Harley Davidson Motor Company was founded by William Harley and Arthur, Walter and William Davidson. It is the producer and manufacturer of iconic and unique motorbikes, which are desired by millions of people around the globe. It is the most recognized company in motorcycle industry, creator of culture, lifestyle and tradition. It is one of few businesses which have gained the admiration and respect of consumers and competitors. History of Harley Davidson Motor Company started in 1901, when William and Arthur started building the engine that would suit into bicycle. In 1903 they introduced their first motorcycle, from that time company has been constantly growing and today it is considered as one of the most prestige motorcycle company in the world. From the very beginning the aim of the company was very clear, to become the leader in motorcycle industry and to produce the best quality motorcycles. Opinions whether company managed to reach this aim are contradictory, but undoubtedly Harley Davidson has become a legend. Harley Davidson is associated with freedom, adventure, wildness, self-expression and boldness. It’s mantra says “It is not a destination, it is a journey”. Harley Davidson has even it’s own road songs, produced in 1994, it turned out to be a great marketing strategy. After the album has been released, company gained more customers. One of the most popular songs is “Born to be wild”. This song has become a “soundtrack” of Harley Davidson Company. It describes the company’s culture and has become a legendary song. Harley Davidson has remained loyal to tradition and culture, it still represents the same values as it did in early 90’s.
Number one strength of Harley Davidson is loyal brand community. Harley Davidson has always been putting customers satisfaction as a priority. Customers remain loyal to the company not only because of high quality products and unique style of motorcycles, but also because of the image and values that Harley Davidson represents. The strength and power. Harley Davidson established the H.O.G (Harley Owners Group) organization. This organization has become a home for 750,000 members, who share passion and admiration for the brand. H.O.G is the example of how a brand is able to create a subculture. Harley Davidson promoted a wild, free lifestyle. People were and still are attracted to those ideas. By joining the H.O.G they felt the feeling of belonging to Harley’s bold culture. Especially in 90’s Harley’s ideas were extraordinary, people wanted to be the part of that unique community. Brand recognition, brand preference, brand insistence – Harley has successfully met all these criteria. It is world-wide recognized company, people tend to buy it’s motorcycles rather than other company’s and remain loyal to it. Harley Davidson expanded brand by producing accessories, like helmets, leather jackets, belts, which become a must for most of people who buy a Harley motorbike. Harley Davidson tend to build strong long-term relationships with it’s stakeholders, what relates in positive impact on the company. Being the only major American manufacturer of heavyweight motorcycles is highly beneficial for the company, as well as being the one of main manufacturer and user of V-engine configuration. Weaknesses
Strategy of competing of Harley Davidson focuses on design and quality of products, rather than on price. Therefore, products are expensive, which can be considered as a weakness. High price limits target market, as not everyone can afford the product. Harley Davidson as an American company focuses it’s market on the US. 67% of their revenue come from the United States. Depending on domestic market can lead company to failure. If the United States faces economic crisis, profit of the company will extremely fall. Although Harley’s motorbikes are high quality, competitors such as Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki seems to produce even better quality motorbikes. They are...
References: Harley-Davidson Australia/New Zealand (2012)
John W. Schouten (1993), Pages 389-393, Market Impact of A Consumption Subculture: the Harley-Davidson Mystique
Richard,A,C.(2004),‘Strategic Management: Case Analysis ’, Network world, http://www.scribd.com/doc/12517953/HarleyDavidson-Strategic-Analysis,(viewed 12 December 2012)
HARI PRAKASH.N.V (2004) Strategy management –Case analysis: Harley-Davidson
Wikinvest (2012) Harley-Davidson (HOG)
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