Harley Davidson Case Study

Based on this case and other information about Harley at www.harley-davidson.com and other sources, what do you think are its major strengths and weaknesses? Strengths Harley is American made. Being an American, having a local dealer, local repair shop, and local customer service is everything to a buyer. It also happens to be the only heavyweight motorcycle to be completely made in America, which gives the buyer a sense of security and confidence in the product that they are buying. The core values of the company are refreshing. “Tell the truth, be fair, keep your promises, respect the individual, and encourage intellectual curiosity.” Those values alone will attract buyers because of the integrity in the statement. Harley has 33 different models of bikes for every price range and every style.

They offer bikes ranging from 6,000-34,000, as well custom made bike options. Harley also has over 600 dealerships, not to mention over 300 foreign dealerships (Harley-Davidson USA). Harley Davidson stands by its name, and also by its word of fulfilling dreams. In 2012 alone Harley donated overt 4.5 million dollars in charitable contributions. Vice President Tonit Callaway commented on the donations as follows “Our mission at The Harley-Davidson Foundation is to help meet the needs of the communities where we work (Yahoo Finance ).”

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Weaknesses
Harley’s prices are much higher then many of its competitors. Because their market has been directed towards a certain demographic for so long, it is harder for them to attract more diverse customers such as women, blacks, and Hispanics. What are several of the potential opportunities and threats facing Harley?

Opportunities
Harley’s potential opportunities are that they have a huge demographic that they have not reached yet (women, blacks, Hispanics), so if the firm can come up with a market strategy on how to market their bikes to attract hesitant customers, the profits and expansion could mean huge things for the company and its image. Unlike Many other motorcycle companies, Harley offers a sort of “family welcoming” when you buy one of their bikes. They have multiple clubs as well as events to support Harley riders. Many buyers who are new to the bike community might find this more inviting than buying from Harleys competitors who do not offer a welcoming package with their bike.

Threats

Harley’s main threat is its competitors. Harley’s bikes are thousands of dollars more than its main competitor, Honda. Price is a huge factor to Americans, especially with our current economical situation. Because Honda, as well as many other competitors, are thousands of dollar cheaper, many buyer might decide Harley is just too expensive. Does Harley have a clear and well-stated mission?

Harley’s mission statement is clear, concise, and directly to the point. Though it is short, it tells you exactly what you need to know and how the company feels about its product. It outlines the targeted audience, as well as its drive to help its customers experience the Harley Davidson experience. I feel the mission statement is very clear and well stated. In Terms of generic competitive strategies model, which of the four strategies does Harley appear to be following? Explain. Currently in Harleys’ market strategies and focus groups, I feel Harley is using the Differentiation Strategy. Harley is very focused on marketing to a specific brand of people and is working on expanding their market by expanding their line of bikes to attract the customers they were not attracting before. Harley is very focused on providing very distinct differences between every bike model they create, which in turn attracts a wide range of people. Because their bikes are known for their uniqueness, price is not as much of a factor when it comes to their loyal customers, which as the book describes it, helps eliminate price wars. Harley markets their bikes in a unique way and has created a major brand for what it means to be a Harley bike owner.

The clothes, as well as their commitment to their customers make their marketing strategy very effective. They also have created a family among bike owners. Not only do you get a bike, but you also get the invitation to be part of the “Harley Family”. What corporate-level diversification strategies are emphasized at Harley? I think the corporate strategy Harley uses in strategic business unit (SBU) because Harley has two main departments that provide the two main services for the firm. Harley has the Harley Davidson Motorcycle and The Harley Davidson Financial Service. Both have different objectives, mission statements, and services, but both are part of the Harley Davidson Company and firm. Both of the different branches have top-level management involved largely in the company’s advances.

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