Harley Davidson Marketing Strategy for Proposed Indian Operations

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While Harley Davidson (HD) has been seeing growth and profits for 19 consecutive years, it cannot be complacent in view of the growing competition. It has therefore set its eyes on the emerging Indian market with its predictably booming consumer market. If this takes off, the huge customer base of millions could open new doors for HD. However, a carefully crafted marketing plan needs to be drawn for the purpose.HD has had a dream run for several years. It has banked largely on its Macho Image which was aided by fun-loving and beer-guzzling characters in the classic film Easy Rider. Lately, it has toned down this bad boy image but it retains the adventurous image it has built up. Apart from the charisma of the HD name and fame, the business needs to attract the Indian customer which is comparatively more price-conscious. The Indian customer is looking for the brand image as well as a greater variety as is being sold by other competitors. A new entrant in the market is women who have shed their earlier shy image and now ride bikes and scooters. In fact, some competitors have opened exclusive women-only scooter showrooms. HD needs to have an Ad agency and a PR agency to devise a comprehensive Marketing Plan for the Indian market.The external environment, also known as the Macro environment is comprised of factors that are beyond the control of the company. This comes out very well when a PEST analysis is conducted. PEST stands for Political, Economical, Socio-cultural and Technological factors. It can be is seen from the PEST analysis that external factors are generally in favor of an increase in business. Many foreign bike manufacturers have set up facilities in India and have no regrets. HD can find a suitable partner and go ahead without qualms. Also, congestions in the cities have also made bikes a more attractive proposition. With economic upliftment and additional employment opportunities, the biking industry is poised for further growth. The introduction of scooters and lighter bikes is helpful in adding women to the list of bikers and the utility value is enhancing the overall market.