Originally Posted by Josephvman
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.
i agree that h-d is all about marketing, and they have it down. whether they can successfully extend it to newer riders, is still an open question, and much debated amongst motorcyclists. (and marketing guys.)
i don't like h-d the company simply cuz it eff'd erik buell. i don't like the h-d bikes cuz they're about as exciting to ride as a toyota camry is to drive. (imo, of course.) i have nothing against h-d riders or owners, and i don't think they ride like twats. most i have seen ride like old ladies, but at least most know to keep outta the fast lane. so, i got no problem w/that. and i got no problem w/whatever reason it is they wanna own and/or ride these bikes. that's their deal, not mine.
re: the vfr1200, as someone who owned the original '83 interceptor, and who has a relative w/a more modern vfr, i can tell you the reason that honda can't give away the new 1200vfr has nothing to do w/being able to describe who a honda rider is. (whatever that means.) it has everything to do with it being a bike that was built for a market that does not exist. the vfr1200 is a big fat 600lb pig. touring guys want something more touring oriented, sport guys want something more sport oriented, and no sport-touring guys want a big fat 600lb motorcycle. my vfr800 owning relative is a big guy about 6'-4", 240, (not fat); he checked out the new 1200vfr and said his 1200v-strom is a much better ride...