Graeme Newell

Harley Davidson Case Study

Highlights:

  • Harley Davidson isn’t in the motorcycle business. Harley’s in the ego business.
  • Harley’s emotional marketing strategy is fairly simple – disrespect the powerful and all that’s socially correct.

One of my favorite emotional marketing brands is Harley, because Harley isn’t just a motorcycle. It’s a lifestyle where mostly rich, middle-aged men dress up in costume and pretend they’re outlaws.

harley-riders

Harley isn’t in the motorcycle business. Harley’s in the ego business. Harley is the very definition of rebellion.

That motorcycle gives the finger to bosses, wives and all the people who try to control these men. They’re outlaws at heart. Sure, they work for “the man” when they have to, but for a middle-aged white guy working in a cubicle, this the person they dream of being.

Harley’s emotional marketing strategy is fairly simple – disrespect the powerful and all that’s socially correct. Bosses are a favorite target.

Notice how they included the daughter in this commercial, that’s a nice touch, isn’t it?

 

harley-8744g
 

In a world of powerlessness and disrespect, a Harley man evens the score. His very presence inspires respect.

Did you realize what was going on in this commercial. Sometimes it takes a second to get it. If you didn’t catch it the first time, take a look again. That’s the husband hiding in the closet.

So what can we learn from Harley? That great emotional marketing starts with a careful evaluation of how the customer wants to feel about himself. Harley isn’t trying to recruit more motorcycle riders…they’re trying to recruit more outlaws, and motorcycles just happen to be the outlaw’s vehicle of choice. Is your marketing all about a product, or is it way to live?

[stm_post_comments]
[stm_sidebar sidebar=”1161″]

Leave a Comment