Incite by Design

Caustic visions and shared thoughts on design, marketing, creativity, philanthropy, pop culture and business philosophy by Toronto design firm, Ricksticks Inc.

2005-03-02

I HEART HARLEY

Since I am always dissecting campaigns and brands I dislike, I thought I would show my vulnerable consumer side and confess to you how much love I have for Harley-Davidson.

Yes, it's true. It is close to being a sickness, that's how 'on' I am about Harley's brand.

Part of the Harley-Davidson charm is the great way they rally their customers - How many of us would get a tattoo of our favorite brand of clothing or kitchenware? Harley permeates customer loyalty so much, they have created an almost fantasy-like lifestyle. This is the stuff dreams (i.e. brands) are made of.

The Harley-Davidson brand conveys rebellion, freedom, independence, individualism - characteristics normally associated with anti-consumption. But Harley has turned their flavour of rebellion into die hard, cult-like brand loyalty.

Their Mission Statement, in my opinion, is too modest:

We fulfill dreams through the experience of motorcycling, by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public an expanding line of motorcycles and branded products and services in selected market segments.


Would it be too much to say that they have created a pseudo-lifestyle? How about, they've encouraged a break from society? A rebel call to freedom? I don't know. I have talked to some Harley enthusiasts, and to them, riding their hog is the only thing worth living for - seriously.

I must say, there is something appealing about that stripped down, ass kicking brand that even the most cynical among us can get behind.

I admit it, I wouldn't ride on the back of any other bike.
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