The Descriptive Marketing Mix of Harley Davidson – Covering all 7Ps

Updated on: Sep 13, 2021

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Harley Davidson is one of the well-known bike brands in the world. People carry pride with them when they ride it

It has been in the market for more than 110 years now but it has just grown every year with its incredible ways of marketing and managing its products for its customers.

Thus this makes us keen to know the marketing mix of Harley Davidson.

In this blog, we will be discussing the marketing mix of the company which will include the 4P’s which are Price, Place, Promotion, and Products.

Before we talk about its marketing mix let us first know about Harley Davidson as a company.

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About Harley Davidson

brand logo of Harley Davidson-Marketing mix of Harley Davidson of Harley Davidson -Marketing Mix of Harley Davidson ‌|‌ ‌IIDE

Harley-Davidson, Inc. is an American motorcycle company established in 1903 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Alongside Indian, to survive the great depression it was one of two major American motorcycle manufacturers.

The company has encountered subsidiary arrangements, periods of poor economic health and product quality, various ownership arrangements, and intense global competition. In this way, it has become one of the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturers and an iconic brand. It is widely known for its loyal audience.

Harley Davidson markets its product worldwide. It’s popular for its style and customization style. Under the Harley-Davidson brand, there are home décor and ornaments, accessories, toys, scale models of its motorcycles, also there are video games based on its motorcycle line and the community which is amazing. 

Recent News about Harley Davidson

Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) India Leadership Meet: A Gathering of Ideas, Awards, and Camaraderie

In a recent annual gathering, the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) India Leadership Meet successfully united teams from H.O.G. chapters nationwide for a dynamic exchange of ideas, awards, accolades, and the trademark H.O.G. camaraderie. All the people who attended this meet left feeling energized, ready to embrace another exciting year within the H.O.G. community.

Harley Davidson Partners with Long Way Up To Showcase their Commitment to Innovation and Sustainability

Harley Davidson recently joined forces with Long Way Up, an Apple+ documentary starring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman where the duo embarked on a journey from South America to Los Angeles riding electric Harley-Davidson LiveWires. 

To Attract Romers, Harley Davidson Launched Its Roam x Jason Momoa Lifestyle Collection

Harley Davidson has recently partnered with Jason Momoa, known for his portrayal of Aquaman, for their latest lifestyle collection, On The Roam x Harley-Davidson. This collection is specially designed for adventurous and free-spirited individuals who prefer a roaming lifestyle.

Target Audience of Harley Davidson

Traditionally, Harley Davidson’s target audience has always been mature riders between the ages of 40 to 60. However, according to recent trends, it has also started to target younger audiences, particularly those in their late 20s to early 40s. 

While the majority of Harley riders have been male, there has been a noticeable increase in female Harley riders in recent years. Given the premium quality of their bikes and products, their target audience comes from the middle to upper-middle class.

Here’s a detailed buyer persona for Harley Davidson:

Buyer’s Persona

Name:

Gopal Verma

Place:

Goa

Age:

36 years

Profession:

Firefighter

Motivation

  • Freedom and independence
  • Recognition
  • Adventure and Thrill

Interest & Hobbies

  • Bike ride on open road
  • Travelling to new places
  • Loud music
  • Sports
  • Workout

Pain Points

  • High cost
  • Safety concerns
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Lack of modern features
  • Maintenance and repair expenses

Social Media Presence

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter / X
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest

Let us now see the marketing mix of Harley Davidson.

Marketing Mix of Harley Davidson

Marketing Mix is a set of different techniques used in the company to pursue its marketing objectives in the target audience. 

The 7 Ps are Product, Price, Promotion, Place,  People, Process, and Physical Evidence which helps the company to stay relevant and flourish. 

Let us start by looking at the Product mix of Harley Davidson.

1. Product Strategy

Harley-Davidson has a limited product mix. Some of the most popular products by Harley-Davidson are its chopper/custom motorcycles. Its heavily built bikes and the thumping sound are its trademarks.

It also offers others product lines, such as engines and motorcycle parts, and accessories. It also provides garments and related merchandise under the MotorClothes brand. Harley-Davidson has diversified its business through a limited number of product lines, it is mostly focused on chopper/custom motorcycles.

These are some of the products that Harley-Davidson provides :

  1. Engines
  2. Motorcycles
  3. MotorClothes Merchandise and Collections
  4. Parts and Accessories (Ex- H-D’s Screamin’ Eagle brand)
  5. Rentals through Authorized H-D Rental Dealers

Product Differentiation

Customization – Innovation to secure competitiveness.

Style- Sole styles which can be customized

Durableness- Heavy-duty and long-lasting motorcycles.

Performance Quality- Reliable, mission-critical products.

Reliability- Custom-made motorbikes are made with quality and reliability as their core properties.

2. Price Strategy

Harley Davidson mainly deals in heavy-built frameworks and high displacement motors, it indicates and aims at a particular level of variety in its products. It has been providing high-quality products which lead to high costs making it a premium-priced product, and at the same time, directs at a particular segment or class of customers.

Nevertheless, due to this method, the company has even experienced certain difficulties and has gone through red periods in its profit curves, which were overcome by means of rightsizing and layoffs

The outcome is that Harley Davidson has the best positionings when it comes to names of premium Motorcycles. And a lot of this premium positioning is offered because of the price of the motorcycle.

3. Place and distribution strategy

The primary places for the distribution of the company’s products are Authorized Harley-Davidson dealers. 

If we talk about the majority of the firm’s revenues, which are generated through these dealers. Some of its dealers are also authorized to rent out Harley-Davidson motorcycles. 

The company’s online store lets its consumers place online orders for motorcycle parts and accessories, apparel, and other merchandise.

Harley Davidson has a selective distribution channel and its showrooms are mostly found in premium locations only.

Following are the places for distributing Harley Davidson’s products:

  1. Authorized H-D Dealers
  2. Harley-Davidson Online Store
  3. Authorized H-D Rental Dealers

4. Promotion Strategy

It has its first-ever overseas factory in Brazil: Taking benefit of the free economic zone in 1988, Harley Davidson was opened in Manaus. The location was placed to sell motorcycles in the southern hemisphere market.

To promote its brand Harley Davidson has been organizing rallies, cross country marathons, bike rides, etc. it has also been featured its bikes in movies and series making a wide large impact in people’s minds as a classy brand.

It has been promoting its products only in top magazines, newspapers, television shows, etc. It has been showing its brand as a model for enjoyment, friendship, and enjoying the journey of life.

The following strategies/tactics are contained in the promotional mix of Harley Davidson’s :

  1. Personal selling
  2. Sales promotion
  3. Public relations
  4. Direct marketing
  5. Advertising

5. People Strategy

People are an integral part of Harley-Davidson’s marketing mix. This not just includes their employees but also their customers who form dedicated communities HOG (Harley Owners Group). 

To provide their customer with exceptional service, Harley Davidson put tremendous efforts into training their staff. They always focus on creating a community and lifestyle around their brand. To create a sense of belonging among their customers they often arrange gatherings, meet-ups, and festivities centered around the biking lifestyle.

Marketing Mix of Harley Davidson - HOG Meetup 2024

Source: Harley-Davidson’s official Instagram Account

HOG (Harley Owners Group) is a perfect example of their customer-centric approach. Through shared biking experiences, events, and exclusive perks, they unite riders globally. This creates a strong bond between Harley-Davidson and its dedicated customers.

6. Process Strategy

Harley Davidson’s process strategy revolves around quality, customization, and lean manufacturing. Instead of solely focusing on the process, they prioritize on the impact of their products. They prioritize quality control at every stage, ensuring their motorcycles meet high standards. They also focus on being outcome-driven rather than process-driven. They aim to maximize their impact with limited resources. They never let perfection get in the way of process and pace.

Harley Davidson heavily focuses on providing a great experience to their customers when they are purchasing a Harley. From choosing a bike to customizing it and after-sales services, they make every step memorable and personalized for customers. To do this, the company invests in training its staff to provide exceptional service. All this helps Harley Davidson in delivering unique and high-value motorcycles while also maintaining a competitive edge in the market.

7. Physical Evidence Strategy

Harley Davidson’s physical evidence strategy is all about creating a tangible and immersive brand experience. This includes designing unique showrooms, motorcycle events, and merchandise that reflect the brand’s lifestyle and values, enhancing customer engagement and loyalty. 

Harley Davidson’s showrooms are more than just retail spaces. They are experiential hubs where visitors can experience the brand’s heritage and lifestyle. Their showrooms are often inspired by industrial architecture with exposed brick walls and vintage motorcycles on display. This helps them in creating a deeper connection with their customers by creating authenticity and nostalgia.

Marketing Mix of Harley Davidson - Harley Davidson Showroom

Motorcycle events are also a critical part of Harley Davidson’s physical evidence strategy. They sponsor and organize numerous rallies and gatherings throughout the year to bring riders together to celebrate their shared passion. These events provide them with many opportunities for community building, brand engagement, and product promotion.

Marketing Mix of Harley Davidson - Harley Davidson Parade Invitation Post

Source: Harley-Davidson’s official Instagram Account

Apart from showrooms and motorcycle events, Merchandise also plays a significant role in Harley-Davidson’s physical evidence strategy. This allows customers to express their Harley-Davidson identity in every aspect of their lives. From jackets and boots to helmets, keychains, and collectibles, Harley Davidson offers a wide range of branded apparel and accessories. This merchandise often consists of the brand’s logos and motifs and acts as a mobile billboard. 

Marketing Mix of Harley Davidson - Harley Davidson Merchandise

Source: harley-davidson.com

To put it simply, Harley Davidson’s physical evidence strategy is all about creating a holistic brand experience that resonates with customers on an emotional level. Through their showrooms, motorcycle events, and merchandise they not only position themselves as a motorcycle manufacturer but a lifestyle brand.

How does Harley Davidson use digital marketing in its strategy?

To connect with its audience and create a community around its brand, Harley Davidson has seamlessly integrated digital marketing into its marketing strategies. It uses many digital marketing strategies to increase its social media presence and increase its visibility on the SERP. Some of the digital marketing strategies used by Harley Davidson are as follows:

Facebook and Instagram Carousel Ads

In June 2016, Harley-Davidson launched various carousel ads on Facebook and Instagram titled ‘When the ocean calls, When hunger calls, Great outdoors.’ The goal of these ads was to widen its audience by targeting men aged between 18 and 35. Each of these ads used creative illustrations to present a unique story around motorcycles. 

Marketing Mix of Harley Davidson - Instagram Carousel Ad

Source: https://www.dobyda.com/

Within a few weeks of launching these ads, Harley Davidson managed to reach 1.4 million men in their target age group. They also managed to drive 8,365 clicks to their website further boosting their online engagement.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has been an integral part of Harley-Davidson’s marketing strategy for quite a long time. They often team up with influencers who have a passion for bikes and adventure. 

Their partnership with Jason Momoa is a great example of how influencer marketing can do wonders for a brand. By partnering with Jason Momoa, Harley Davidson has successfully reached a newer and more diverse audience who might not have previously considered exploring Harley-Davidson. 

Marketing Mix of Harley Davidson - Jason Momoa Endorsing Harley Davidson

Jason Momoa Endorcing Harley Davidson

Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing, also known as engagement marketing, focuses on creating a memorable experience for consumers. It is a process in which brands try to connect with customers via experiences, such as pop-up stores, short films, documentaries, and virtual events. It allows the audience to interact with a brand in the real world, often creating an emotional connection with them.

A great example of this is when Harley Davidson partnered with Long Way Up, an Apple+ documentary starring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. In this documentary series, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman traveled from South America to Los Angeles on electric Harley-Davidson LiveWires. 

By featuring its electric LiveWire in Long Way Up, Harley Davidson demonstrated its commitment to innovation and sustainability. It has also helped them in appealing to a consumers who are environmentally-conscious.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Just like any other company, Harley Davidson various SEO strategies on its website to show up at the #1 position, especially when people search for motorcycle-related topics. By using long-tail keywords they rank higher in specific searches, driving more qualified traffic to their site.

As per Ubersuggest data for December 2023, Harley Davidson ranks for 810,514 organic keywords in India and its organic traffic is 10,696,047 sessions per month. 

Marketing Mix of Harley Davidson - Ubersuggest Data

Source: Ubersuggest.com

Harley Davidson also gets backlinks from 73 unique domains. 

Content is also an integral part of Harley Davidson’s SEO strategy. From in-depth articles on how to maintain a motorcycle to interactive elements such as custom bike builders on their website, their content is tailored to effectively engage the audience. This not only helps them in increasing their page on time but also establishes Harley Davidson as a thought leader in the motorcycle domain.

All this increases the Domain Authority of Harley Davidson’s domain and helps it rank higher in the search results.

Top 5 Competitors of Harley Davidson

Yamaha Motorcycles

Founded in 1955, Yamaha Motorcycles is a Japan-based motorcycle manufacturer. It is one of the world’s leading brands that manufactures two-wheeler vehicles including motorcycles and scooters. To learn more about Yamaha, check out our Comprehensive S.W.O.T Analysis of Yamaha.

Ducati

Founded by Antonio Ducati and his three sons in 1926, Ducati initially started by manufacturing radio components such as vacuum tubes. They launched their first motorcycle right after the world war 2 in 1945. Today it is one of the most preferred motorcycle brands due to its excellent performance and unique style. To learn more about Ducati’s current and future development, check out our in-depth SWOT Analysis of Ducati.

BMW

Established in 1916 in Berlin, Germany, BMW is one of the leading brands in the automotive industry. It started producing motorcycles in 1923 and since then it has achieved a great sale across the years. 

Honda

Founded in September 24, 1948, in Japan, Honda is known for always being one step ahead of the market. It is one of the largest motorcycle manufacturers in the world that develops consumer-friendly sports bikes. One of the main reasons behind its success is its marketing research and development activities. To learn more about how Honda markets its products, check out our in-depth case study on Honda’s marketing and advertising strategy.

Kawasaki

Known for its sports bikes, Kawasaki is one of the major competitors of Harley Davidson especially in countries like India, Japan, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia. It is mostly known for its sports bikes but it also produces and exports various motorcycle components and spare parts. Recently it has diversified products and services by introducing various equipment for industrial plants, robots, and hydraulics.

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Conclusion

On the overall study of the marketing mix of Harley Davidson, we can see that it is a well-managed brand and has been increasing its expertise and brand value year after year.

It has a unique product strategy in the market. It provides the customers with the access to modify their vehicle’s looks as they decide. It provides different products and services related to its brand like merchandise and sent its bikes by dealers.

It has a premium pricing strategy for its products due to the quality of products and services they give and its brand name in the market.

It has a well-organized distribution channel. It has most of its showrooms in premium locations and has Harley Davidson dealers in all locations.

It has been promoting its brand in only necessary places like top magazines, newspapers, etc, and showing its vehicles in movies and series.

Wasn’t it interesting to know Harley Davidson’s marketing mix? Learn how to market your brand online using digital marketing check our website for more information.

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Thank you for reading the blog. We hope that you came to know something new about Harley Davidson’s 4 Ps Marketing Mix from this blog. 

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]

2 Comments

  1. Josh Voss

    Harley-Davidson’s marketing mix is a compelling blend of heritage, quality, and an iconic brand image. From their distinct product line to experiential marketing, they’ve mastered the art of creating desire. This blog dissects their strategy, offering valuable lessons for anyone looking to build a legendary brand in the market.

    Reply
  2. Josh Voss

    Harley-Davidson’s marketing mix is an inspiring blend of heritage and innovation. From iconic motorcycles to strategic pricing and engaging promotions, this blog brilliantly dissects how the brand maintains its legendary status. A captivating read for marketing enthusiasts and riders alike, showcasing the artistry behind Harley’s market dominance.

    Reply

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