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Harley Davidson Branding - Essay Example

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Harley Davidson Branding

Within this spectrum of understanding, a product’s brand is understood as a dynamic entity constituted by consumer and community engagement. Further considerations examine the economic and identity-forming elements of brand design. This research specifically considers the community-branding and identity-branding models as they are implemented by and exemplified in the Harley Davidson motorcycle company. Analysis Background Harley Davidson is today recognized as one of the preeminent American brands. Fig. 1 below depicts the Harley Davidson logo. While Harley Davidson is a vibrant 21st Fig. 1 Harley Davidson Logo century organization, the company began in the first decade of the 20th century. William Harley and Arthur Davidson founded the organization in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1903 (Mitchel 2007, p. 5). The organization’s first productions were not motorcycles, but engines that were featured for sale in a variety of magazines. During the first decade of their existence they experienced gradual growth through the establishment of a variety of factories in addition to the development of full motorcycles. By 1914 the organization had surpassed their primary rival Indian and would dominate motorcycle for many years, as production numbers increased to 16,284 machines annually (Mitchel 2007, p. 30). By 1920 the organization was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world and has expanded their operation to over 67 countries (Mitchel 2007, p. 32). The organization was one of the two major motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression. Still, it wasn’t until World War II that the company began producing pre-depression levels of motorcycles, as they began providing the military (Mitchel 2007, p. 35). In 1969 American Machine and Foundry (AMF) purchased the organization. Following the purchase the organization faced increasing competition from Japanese manufacturers (Mitchel 2007). In the early 1980s the organization was sold again to Vaughnn Beals and Willie G. Davidson (Mitchel 2007, p. 114). Upon assuming control of the organization, the direction was changed to reflect more retro principles; by 1990 they had again regained control of the heavyweight motorcycle market in the United States. While the organization has survived tremendous social and cultural upheaval both within the organization and the broader business climate, to a large degree the product designs of the company maintained relative consistency. In terms of product design, the organization is highly unique in its motorcycle productions. In these regards, the motorcycles generally weigh more than traditional motorcycles and are accompanied with loud and distinctive exhaust and design; in 1994 the organization even attempted to attain a patent for its motorcycle sound, yet was ultimately rebuffed in its efforts. In terms of specific design elements, the current Harley Davidson motorcycles reflect that classic designs that were produced during the early parts of the 20th century (Mitchel 2007). Indeed, the organization’s efforts to develop product differentiation have generally experienced failure over the past decades. Some of the most notable elements related to modern incarnations of Harley Davidson have been the cultural elements related ...Show more

Summary

Branding: Harley Davidson Introduction Branding and marketing have long been central aspects of organizations. While a variety of different perspectives on branding exist, the notion has been understood as a “fundamental strategic process that involves all parts of the firm in its delivery” (Geoffery, 2000, p…
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