That’s a good thing!
I noticed that you had Andrew Smith, a former employee at Harley-Davidson give a presentation. I was intrigued by this, because I am acutely aware of what H-D has been able to do as a company. In fact it’s not just H-D, but the entire motorcycling industry.
I went to the Harley-Davidson website and reviewed their product offering. Basically, there are three sets of customers:
- Beginners - those folks in their late teens or twenties looking for a start in the world of motorcycling - the bikes start at under $7000. Cheap and cheerful…but still associated with a dynamic brand. Nice.
- Middle Aged folks - those in their 30’s and 40’s who are interested in stepping up to something more substantial (Harmon Kardon stereo anyone?)
- Weekend Warriors - those folks who have a ton of cash to drop on a high end touring bike with all the extras. They also have a whackload of dough to spend on all the softgoods. Mmmm, softgoods…high margin and someone else to spread your advertising…Double nice!
Harley-Davidson is in the business of creating the unique experiences of which dreams are made.
I like that statement a whole lot. I don’t think it’s corny or odd. I think they have tapped into exactly what they are in the business of. Does it affect everyone in Harley Davidson? Well, I am not sure. But I sense that it does. Harley-Davidson has its own share of issues, but I sense that it’s not just a company that builds and markets motorcycles. I believe they believe they are working as part of a “dream factory.”
What is also interesting about Harley-Davidson is that two of their more unique customers are marking their 100th and 60th year of being customers. Yes, hard to believe that 1908, the Detroit Police Department took their first order of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. As for the customer that is celebrating 60 years? Well, Hell’s Angels was founded back in 1948 in Fontana, California. According to the US Department of Justice, Hell’s Angels members must be men over 21 years of age and are required to own a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
So there you have it, a company that sells to young folks, middle aged, old folks, outlaws and the police. Step back from that last statement and think about it…
In fact, the entire motorcycle industry seems to have been quite successful selling to:
- folks who want to mess around in the dirt
- people who just want pure speed
- people who want both off road and on-road experiences
- people who just want to cruise
What does this mean for skateboarding?
A lot, actually.
As a group, you need to focus on creating the dreams that skateboarding provides. Yes, you sell planks of wood with two metal trucks and four wheels. But anyone can sell that…and sell it for sometimes cheaper than what you sell it for. A lot cheaper.
You need to tap into the freedom and experiences that ... (finish the article on page 2)