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©2019 Lee Kuykendall

The Ask

What is the best strategy for Harley-Davidson to continue growth as the brand's consumer base ages?

Background

India is the fastest growing motorcycle market in the world with 25% growth year over year from 2014-2017. Harley-Davidson sales in India have been on the decline over that same period. In response, Harley-Davidson is releasing entry level, 250 and 500 cc motorcycle options beginning in 2019.

Research

  • Women are the fastest growing rider segment and economic group in India

  • Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) is not as popular per motorcycle sold as in U.S.

  • Category imagery heavily displays men as drivers and women as passengers

  • Royal Enfield is the established Indian brand, with the same "rebel" positioning as Harley-Davidson

Insight

Independent Indian women are their own brand of rebels.


These women are breaking hundreds of years of tradition by refusing arranged marriage, choosing to work, and supporting themselves. Transportation is one of the biggest hurdles for this group as they push toward independence.

Strategy

"Harley Davidson builds riders, not motorcycles."
Matthew Levatich
Harley-Davidson CEO

Tactics

1. Rebrand Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) to appeal to Indian women.

Why it matters:

  • Harley-Davidson's eagle and hog imagery have little positive connotation in Indian culture.

  • The three major religions in India avoid pork products as a matter of religious and cultural preference.

2. Position the rebranded riding group, the Bengal Riders, toward entry level female riders. 


Why it works:

  • The Bengal Tiger is the national animal of India and viewed as a national symbol.

  • In Hindu text, the warrior goddess of prosperity and dharma of good, Durga, rides a bengal tiger into battle.

  • India is the worlds most crowded two wheeled vehicle market and Harley-Davidson will be the first to appeal directly to women.

3. Sponsor and feature existing women riding groups in relaunch campaign.

   

   Why it's relevant:

  • These groups were originally formed for protection; they can become groups for expression.

  • The first women Harley-Davidson riders received national press; this relaunch will garner similar unpaid media.