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Harley Davidson Marketing Strategies

Essay Topic: ,

In order for any company to survive, it must of course first and foremost be able to address the issue of its target market and what specific segregation of customers it must address. As already had been indicated by the case, Harley-Davidson’s situation is that it’s most prolific and profitable target market is getting out the generation and being removed from the industry of motorcycles and such products that Harley-Davidson addresses (Pugliese & Cagan, 2002).

However, this is not a complete hopeless scenario because, as has been sought by many other areas of business and management policies, there are specific marketing strategies which Harley-Davidson may be able to capture given that it adjusts his message. One specific target market were Harley-Davidson may be able to apply itself is the youth target market today. This may seem contrary to the current trends of the motorcycle industry.

However, specifically in the United States, it may be able to capture the teenage and adolescent age group by focusing on the traditional qualities while adjusting its message in order to capture the advertising segregation of this age group. Today, a large number of motorcycles that are being made or distributed in the United States for the youth and early adult market are motorcycles made in Japan, Korea, or other Asian economies.

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The most important and powerful market method of these products in the Asian region that are being exported to the United States is their low price range as compared to American motorcycles. Also, they are able to sell their services and goods because other than the prices, the competitors of these motorcycles in the American market — aside from Harley-Davidson — have not been able to adjust to popularity through methods of advertising because of the same reason that Harley-Davidson has address the specific target market over the years.

In order for Harley-Davidson to survive, it must be able to stress to the youth market that although such motorcycles that are imported from Asia from such companies are indeed cheap, the American market and industry must first and foremost also focus on only (Oliver, 1999). In fact, if it wishes to address this scenario, perhaps the advertising method that it could deliver to the youth is that motorcycles do not only have to have excellent visual quality but also build quality is low in order to ensure road safety.

Harley Davidson must not ignore the fact that motorcycles are still known to be the most dangerous vehicles especially in our transportation. Through such an advertising method of safety and sturdy build quality of Harley-Davidson products, the teenager market — and even the parent market who would theoretically be financing the motorcycles that are bought by the first-generation target market — may be convinced of the safety of motorcycles for their children (Bhattacharya, Rao, & Glynn, 1995).

We must remember that although the baby boomer age is in fact deteriorating over time together with the primary target market of Harley-Davidson, by addressing their children — who they themselves would be investing for the motorcycle purchase — a relatively related market segmentation may be addressed. Another target market which Harley-Davidson may be able to address and capture is a potential market of high income middle age individuals in the United States. This income brackets is the same for high-end vehicles such as Mercedes, Jaguar, and BMW.

Harley-Davidson has always focused on addressing a market that is able to afford the services and goods — and this is in fact already an existing target market of high income baby boomer generation. However, in the United States, the new high-end income brackets belong to ages between 30 to 40 years old and the company may be also to tap this potential market segment by focusing on a Harley-Davidson product being a Jaguar, Mercedes, or BMW of the motorcycle category.

We must also remember that this generation and market segmentation theoretically already have motor vehicles for transportation because of their high income abilities and a motorcycle may be used — at least adjusted in advertising — as a complementary vehicle and status symbol for their generation (Berry, 1995).

Although this 30 to 40 year old high income generation did not anymore belong to the baby boomer market, they are at least still the children of such baby boomers and when seeking advice to their fathers were purchasing a Harley-Davidson, such word-of-mouth marketing that focuses on quality and safety may again play as an advantage for the sales group. References: Berry, L. L. (1995). Relationship marketing of services—growing interest, emerging perspectives.

Journal of the Academy of marketing science, 23(4), 236–245. Bhattacharya, C. B. , Rao, H. , & Glynn, M. A. (1995). Understanding the bond of identification: An investigation of its correlates among art museum members. The Journal of Marketing, 46–57. Oliver, R. L. (1999). Whence consumer loyalty? The Journal of Marketing, 33–44. Pugliese, M. J. , & Cagan, J. (2002). Capturing a rebel: modeling the Harley-Davidson brand through a motorcycle shape grammar. Research in Engineering Design, 13(3), 139–156.

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