Harley-Davidson, Case Study Example

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Case Study

Harley-Davidson Case Presentation and Analysis

PHASE 1: Before AMF took over Harley Davidson

The Value Discipline Adapted

Upon the establishment of the business, Harley Davidson’s approach to operation and product distribution was more focused on the value of product leadership. Giving their products a character that could speak for itself was the main concentration of the business. In 1903, the company’s reputation in the market soared high as the creators of Harley Davidson continued to define their products in line with innovation and research that was not yet known to the society during the time. Being one of the primary pioneers in the industry, the company tried to create a new culture in the market that would set the buyer’s attention on what the business does offer them with. Beside the fact that transportation by motorcycle was considered more evidently new and personal, Harley Davis made it a point that they are able to create a notable indication that they are ready to provide high quality products that would not only ensure their clients of the expectations they have on the motorcycles but would rather give them more.

Relatively though, economic challenges caused the decline of sales in the United States of these particular motorcycles. Instead of buying one for their own personal use, the market opted back to cars which can transport a lot higher number of passengers at one time. Harley Davidson intended to face this change in market perception through creating a new aspect of product presentation. Instead of providing just transport, Harley Davidson motorcycles began to provide character; a notable identification that would put their users into a particular community of well-noted bikers.

Through initiating the core value of installing a new engine into the bike’s motor setup, the sound of the motor became more masculine that it made the sound of other bikes a little bit lame. Relatively, this created a notion that whoever owned and drove the new product released by the company is the one with the guts to carry and use it for transport and for identity.

Proof of Value Discipline Application

The early history of Harley-Davidson insisted on the company’s market appeal based on raw-power, a primary matter that served as the company’s major selling point (Case, 2). Giving birth to the V-twin engine, provided the motorcycle a sense of identity that is notably obvious not only to its users but even to onlookers. It was as if the product became a living marketing itself that served as a proof of the market’s acceptance of the product. In 1909, the Harley Davidson motorcycles became more of a craze than a necessity for transport. Bikers created groups and societies that would directly identify them as individuals with an exceptional quality as that of their motorbikes. As the company faced Japanese impact in the motorcycle industry, Harley Davidson remained solely dependent on the product leadership value that they have long been founded upon.

Culture Alignment

Noting how Japanese motorcycle manufacturers took the market’s interest through creating new dimensions of choices for the market sector that Harley Davidson was not able to serve, the product leadership value application has been better improved through implementing it alongside the management operation of the production of the motorcycles. Taking from the example of the Japanese competition, it could be realized that the administrators of Harley Davidson tried to impose a new kind of development on their production operation as they continue to create a more refined representation of their product to the market they hope to influence.

PHASE 2: After AMF took over Harley Davidson

The Value Discipline Adapted

Rodney Gott, AMF’s CEO specifically focused on the utilization of operational excellence value discipline in business as he tried to meet with the current demand for motorcycles during the time when he took over the company. To do this, he incurred the culture of mass production which actually lowered down the overall quality of the product released by the company into the market. The handcrafted machines went out to the market which were specifically made by less skilled workers, a matter that was not a part of the company’s culture in the past.

Proof of Value Discipline Application

Expanding production was the main aim of the new administration of Harley Davidson. However, in consideration with this particular matter, the reduction of quality on the products that the company released during the time caused the recall of several motorcycles and specifically declined the appreciation of the market on what the company offers. Not to mention the fact that the change of the marketing approach the company embraced gave the former owners of the motorbike brand actually less identity than they hoped to adapt when they have bought their own Harley Davis motorcycle. As a result to this, the domestic market that the company served dropped up to 23%.

Culture Alignment

Embracing the need to meet the demand was something that the new administrator’s desire. However, this particular focus was something that made it harder for the company to retain the reputation that they have especially when they wanted to create more for the market although it meant delivering less for the clients. This way, not only was their reputation hurt, but also lessened the market share that they influenced in a lot lower rate than before. Instead of heightening the capacity of the business to serve more, it made it possible for the business to plummet further in profit decline.

Did AMF understand this powerful brand reality?

Relatively, Harley Davidson was more than just a mode of transport. It became a culture that its customers and owners embraced. It presented an identity, the Harley Mystique that specifically placed it in a higher pedestal, something that no other motorcycle brands can have.  In the process of taking into consideration the need to produce massively in response to the demand, AMF lost the brand that identified the reason why Harley Davidson was a matter that killed the possibility of increasing profit even in the midst of a specific challenge in globalization where the Japanese motorcycle producers are slowly peeking in. Losing the Harley Mystique is like losing the reputation of the Harley motorcycle into a desire that was more profit-oriented than client-centered. Losing the consideration over the regular client’s cultural identity was more like losing the business itself.

References

Diller S., Shedroff N., and Rhea D (2006) Making Meaning: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences. New Riders, Berkeley, CA,

Kunde, J., (2002) Unique Now… or Never: the Brand Is the Company Driver in the New Value Economy, Financial Times/Prentice Hall. London

Paul S. Richardson, Alan S. Dick and Arun K. Jain. (1004). “Extrinsic and Intrinsic Cue Effects on Perceptions of Store Brand Quality”, Journal of Marketing. pp. 28-36.

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