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BDM PROJECT REPORT

HARLEY DAVIDSON PERFUMES & COLOGNES - A FAILED BRAND & ITS REVIVAL STRATEGIES

SUBMITTED TO: Prof. SHAILENDRA BISHT

SUBMITTED BY: KHUSBU JAIN SNEHA SINHA VALLARI GUPTA BDM (Sec-F)

INTRODUCTION

COMPANY

Harley Davidson Inc, an American motorcycle manufacturer popularly known as H-D or Harley was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during the first decade of the 20th century. It was one of two major motorcycle manufacturers in America to survive the Great depression. Harley-Davidson as a brand has also survived a period of poor quality control and competition from Japanese bike makers. Harley Davidson sells heavyweight i.e. over 750 cc motorcycles which are exclusively designed for smooth riding on highways. Famous as they are for, Harley-Davidson motorcycles have a distinctive design and an exhaust note. They are basically known for heavy customization that give rise to the well known chopper style of motorcycles. Harley Davidson motorcycles reflect the styles of classic Harley designs. Harley Davidson's attempts to establish itself in the light motorcycle market have met with very limited success and have been abandoned since the 1978 sale of its Italian Aermacchi subsidiary. Harley-Davidson sustains a loyal brand community which stays active through clubs, events, and a museum. Licensing of the Harley-Davidson brand and logo accounted for a whopping $40 million (0.8%) of the company's net revenue in 2010. (Source: Wikipedia). HARLEY DAVIDSON: BRAND VALUE Freedom Go wherever you want to, whenever you want to. Authenticity Noted for the tradition of heavy customization, Oldest and quality name in manufacturing bikes.

Community Building HOG has 1.4 million members, Ride Planner to plan trips, HD Photo Center for posting photos of memorable trips.

Rituals Community festivals and monthly or annual rides/events are conducted regularly; buttons and pins from an activity/event are worn on jackets.

Masculinity Unique sound of the exhaust, association with icons in films. Toughness Rugged heavy design and look of the bikes.

HARLEY DAVIDSON PERFUME

While motorbike apparel (Motor clothes merchandise) and ornaments probably matched the Harley Davidson cult heritage brand, the company had lost focus. In the 1990s, it extended the brand too far. It introduced products like wine coolers, aftershave and perfumes. Even the loyal fans did not like the idea, as it did not resonate with the tough brand identity. The customers of the renowned brand wanted strong bikes and accessories that complimented the brand, but ties and infant clothes went too far. The company was clearly not focusing on what it knew best building strong bikes. Activities like cruise biking were good initiatives by the company to involve the customer and enhance brand loyalty. However, Perfumes and wine coolers were eroding the mystery of the H-D brand. After strong criticism from the loyal customers, the company pulled of many inappropriate products. H-D had learnt a branding lesson. More products did not mean more revenue and overextending the brand meant a short-term focus. Harley Davidson has a powerful image that is deeply engrained into the American psyche. People think of the company and imagine a manly biker dressed in a black leather vest riding down a stretch of open road, the wind blowing through his hair, tattoos on his arms, a shotgun by his side, and Born to be Wild blaring loudly in the background. People usually dont

think of majestic fragrances to dab upon their neck before picking up some flowers and going out on a date. That didnt stop Harley Davidson from releasing a perfume line to the masses. They believed that their brand name would be sufficient to draw in customers, failing to grasp that most people didnt want to smell like a biker whos been chased by the police for three days. As such, sales were pretty horrible, and the product line was discontinued. Although the bottles could still be found on EBay, it might be simpler to just stop showering altogether.

Harley Davidson Perfume Types

Women's Harley Davidson Destiny Perfume

Harley Davidson Cologne: Men's Harley Davidson Destiny Cologne

Harley Davidson Cologne

Harley Davidson Cool Spirit Cologne

Harley Davidson Free Cologne

Harley Davidson Hot Road Cologne

His Destiny Cologne

KEY ATTRIBUTES CONTRIBUTING TO CURRENT AND POTENTIAL BRAND EQUITY Sui generis as it is, in various magazines, conferences, and in his own famous online newsletter, Saatchi and Saatchis worldwide chief executive officer, Kevin Roberts, has magnificently talked about the mythology of the brand, which very well reflects the key attributes of the brand Harley Davidson. According to him, the most powerful brands are outstandingly those which have built their own mythology, or rather, have helped their loyal customers to build their own mythology, which is unique in itself. Harley Davidson is unanimously termed as the brand with has perhaps got more mythology attached to it than any other brand in the same league. Its indeed a cult, per se. Rather, a story in itself which defies time and the saga of what can be termed as a brand. Needless to mention, Harley Davidson owners arent just loyal. They simply love the brand. They do not care whether the motorcycles they ride are of the best in terms of technology or that they may be prone to the occasional oil leakage. What matters to them is the biker myth the freedom of the open road, and all its macho connotations. This myth is vividly conjured in the book Hells Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club by Sonny Barger (the original Hells Angel). In a chapter entitled, Harleys, Choppers, Full Dressers and Stolen Wheels, Barger writes: What its really about with a Harley Davidson is the sound ... everybody loves that rumble. Another thing Harley owners really crave about their bikes is the low-end torque, the raw power coming out of the gate. To portray the feelings of the brand among its customers, it runs out pretty quick once the maestro gets past ninety miles an hour. Most Harley riders dont care about high speed, theyd rather have the low-end torque, the one that gurgles down in their groin and gives them the feeling of power. The Japanese bikes have the power, but they dont quite have the feeling of power. These unique attributes make Harley Davidson a religion in itself with a strong power of community belongingness amidst all odds.

Talking about the appeal of the brand as an attribute in the minds of the customers, the appeal of the Harley Davidson is essentially masculine and its customers take brand loyalty to the extreme level. Indeed, many testosterone-charged Harley owners even tattoo the name Harley Davidson and imagery onto their bodies. COMPANY TRYING TO CAPITALIZE ON THE BRAND EQUITY The company has attempted to capitalize on this unique strength of feeling towards the brand, by pushing the Harley Davidson chain of shops selling a wide variety of branded merchandise Harley Davidson T-shirts, socks, cigarette lighters and ornaments. While Harley Davidsons core fans may have accused the company of Disignifying the brand, the real problem occurred when Harley Davidson attached its name to a range of aftershaves and perfumes. For lovers of the motorcycle, this was an extension just too far, and there came out a disconnect, absolutely unacceptable by the community, which takes the pride of being the soul of the brand. Harley Davidson had fallen into the trap of thinking that more products results in more sales. And it usually does, at least in the short term. But, this type of strategy had created negative consequences in the long term for Harley Davidson. The major questions that hunt the very existence of the brand are 1. Is the brand built today in order to move merchandise tomorrow? Or 2. Is the brand expanded today in order to move the goods today and see it decline tomorrow? A point is quite clear here, that line extension, variable pricing, mega-branding and a host of other sophisticated marketing techniques are being used to milk brands rather than build them. While milking may bring in easy money in the short term, in the long term it wears down the brand until it no longer stands for anything. Harley Davidsons brand attributes , ergo, became a failure both in the short run as well as long one. The implication was that Harley Davidson originally thought that its customers could have too much of a good thing. Not only had it stayed focused only on motorbikes, but the

company may have also limited their availability in order to generate the Harley Davidson mystique. By the 1990s, however, the brand was clearly heading in the other direction. Alongside aftershave and perfumes, the company also launched Harley Davidson wine coolers, a further damage to the brand equity. Recounting on her Internet homepage, one biker girl, who calls herself Tinker, shared her experience of seeing all these inappropriate items on sale in a Harley Davidson chain store including the perfumes and colognes which took the moods of the customers off the trolley. In her own terms, she found herself dazzled by the seemingly infinite variety of stuff. There were perfumes, colognes tons of ornaments and collectables, even ties, all stamped with the official HD license logo. Everything, from the truly nice to the frankly ugly, was on display. Everything that is except the very own actual Harley Davidson motorcycle which is the only attraction in the brand and is a magnet. Perfumes and colognes repel us while its only the bike which attracts. How on earth can a person accept the smell of a bike in the form of perfumes and colognes? Its indeed crazy on the companys part and a deep matter to give a serious thought.

REASONS FOR THE FAILURE OF HARLEY DAVIDSON PERFUMES & COLOGNES

1. LOST FOCUS Harley Davidson lost their focus. The brands focus on their brand values deteriorated. If their values were strong, masculine and very rugged, they shouldnt be selling perfume or Colognes. They shouldnt have alienated their core customers. For brands that inspire strong loyalty, the temptation is to test that loyalty to its limits by stretching the brand into other product categories. However, this is a dangerous strategy and can lead to what marketing experts refer to as brand dilution in other words, a watered-down brand. This is what best meant as keeping it tight. Harley Davidson built its brands by staying true to what it does best, namely making big, classic, US motorbikes. The further it moved away from this original focus, the further it got into trouble. Any brand which attempts to be a Jack of all trades will ultimately fail to carve a strong identity in any category. 2. MORE OF ADDITIONS Harley Davidson shouldnt have added more product lines, as the more we add, the more we risk undermining were basic differentiating idea, which is the essence of their brand. 3. CARELESS HANDLING OF THE BRAND Harley Davidson didnt handle love markss with care. According to advertising guru Kevin Roberts, truly successful brands dont have trademarks. They have love marks. Harley Davidson is a supreme example of a love mark and commended the company for not following the marketing rulebook.

Most brands are built on er words faster, bigger, better, cleaner, greener et al. Mystery doesnt need those words. Mystery also doesnt need hundreds of themed stores to push its brand extensions. In fact, such an approach tends to erode the mystery altogether. As a love mark, Harley Davidson couldnt take care and handle its brand equity of perfumes & colognes in a perfect manner; rather it came out with a confused positioning with failed product attributes.

STRATEGIES AND LESSONS LEARNT FROM THE MISTAKE

Harley Davidson produces Lovemarks instead of trademarks. Their customers love the brand because of their masculine, adventurous & tough look of bikes. They should not disappoint customers who give this lovemarks. If people wanted power in engine they could have gone to Yamaha, Suzuki or Buggati but they wanted that killer sound of Harley Davidson that proves them King of the Road. Harley Davison should not produce a product that is against the brand image it has set in minds of consumers. When such a brand produces products like Perfume and wine coolers, just to earn more profit, it disrespects their loyal customer and loses them eventually. Perfumes are again thought of a dressing accessory to women, when a feminine gesture is associated with such masculine image it not only hurts existing customers but drives the potential customers away too. In all, a brand is not only limited to product it produces but those names also represent a quality, a message, a positioning for brand. And when they try to diversify from it just for sake of profit they end up losing both the sides.

NEW REVIVAL STRATEGIES FOR HARLEY DAVIDSON


(A strategic branding initiative for the company to undertake)

If HD eventually wants to diversify, then they can do it in alignment to its existing brand image so that it does not hurt its existing customers. At least instead of launching perfumes they can launch Deodorant sprays that are considered more manly and would not deviate from its brand image. Or to acquire the profit from lucrative market they can start another brand name which produces such product so that they can capture audience as well as not dilute the brand name. To avoid such problems HD should never enter such personal care and hygiene centric business, when it gives brand image of rough and tough, a strong character.

It should not focus on two strategies and instead focus on one, the present strategy will lead to Straddling and will result in nor profit at end.

LEARNINGS FROM THE POJECT

Brand failure The withdrawal of the brand from the market from any reason. The inability of a brand to achieve required market share. The inability of a brand to achieve anticipated lifecycle. Failure to achieve profitability

Why brands fail Brand failure occurs due to a variety of reasons:Brand-extension trap: Brand-extension trap is making use of a brand (which has been successful in one category)by extending it typically to another category which has very little linkage with the original category. Consumers who have all along associated the brand with a particular product may find it difficult to extend it to another category. Unrealistic features: Unrealistic features are those which lose their novelty after the "launch phase" or those which consumers are unable to associate themselves with.

Wrong Positioning: Positioning a brand in the minds of the consumer is a major marketing decision as this is linked with the perception of consumers. Bad positioning can ruin a good product and a creative positioning could revive a sagging brand. Me-too Strategies: A brand which has made a pioneering impact cannot always be copied by competitors who adopt me-too Strategies.

Which kind of failure? Each brand conveys a particular meaning to the customer. Brand is said to be which resides in customers mind set. Every customer after making a purchase or using a service has a different feeling attached to it. In the case of Harley Davidson perfume, brand failed because of brand extension trap. Harley Davidsons values are strong, masculine and very rugged. Hence getting into products like perfumes, wine coolers, after shaves from motorbike is not at all associated. A range of baby clothes may also be a bad idea.This is why customers did not accepted it and it results into brand extension failure. Now, the company is no more into Harley Davidson perfumes. Many companies believe that once they have created a successful brand, they should extend it into other product categories. After all, it is not the product that makes a brand, but rather an association. However, although brand extension may increase sales in the short term, it can devalue the identity of the brand in the long term. And when that happens, every product that falls under the brand name starts to suffer.