporate life
Profile analysis of riders for Posse II
Huge difference in the perceived value of HarleyDavidson as a brand between male and
female as well as their views on Posse
o Male
o American Values/Patriotism
o Social Facilitator
o HD as a lifestyle over HD as a brand
o Female
o Empowerment
o Sense of community
o HD as a lifestyle over HD as a brand
Building brand community
 Membership includes-
 Formation of company-sponsored  Subscription of the company’s ‘Hog
H.O.G.(Harley Owners Group) Tales’ magazine
 Enhance Harley-Davidson lifestyle  Access to the ‘Fly & Ride’
experience program(allowing members to rent
 Bring the company closer to customers HarleyDavidsons’s at 39 locations
throughout the world)
 Neutralize the negative influence of the
outlaw biker gangs  Rider benefits such as insurance,
roadside assistance, rider-safety
 Free one-year membership with education
purchase of new bike
 Support of rallies that span throughout
 H.O.G. is supported on local, national, the year, around the globe
and international levels
 Sale of H-D accessories such as T-shirts,
 H-D facilitated local organization in the patches, pins, etc.
form of “Chapters”
Building brand community-
Result analysis
 Rating is on a scale of 7
Pre-ride Post-ride
I would sign for another long distance HOG rally 6.4 7  Loyalty towards Harley has seen a
rise because of the Posse rally
If I were to replace my bike, I'd buy another Harley 6.4 7
No one but Harley could put on an event like this 5.2 5.3  However, managing such a large-
scale event is difficult
I would recommend this ride to a friend 5.7 6.5

I feel a sense of kinship with other Harley owners 6 6.3  Some participants were
dissatisfied with the way it was
I have made lifelong friends because of Harley 6 6.2
organized-
My Harley says a lot about the kind of person I am 5.4 5.5
Harley really understands what riding is all about 6.1 5.2 • Days run could have been longer
I really understand what Harley's all about 5.7 5.5 • Hotel parties could have been
I am satisfied with HOG 5.7 5.1 better co-ordinated
My Harley is an integral part of my daily life 5.3 3.8
• Shortage of customized Posse rally
Harley really cares about me as a customer 5.1 4.8 Harley Davidson T-shirt
Harley really understands my needs 4.8 4.2
Observational Techniques – Field Study
 Combination of literature searches, experience surveys, and field observations
 The idea was to get a detailed, contextual view of the product and its usage in the
real world
 The researchers try to go out in the field and interact with the users of the product or
service. “to know about the customer, be the customer”
 This process can explain behaviours in terms of the usage of the product – customers
can find both pros and cons of the product.
Observational Techniques – Field
Study

Pros Cons
 No manipulation of the subjects of  Helps mainly to describe the usage of
study or the environment the product, insights from firm’s
perspective will have to be derived
 Researchers can gain insights in the
separately
natural environment in which the
product is used  Involves only a limited sample size
 Often non-intrusive (as far as possible)  Mis-management in delivery of
customized rally Harley Davidson T-
 Field observations are more effective
shirt and provision of certificates
as compared to laboratory
experiments.

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