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Harley Davidson

The Posse Ride – A Consumer Field Study

Arush Bhatnagar
Atharv Chauhan
Nitesh Panda
Utkarsh Vardhan
Harley Davidson – The H.O.G.
• Harley Davidson, a giant in motorcycle manufacturing, needs
no introduction!
• Formed Harley Owners Group (HOG) on 1983
• To control the influence of outlaw bikers gang
• Enhance Harley Davidson lifestyle experience and sense of
• First year free membership, initial applicants numbered to
• By 1999, numbers rose to half a million
• One third of HOG members participated in events organized
by them
• Membership renewal rate is 75% per year
• Various chapters, local and international ones.
• Organise programs and benefits to Harley bike owners
• HOG rallies are organised throughout the year
• All international and local chapters reflect local values and
interest but retain the essential ethos of HOG organisation
Rolling Rallies
• Began with rider’s registration. Had passports and checkpoint concept.
• 1996 Route 66 rolling rally covered the historic highway that connected the rest of America to the
golden sands and Hollywood glitz
• Focus on riding as a major source of entertainment
• For route selection > 'the road less travelled' theme.. more a sense of adventure
• 1997, HOG national rally was being held in Portland, Oregon, when hog leadership,
Mike Keefe, Joe Dowd decided to ride coast to coast from Portland, Oregon to
Portland, .Maine
• posse oath, tag along, few catch points
• June 1999, Posse I success paved way for Posse II, this time border to border, South
Padre, Texas to Canada.
• Wide range of people from all over the world.

Reasons for Harley Davidson’s iconic status
• Exclusivity
• More than just a make of motorcycle
• Clyde Fesseler, Vice President of business
Building a brand into a cultural icon development refers to the Harley Davidson
wasn’t easy, but the rewards are bikes as “iron horses”
immeasurable. Harley Davidson is a • Riders believe that Harley riding and
brand that evolved into an icon participating in HOG is a life time
organically over time in response to
consumers’ interactions with the brand. • Lifestyle
Effective marketing supported that • Lisa Landry says “It’s a mystique, a lifestyle
opposed to a brand”
organic evolution.
• Culture
• Alan thinks of himself as Harley person, an
unspoken cultural understanding
Reasons for Harley Davidson’s iconic status

A Social Appeals to Loyal Brand loyalty Focus on Providing a Spontaneity in

statement facilitator individuality customers and high less sense of rides
about who customer travelled freedom
you are retention road and
Brand Community

Biker’s Need Benefits of long rides for riders

• Bikers want to live the Harley Davidson Brand

• Discovering landscapes – exploring the big
• Common interest and passion for biking country
• Share their feelings/experiences about the ride • Social facilitators – new friends, better cultural
• Exclusivity fulfills the esteem needs understanding
• Thrills & excitements – challenging experience
• Spontaneity factor – enhanced experience due to
• Memorials (T-shirts, tattoos etc.) – preserved for a
• Freedom spirit – away from the routine corporate
Profile analysis of riders for Posse II
Huge difference in the perceived value of Harley-Davidson
as a brand between male and female as well as their views on Posse
o Male
o American Values/Patriotism
o Social Facilitator
o HD as a lifestyle over HD as a brand
o Female
o Empowerment
o Sense of community
o HD as a lifestyle over HD as a brand
Building brand community
• Formation of company-sponsored • Membership includes-
H.O.G.(Harley Owners Group)
• Subscription of the company’s ‘Hog Tales’
• Enhance Harley-Davidson lifestyle experience magazine
• Bring the company closer to customers • Access to the ‘Fly & Ride’ program(allowing
• Neutralize the negative influence of the outlaw members to rent Harley Davidsons's at 39
locations throughout the world)
biker gangs
• Free one-year membership with purchase of • Rider benefits such as insurance, roadside
new bike assistance, rider-safety education

• H.O.G. is supported on local, national, and • Support of rallies that span throughout the
international levels year, around the globe

• H-D facilitated local organization in the form of • Sale of H-D accessories such as T-shirts,
“Chapters” patches, pins, etc.
Building brand Pre-ride ride
I would sign for another long distance HOG rally 6.4 7
If I were to replace my bike, I'd buy another Harley 6.4 7
Result analysis No one but Harley could put on an event like this 5.2 5.3
I would recommend this ride to a friend 5.7 6.5
• Rating is on a scale of 7
I feel a sense of kinship with other Harley owners 6 6.3
• Loyalty towards Harley has seen
a rise because of the Posse rally I have made lifelong friends because of Harley 6 6.2
• However, managing such a large- My Harley says a lot about the kind of person I am 5.4 5.5
scale event is difficult
Harley really understands what riding is all about 6.1 5.2
• Some participants were
I really understand what Harley's all about 5.7 5.5
dissatisfied with the way it was
I am satisfied with HOG 5.7 5.1
• Days run could have been longer
My Harley is an integral part of my daily life 5.3 3.8
• Hotel parties could have been
Harley really cares about me as a customer 5.1 4.8
better coordinated
• Shortage of customized Posse Harley really understands my needs 4.8 4.2
rally Harley Davidson T-shirt
Techniques – Combination of The idea was to
get a detailed,
The researchers This process can
literature try to go out in explain
Field Study searches,
contextual view
of the product
the field and
interact with the
behaviours in
terms of the
surveys, and field and its usage in users of the usage of the
observations the real world product or product –
service. “to know customers can
about the find both pros and
customer, be the cons of the
customer” product.
Observational Techniques – Field Study

Pros Cons
• No manipulation of the subjects of study or the • Helps mainly to describe the usage of the
environment product, insights from firm’s perspective will
have to be derived separately
• Researchers can gain insights in the natural
environment in which the product is used • Involves only a limited sample size
• Field observations are more effective as • Documenting the observations in details is
compared to laboratory experiments. difficult.
• HARLEY-DAVIDSON should continue to sponsor the Posse Rides.
• It gives the riders a feeling of brotherhood.
• It spreads a positive word of mouth among potential new customers.
• Harley Davidson should allocate more budget to the Posse Rides.
• Harley Davidson management should try and rectify the issues faced during the Posse
• Deploy more employees and increase employee participation in such events.

Related Interests