We think it would be interesting to quote first Harley-Davidson's mission, in order to get a first approach of what is the purpose of the company from their point of view. The mission talks first about dreams, rather than motorcycles, which is what the public has in mind. This mission says:
"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."
We are going to see how their promotional strategy keeps the track of their mission statement, and how they try always to fulfill those dreams.
Harley-Davidson uses advertising and personnel selling for their promotional mix. The advertising that Harley-Davidson utilizes nationally are four to five television commercials a year. These commercials are institutional because they are advertising the company and not a specific product. They also have institutional advertisements in national magazines such as Road & Track, Popular Science, and Fortune as well as specific motorcycle magazines as Easy Rider. Locally, individual Harley-Davidson dealers advertise on the radio and through direct mail. Harley-Davidson uses personnel through their 595 dealerships located throughout the United States. A customer has to go to a dealership in order to purchase a motorcycle. While they are there they are attended to by sales people that answer any questions they have and help them pick out the motorcycle they want.
Harley-Davidson institutes a pull strategy in the promotion of the FXDS-CONV Dyna Convertible. Due to the limited number of dealerships (for example, there are only five in Nashville and the surrounding communities) customers must actively seek out a location to purchase this bike. Also, because so many customers decide to customize their Dyna Convertibles, they must place a special order with the dealer, who in turn must contact intermediaries along the distribution channel in order to satisfy the customer. Further, the fact that demand for Harley motorcycles far exceeds the supply indicates that a pull strategy is in place.
The mass media advertising implemented by Harley-Davidson is intended to reach as many members of the general public as possible. Generally, this type of advertisement is used because of its depth in effectively reaching people. These ads are intended to target both potential repeat customers as well as first time buyers. Locally, C&S Harley-Davidson uses direct mailings to specifically target previous owners of their motorcycles as well as owners of competing brands.