Case Analysis 2: Harley-davidson MKT 201:001 Long Island University Angel Pagan November 17, 2012 Case Analysis 2: Harley-Davidson This case focuses on the iconic motorcycle brand of Harley-Davidson. Harley-Davidson is an American motorcycle manufacturing company founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since Harley-Davidson was established in 1903, the manufacturer has experienced its ups and down. It especially encounters struggles like any other automobile industry during economic downturns. On the verge of bankruptcy around 1980, Harley-Davidson made a surprising comeback.
This comeback was mainly a result of Harley-Davidson’s incorporation of customer services into its products, product differentiation through quality and design as well as focusing production on a consistently high level of quality. Today, the company’s annual worldwide sales total more than $4 billion worldwide and have an annual output of 200,000 motorcycles along 35 different models in seven product lines. With these results it is safe to say that Harley-Davidson dominates the U. S. motorcycle market and is also strong in Europe and Japan.
Harley-Davidson does a very good job at differentiating its product. In fact, product differentiation is the main component of Harley-Davidson’s marketing strategy. They want to offer a motorcycle like no other motorcycle on the market at the highest quality. Harley-Davidson not only stresses its level of quality but its consistency of quality as well. Quality refers to the overall characteristic of a product that allows it to perform as expected in satisfying customer needs. Therefore quality can be used to differentiate products because not all products satisfy the needs of the consumer.
Harley-Davidson offers many different lines of motorcycles including limited edition models as well as customization options. If the customer customizes the motorcycle then they should be getting exactly what they want at a high quality. Harley-Davidson emphasizes the consistency of quality as much as the level of quality because no matter how high the level of quality is, if it is not consistent then they will lose customers. For example, if you go to a restaurant that serves food the way you like it to be prepared only half of the time, it is likely that you will no longer go there.
Then word spreads to others and they are less likely to go to that restaurant too. The same goes for Harley-Davidson. They want to ensure that every motorcycle has a high quality to keep the customers satisfied and bring forth even more customers. They also offer financing and insurance which helps differentiate them from competitors even more. Harley-Davidson believes that customer service is an important part of the product. They help differentiate their product by offering customers training, warrantees, guarantees, repairs and accessories.
They want the customers to be comfortable with the employees and have a positive buying experience. Some dealers even take it a step further by offering a Rider’s Edge course. Since this course was offered at some dealerships, more than 150,000 people have graduated and earned a motorcycles license. This customer service section aims at the population of people who would like to buy a Harley-Davidson but do not know how to ride. They join these step-by-step courses with the employees and are on track to one day having their own Harley.
They also offer a line of bikes for women and teach women how to ride bikes, pick them up, and assist them with any information they need in the buying process. They even have founded the Harley Owens Group in order to instill a sense of community amongst riders. There are over 1 million members. They have access to certain benefits, group rides, members only website, exclusive magazines, and a special customer service hotline. They even offer free tours at four of its factories, not to mention the museum.
The Harley-Davidson museum is located in its headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The museum features exhibits from the company’s past products such as sample boats, bikes, snowmobiles and golf carts, to today’s models. They also highlight the company’s latest technologies, and inner workings of its new product development process. This museum may play a role in influencing how customers perceive the company and its products because they are able to see where the company has been, where they are, and where they want to be.
It also gives the potential customers a chance to experience what it would be like to be a Harley-Davidson owner. They even offer a virtual ride bike so that people can almost get a first hand glance at what it is like to own a bike. Harley-Davidson has a very wide marketing mix. They have bikes that attract people of different sizes, styles, age, and gender. They offer a very good bike at a price of $6,999 for beginners. They offer a line exclusively for women with smaller bikes and a wide variety of customizing products. They aim at creating a sense of individuality and freedom for the riders.
As a rider gets more experienced they can trade their bike in for a more advanced one if they feel it is necessary. They also offer different styles of bikes for those who are experienced. They range from cruisers to choppers to sports bikes. In total there are seven product lines with 35 different models. Therefore the product depth is 7 and its length is 35. Below is a list going into greater detail about the marketing mix. If I had to invent a brand name for a line of luxury motorcycles I would call it the American Eagle.
This brand name would especially appeal to the American market but would also be appealing worldwide. It implies a high American quality, which is luxurious and valuable and is consistent with the American lifestyle. Product • The major product is heavy weight motorcycle of 750 cc for working out on heavy roads. • A number of brands have been introduced in its century of age, and each one was very integrated, well equipped and up to date with respect to technological advancements (Johnstone, 1995). The hallmark productions of the company assisted it to acquire eagle mark for itself. • An excellent customer service is provided in case of any ambiguity, and customers are thoroughly guided for the upcoming brands. • Deals in branded motor bikes and other limited sector of open market. • Also deal in used bikes, there usable parts being repaired and introduced in the market at lower price range • Spare part market has also got their name at the top of the list. • Twin Cam engine is its major innovatory product. • They also offer services for repairing. Revolution engine is also introduced on their innovation lists. Price • Their prices are mostly maintained around a certain figure. • The major revenue sector is heavy bikes along with spare parts. • The company has been in crisis for few years as its market share dropped by 43 (%) percent. • The company is planning to eliminate its employees in the coming year for maintaining the company’s financial position (Wilson, 1993). • During the time of crisis the vehicle prices were suddenly increased but now it’s being hoped that they will be regulated. Place The company has acquired 358,000 square foot plant in Kansas City for the production of Dyna Glide, Sportster, and V-Rod models. • For assisting Latin American expansion n Assemly plant is located in Brazil. By establishing manufacturing units, a vast production was achieved (Margie, 2009). • Harley Davidson is also moving forward to export bikes in India as well to increase its production and export sector as well. • Harley Davidson also caters the motor bikes export in most parts of the world but it is not that much economical because of high custom duty for heavy machinery.
Promotion • Different marketing policies are being applied for the promotion of the company. • Lucky draws are timely introduced, while promoting its political frame. • Certain free services are announced for showing goodwill gestures on the new motor bikes sale. • Some times fares are also arranged for bulk sales, especially when there is low sale time. • Very attractive commercials are placed on different channels. • Most of the magazines in U. S promote the company by its good coverage. References Pride, W. M.. , & Ferrell, O.
C. , (2012). Foundations of Marketing. Pg. 77. Australia Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning (2012, ). H-D1™ Customization | Custom Motorcycles | Harley-Davidson USA. Retrieved. November 17, 2012, from http://www. harley-davidson. com/en_US/Content/Pages/H-D1_Customization/h-d1_cu stomization. html? locale=en_US&bmLocale=en_US (2011, March 8). Harley Davidson Marketing Mix | Marketing Mixx. Retrieved November 17, 2012, from http://marketingmixx. com/marketing-basics/marketing-mix/159-harley-davidson-marketing-mix. html