After near extinction Harley-Davidson has become one of the premier motorcycle manufacturers and distributors in the world. A primary driver in this success has been their attention to building the Harley-Davidson brand with attention to customer loyalty, specifically with the creation of a brand community of customers – the Harley Owners Group (HOG). Through HOG they have been able to connect with customers at the grass-roots level. Their sponsorship of regional and national HOG events has provided them with one-on-one access to their customers, resulting in strong, favorable, and unique associations for the Harley-Davidson brand.
In this case study we will address several key questions/issues: 1)Evaluate the Harley-Davidson strategy and performance in getting close to their customers 2)Determine the HOG role in developing community for the Harley-Davidson brand 3)Provide ideas on how HOG can be maximized, including how the Posse Ride should be positioned among the mix of activities 4)Indicate what steps can be taken to maximize the effectiveness and profitability of the Posse Ride, and other HOG events
Harley-Davidson and the Customer Experience
There is no consumer community that is more passionate about a product than that of Harley-Davidson owners. Through HOG-sponsored rides and rallies there is a sense of togetherness and challenge, which creates a strong bond between the customer and Harley-Davidson, as well as with other Harley owners. The customers have an opportunity to challenge themselves on scenic or adventuresome rides, along with a ‘rolling community’ of other Harley riders. These events provide a unique bonding experience with other Harley owners, resulting in a very strong brand community. One specific positive aspect of Harley-Davidson’s corporate interaction with the customers is the fact that the top management attends and participates in many of the HOG events. They are...