HOW CAN YOU WALK AWAY AND NOT BE INSPIRED TO RIDE?
As a marketing professional I realize that I am more aware of branding than the average person on the street is. Yes… I am “that” guy who takes special interest in TV commercials, print advertisements, billboards, etc as well as other little positioning tactics like logo and product placement in TV shows and movies. The whole concept of successfully telling people what they like (blatantly or on the sly) and why they like it fascinates me to the point of obsession.
Well, after years of study and observation I’ve come to the conclusion that the masters at the game are the marketing geniuses behind the Bar and Shield at Harley-Davidson. Think about it. The Motorcompany has been selling essentially the same product for years now and people worldwide are standing in line to snatch them up. How do they do it you ask? Simple… they understand that they are not selling motorcycles but rather a “lifestyle”.
People don’t buy Harley-Davidson motorcycles because they are the best engineered 2-wheelers out there. They buy them because they want to own a Harley-Davidson! It’s big, it’s bad, it’s cool… and the company is not afraid to tell you as much!
And now, with a market bordering on over-saturation and an economy in the USA that is not cooperating with desired 30% per year growth spurts… the experts are at it again. What can they do to bolster slumping sales? How about targeting a wide-open group of new customers… the female motorcyclist. About a year ago, women only events started happening at H-D shops across the country and just recently a new ad campaign called “Inspire to Ride” was launched and in typical H-D fashion… it is top-notch!
They got 4 high profile women (Jillian Michaels of The Biggest Loser, recording artist Jewel, actress Tricia Helfer and successful businesswoman Deborah, Dimiceli) to pose for ads on Harleys in Vanity Fair… and tell their story of why they ride while simultaneously launching their self proclaimed campaign to “encourage 100,000 women to ride” in the month of May.
The materials include the ads (in Vanity Fair and others to come I’m sure), in store POP 6-page foldout flyers (as pictured here) and a killer video that is popping up all over the Internet. Now I know that some of my favorite female motorcycle bloggers don’t like targeted female marketing in the motorcycle industry but I have to say that I think this is another brilliant marketing move by H-D that will likely pay off big and allow them to expand their reach. I mean come on… check out the video below for yourself and tell me ladies… how can you walk away and not be inspired to ride?