Harley Davidson is a company that has been developing for several decades, which indicates that many people identify with the name of the company. Another essential point to note about the company is that it bought a new line of Motorbike from its engineer, which is competing against other Japanese brands such as Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki. According to the case study, Buell, which is the new brand by Harley Davidson, is not competing fairly in the market with its competitors. This stems from the fact that Japanese motorbikes are cheaper. Harley Davidson has also reported higher sales on its heavy motorbikes, which are usually bought by the baby boomers of 1987 that are presumed to be older and will eventually fall off their market (Roese and Kompella 6). Thus, the company has to determine a way of attracting new line of customers and maintaining them. Considering all the points outlined above, it is prudent that Harley Davidson adopts a “Branded House” strategy as will be explicated below.
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The first reason why Harley Davidson needs to adopt a branded house strategy stems from the fact that the company has a name that is widely renowned (Roese and Kompella 1). This means that if they change the name of Buell to Harley Davidson and just indicate that the bikes come under different specifications in terms of CC, this will boost their market share (Roese and Kompella 1). Notably, this is the same strategy employed by the Japanese competitors as they have only employed one name for all their products. For instance, Yamaha does not have different brand names for its motorcycles (Roese and Kompella 2). This is also a good strategy for the company since it will eliminate unnecessary competition in the market whereby two motorcycles from the same manufacturer are competing for attention in the market. When one brand name is utilized, all the products will enjoy the same market position.
Another reason why I would adopt the branded house strategy derives from the fact that the same customers would be using all the motorcycles (Roese and Kompella 3). As mentioned in the case study, this is critical for the company considering the fact that its current customers are almost falling off and they have to get a new set of loyal customers. Thus, a branded house will facilitate this because the current customers for Buell, who are mainly teenagers, will become accustomed to the name and will want to identify with the name still when they grow up. This means that they will become loyal customers of the company and buy the heavy Harley Davidson motorbikes when they are old and this will ensure a sharing of customers between the two products from the company (Roese and Kompella 3).
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A branded house is more lucrative for Harley Davidson since it will facilitate sharing of budget. Notably, if the company adopts this strategy, they will cut on advertisement costs whereby it is usually done separately considering it has two lines of motorcycles christened Buell and Harley Davidson (Roese and Kompella 4). However, if the name of Buell was to be changed to Harley Davidson, this will be beneficial for the company as the budget money will be spent on advertising both the motorcycles at the same time. Another way that the motorcycles will share budget is in terms of production costs. The company will strive to come up with equal number of both bikes and not favor only the heavy machines. This also has an effect on the profit as the Buell will experience increase in sales, which will make it compare fairly with the Japanese versions. It should be noted that despite Buell being the product of Harley Davidson, it is manufactured and marketed through its dealer network (Roese and Kompella 6).
Another point for adopting a branded house is the advertisement. This can boost Buell sales as people will want to identify with the associations and metaphors related to Harley Davidson riding experience. From the case, it can be deducted that people consider riding Harley Davidson to be more appealing to young adults, as a means of escaping from the constraining normal life. This facilitates connection with other minds and, finally, riders experience a transformation as they become who they truly aspire to be (Roese and Kompella 3).
In conclusion, Harley Davidson should adopt a branded house strategy, like Nike, as it has several benefits as discussed above. Firstly, a branded house will facilitate sharing of market positioning. Thus, instead of the motorcycles to be marketed differently, research will be carried out in the same target market for both motorcycles, which will save on time and resources. Another critical factor for adopting a branded house concerns the budget. Notably, the products under a branded house usually utilize the same advertisement budget. This means that the company will have cut on advertisement costs. Besides, the motorcycles can be allocated the same amount of budgets as they will be sold under the same market name. Branded house strategy also facilitates sharing the same customers. This stems from the fact that the company is anticipating to gain loyal customers for its heavy machine motorcycles, who in most cases range between the ages of 35 to 40 years. This means that the teenagers who treasure the lightweight Buell will want to continue associating themselves with Harley Davidson in the future, which will have been facilitated by the branded house strategy. It can also be asserted that the low sales of Buell will also benefit from the association with metaphors that people associate with Harley Davidson.
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