Selling an image and a lifestyle is branding. Harley probably does it better than anyone, but Ducati and BMW do it very well too. Honda makes pretty good bikes too, but they can't give away a new VFR1200 because none of us can describe who a Honda rider is. There are pages of posts about HD pirates, Aerostich-wearing BMW snobs, and Ducati owners hanging out in cafes dressed like Valentino Rossi, drinking espresso and chatting it up with models. We identify with the lifestyle and we buy into the program. Apple's average laptop sells for 30% more than the industry average, but they all do basically the same things with the same basic parts, but Sony never had a Steve Jobs or catchy new Coldplay song in their commercials.
I'm not a Harley guy, but I'm a sales and marketing guy, and when you can get people tattooing your brand all over their bodies it's something that has to be admired. It's literally branding personified.
I just wish most HD riders didn't ride like such twats.
Originally Posted by Bill Harris
Agreed. H-D sells the image and a lifestyle and not technology. A triumph of modern marketing hype and not of design.