You are on page 1of 6


Building Brand Community for Harley Davidson
Analysis on the basis of Attitude Formation
Submitted To
Prof. Krishanu Rakshit

Submitted by:
Pranav Santurkar Rakesh Mishra Akshay Mahajan Anjanjot Singh Vinay Kumar

2) Rolling Rallies: These are rallies which have no fixed start or end point. access to the Fly and Ride program (rentals at 39 locations around the country). 1) Destination Rallies: These rallies are those which start and end at fixed points. the annual membership fee was an affordable 40$/ year. This was the roadmap of the firm‟s broad philosophy of getting close to the customer. the HOG was open to all Harley owners and was available for free for the first year. 1) Low Active Memberships 2) Low Customer Loyalty In order to generate large number of memberships. This membership entitled the members to a plethora of benefits including subscription to the Hog Tales magazine. Subsequent to this.O.The Harley Owners Group (HOG) The Harley Owners Group or HOG is a factory sponsored motorcycle enthusiast club established in 1983. They are also significantly lower on the cost side and have a high sense of adventure which appeals to the typical „‟macho‟‟ Harley owner. Unique local memorabilia add to the charm of rolling rallies. They are conducted at multiple locations across the country to attract the widely distributed cast of HOG members. There is a greater emphasis here on being constantly riding and serve as something greater than a weekend getaway which defines a destination rally. 2|Page . Its main aim was to negate the influence of outlaw bike-gangs as the face of the Harley Davidson brand and enhance the lifestyle experience of a Harley Davidson owner. insurance. Rallies were classified into the following two buckets. There is a greater impartment of brotherhood and togetherness as people from all over the country assemble together for these rallies and they are carried out over a longer time span. They motivate the riders to go through checkpoints by driving in a sense of completion and accomplishment.G Rallies The rallies organized by HOG serve as a vital tool for building the brand community by linking riders together. It appeals to a wide variety of character traits of members ranging from need for meeting new and different people to the sense of achievement of adding to their biking autobiography. This multi-beneficiary model led to a significant surge in the active members with a 75% renewal rate. roadside assistance. H. There was a great need to address two main issues with respect to the brand. Increase in the active membership also serves well for the Harley Davidson Motor Company because the annual value of every active member is almost 1000$ more than an inactive member. support of rallies as well as access to Harley Davidson memorabilia. They however are extremely labour intensive to produce because of multiple rallies going on at different places.

The first posse ride was devised as a coast to coast ride from Portland. This led to a sense of spontaneity and momentousness which became the face of the first Posse ride. As the riders take part in the Posse experience. A real challenge. The registration limit for this ride was increased to 400 to accommodate the increasing interest in the Posse Ride. This ride has been intended as a learning process for the riders as they are passionate about their Harleys and riding them. Posse rides were a clear indicator of the core Harley Davidson philosophies of success and tradition which led to the inception of a sequel to Posse 1. Persuasions and the Stories Based on various interviews conducted with some Harley riders. The ride is a crucial exercise to change the rating given to different attributes and also bring in new attitudes to the attribute mix. they were actively interested in coming for it because it was the ride and not the route which mattered for them. A survival mission where every rider would look out for the other. The members were an even mix of rally veterans and relative novices. Certain rituals like the story night and the Posse oath became rituals for all future posse rides. The number of registrations was restricted to 250 members to give the ride a sense of exclusivity.” Road to Nowhere”. The Posse rides thus went a long way in addressing the issues of customer loyalty faced by the firm. This very aptly epitomises the entire concept of the Posse Ride. they already have built in ratings for the various attributes that contribute to the overall Harley Brand equity. Maine. Most importantly it had to be a one up on the Route 66 rally” says Joe Dowd one of the pioneers of the posse ride. Though many members did not approve of the route for the 2nd ride. Analysis of the Posse Riders The riders of the Posse ride are an integral part of the whole concept and their attitudes and perception regarding the ride is what builds the brand community for Harley. We look at the Fishbein multi-attribute model which helps us to figure out the score a customer attributes to the various dimensions to the brand. while at the same time preserving the exclusivity of the ride. Riders of the Posse: Associations.Posse Rides The high adventure-low cost success recipe of the rolling rallies led to the inception of the iconic HOG Posse rides. The challenging paths and the long journey coupled with the story nights and oath taking led to a tremendous sense of camaraderie among the Posse riders. Oregon to Portland. Posse 2 was described as the border to border ride from Texas to North Dakota passing through the legendary. “We wanted it to be a religion. some of the key drivers for them to associate with Harley as a brand and Posse as an experience are:  Ride gives them a sense of camaraderie and a chance to share a journey with individuals who have similar reasons to be associated with a brand like Harley. As 3|Page . The ride will cement not only their initial perception about the brand but will also build new linkages.

These deeply held attitudes and perceptions about Harley are held because of its long standing lineage and its continued support of various rallies and gatherings and the continued efforts to make the Harley community feel special.  one of the riders. There is not one reason. the Posse ride represents an opportunity to break free and thus associating the brand with a carefree attitude. When asked to give a reason that why would you recommend Posse ride to someone. Some of the key persuasions that Harley riders hold about participating in the Posse ride which clearly encapsulate the understandings outlined above are: Challenge of the ride Convenient Vacation Persuaion to participate in Posse Ride Interest value of route and territory covered Opportunioty to develop friendships 4|Page . Also. bikers across different income levels etc. At the same time. For most of the riders. Also. old bikers. This translates into the intended behavior of Harley riders eagerly signing up for more than one Posse ride. Alan Landry says that “He considers himself to be Harley person”.” This statement clearly illustrates the deep associations and bonding that Harley owners have with their bikes which transcends across new bikers. “There is a patriotic sense that goes along with riding a Harley motorcycle”. For many riders. one of the values associated with it is that “Riding speaks of freedom”. as one of the Posse riders Richard Parry aptly summarizes. Barbara Hammet remarked: “If you have to ask you would not understand. the fact that a brand like Harley stands behind the biking culture gives you a sense of empowerment and pride. riding the Harley is a lifestyle in itself and only another Harley owner can understand it. the association with the group drives observational learning where the styles adopted by your co riders can influence the buying patterns as well.

objects of sexual domination. as Schouten and Alexander point out. our analysis of the messaging that Harley Davidson has used in its recent advertisements. Yet there are certain differences between the two groups of Harley riders that. at least in our analyses. The authors then go on to point that alienation of this “core” Harley user group might ultimately affect the Harley brand which has over the years been built on this “outlaw connection”. the house etc)4. advertisements for the brand highlight the distinctive sound of the engine and in one case is used to suggest liberation from the “noise” (manifested through overtones of news reports) around1. exhibiting shared emphasis on masculinity. The second class. at least in one subset of Harley riders. machismo is a defining facet of “Outlaws” which often manifests itself in the way women riders are treated in the clubs. In fact. This. which Schouten and Alexander refer to as the “Outlaws” are people who see Harley-Davidson as a way of life. the sound of the Harley Davidson and the spirituality of the riding experience cited by Schouten and Alexander highlight the importance of this schema of attitude formation amongst the Harley riders. points to this very conundrum. acceptance into the “club” in the case of the Outlaws is very selective as against in the case of enthusiasts (say the HOG) where in most cases ownership is sufficient for admission into the club. has translated to increasing alienation of the “Outlaws” from the brand with some of them complaining of Harley pricing them by favoring the enthusiasts. Typically. We believe that addressing this conundrum will be a very crucial aspect of the Harley Davidson‟s growth strategy in the years to come. The authors describe women as being relegated to being backseat riders and in extreme cases. women are empowered. these people do not fit the conventional mold of a Harley rider ( long beards. Thus. 5|Page . in the case of the “enthusiasts”.Non-Case Analysis of Attitudes of Harley riders A 1995 paper by Schouten and Alexander studied the defining traits and motivation of Harley Davidson riders identified at least two major sub-groups of Harley riders. Interestingly.e the Harley is a crucial part of the social identity. Such duality of attitudes could lead to cognitive dissonance. The first. Furthermore. include the rich urban bikers and the “Mom-and-Pop” bikers and bikers that belong to HOGs. Thus. Thus. bike-owners who are perceived on the same footing as their male counterparts. Another advertisement while ostensibly highlighting the masculinity of a Harley rider almost come off as self-deprecating in the portrayal ( the background music. Another common aspect across these two groups is that their attitudes are shaped by an experiential hierarchy. are becoming more prominent with time. blue-collar workers) yet are invested enough in the Harley experience. another shows a woman rider leading male rider3. the choice of the male model etc. A facet that is common to both these groups is that their attitudes stem from a “Value-expressive” function i. liberation and fraternity (amongst riders). while one advertisement objectifies the woman in highlighting the machoism of the Harley rider2. referred to as the “Enthusiasts”. On the other hand. while both groups of Harley riders exhibit a high degree of internalization there are substantial differences in their attitudes themselves. As Schouten and Alexander point out.. 5.REFERENCES Paper by Schouten and Alexander(attached externally) 6|Page .com/watch?v=kCAh1Q71XSE http://www. 4.