Riding out the recession with Harley-Davidson

There is a fabulous book called Brand Sense by a jolly fella called Martin Lindstrom. Within its easy-to-scan pages, Lindstrom discusses how famous brands inspire loyalty beyond reason. To demonstrate his point he asked 2,000 people in 34 countries which company name they would consider having tattooed on their arm. In third place came Coca-Cola, in second Disney, but way ahead with 18.9 per cent was the brand Harley-Davidson. Is that particularly amazing? Well, sort of. Harley has stood for rebellious behaviour for 106 years. However, today, owning a Harley-Davidson has evolved into a different type of rebellion and it’s increasingly middle-aged.  In fact the average age of a Harley owner is 49 up from 42 five years ago. And this age group represents a double-edged sword. Critics of Harley-Davidson’s business model say by continuing to focus on an older demographic now struggling with credit crunch economics this loyal customer base is dwindling. However, supporters stress the high average household income of Harley riders (US$87,000 in America for example) and the many of millions of enthusiasts who continue to support the brand through rallies, tours, fund-raising and clubs. To read full story by Andy click on images above.

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