Harley-Davidson: Customer-led Marketing to Revive a Cult Brand
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The case highlights the key problems faced by the company which include plummeting sales due to the global economic recession and the changing demographics of its purchasers. The median age of a Harley rider, which had been 35 years in 1987, went up to 47 in 2005 as the majority of Harley's core customers, the baby boomers, were aging. Due to shifting demographics, the company adopted a multi-generational and multi-cultural marketing strategy and decided to change its marketing approach from a "one size fits all" agency-based marketing approach to a customer-led model. The case discusses the company's shift from a traditional model to crowdsourcing wherein it could draw on the ideas of Harley fans around the world to guide the direction of marketing for the brand. It discusses the 'Creativity Model' and the crowdsourced advertising campaigns launched by the company as part of the new strategy. The case concludes by discussing whether the new customer-led marketing approach will be able to solve the company's problems related to the demographic shift and revive the cult brand.
The case will help the students:
Customer-led marketing; "one size fits all" agency-based marketing; customer-led model; Crowdsourcing; 'Creativity Model'; Cult brand; Demographics; Brand loyalty; differentiation; Focused differentiation; brand dilution; Unique selling proposition; Lifestyle; Brand image; Community; Multi-generational and multi-cultural marketing strategy; Harley Owners Group (HOG); Harley-Davidson; 'Fan Machine'; 'No Cages' campaign; Focus group
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