You’ll not find me dressed in leather chaps, astride a hog anytime soon, but I like what Harley-Davidson is doing to reach out to women. There’s an interesting article in the New York Times (free subscription required) about H-D’s efforts to connect with the increasing number of female motorcyclists in the U.S. Twenty years ago, there were about 1,000 hogs sold; last year it was 32,000.
Read the article for some worthwhile information on Harley’s marketing efforts - there are tidbits of wisdom you might be able to apply to your own business:
- Female clothing that says “all girl” without losing the Harley cachet
- Garage parties, to teach women the basics of motorcycling
- An effective website presence (although they still need a link directly from Harley’s home page!) that highlights lessons, stories, and connects riders
These two quotes say it all:
“Fifty percent of the population is female and there is pent-up demand,” said James L. Ziemer, Harley-Davidson’s chief executive. “We need to remove barriers.”
“I want to get away from the fear,” said Leticia Andrade, a 40-year-old business systems analyst who wore a V-neck Harley-Davidson T-shirt festooned with roses and a butterfly. “My kids are grown and gone, I’m a grandma now, and it’s time for me.”
Women riders are growing at double-digit rates, and Harley-Davidson seems to have a carefully planned, highly focused strategy in place for dominating the market.
Hmmm. I wonder if there’s a garage party planned for around here... (shhh - don’t tell my husband!)