Harley davidson

Topics: Pages: 16 (3827 words) / Published: Nov 21st, 2013
NEAL J. ROESE AND MOHAN KOMPELLA ’13

KEL742

Harley-Davidson:
Chasing a New Generation of Customers
On a bright summer day in Milwaukee in July of 2007, Mark-Hans Richer, 40, stepped off his black motorcycle at the corporate headquarters of Harley-Davidson, the maker of his bike and keeper of one of the world’s best known brands. As he walked to the landmark red brick building he passed packs of gleaming Harleys and a number of Buells, Harley-Davidson’s smaller and sportier sister brand.
This not only was Richer’s first day as a chief marketing officer, it also was the first day
Harley-Davidson had ever employed a chief marketing officer. Yet why did such a strong brand need a CMO if it had never had one before? As Richer strode into his office he had no illusions about the motive behind his hiring: Harley-Davidson’s riders were aging, and the company saw this as a threat to its existence. Although Harley-Davidson had a record sales year in 2006 and had maintained a commanding share of the heavyweight motorcycle market for the previous decade, it needed to take new action to sustain its growth—action like investing in the kind of marketing it had not needed in its glory days.
As he sat in his new office and started studying the stacks of introductory binders, Richer knew what Harley-Davidson wanted from its investment in him—a new generation of riders and a more diverse customer base, all without losing current customers. He also knew he could not relax: the average tenure of a CMO in 2007 was only 27 months and a complete new product development cycle would take a minimum of four years.

History
William Harley and the Davidson brothers—Arthur, Walter, and William—founded the
Harley-Davidson Motor Company in 1903. The company competed against dozens of start-up motorcycle manufacturers and expanded rapidly, building motorcycles aimed at leisure, sport racing, police forces, delivery services, and the military. Time and economic

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