VIDEO 8: HARLEY-DAVIDSON
Harley sells much more than motorcycles. The company sells a feeling of independence,
individualism, and freedom. To support that lifestyle, Harley-Davidson offers clothes
and accessories both for riders and those who simply like to associate with the brand. By
understanding customers, Harley-Davidson has grown into a $5 billion company with
more than 900,000 Harley Owners Group (HOG) members and 1,200 dealerships
1. List several products that are included in Harley-Davidson’s business portfolio.
Analyze the portfolio using the Boston Consulting Group growth-share matrix.
2. Which strategies in the product/market expansion grid is Harley-Davidson using
to grow sales and profits?
3. List some of the members of Harley’s value-delivery network.
4. List the characteristics of the typical Harley owner. How does Harley’s
marketing efforts target those and other consumers?
That wacky quacky duck brought AFLAC to a high spot among most recognizable ads
and brand names. The insurance company is growing quickly as a result of this greater
name recognition. It achieved 89% brand recognition in a relatively short time, resulting
in $10 billion in sales and about a 25% compound growth rate.
AFLAC had spent millions of dollars on advertising with little or no effect and almost no
market awareness. Clearly, the current strategy was not working. This led the
management team to decide to try something bold to increase market awareness. The
advertising agency came up with many different ideas, but one crazy one – a duck.
AFLAC tested the ad concepts and, as we know today, the duck yielded the highest
results. The goal of the advertising is to create awareness, while the actual sale comes
from the agents selling the complicated insurance products.
1. What other industries, products, or brands have used humor to help position
themselves in the marketplace? Do you think the strategies have worked? Where
wouldn’t humor work?
2. Now that AFLAC is a widely known brand name, do you think the company should
drop the duck? What else might it feature?
3. What do you think the sales force’s reaction was when it first saw the duck? Is it
necessary for a sales force to buy into a campaign, or can it be shown later that a
campaign is working?
4. Rather than investigating marketing content related to insurance, focus on the humor
in advertising element of this case. Pick one product category that seems ideally
suited to humor and one product category for which humor is unlikely to work,
perhaps because it would be insensitive or offensive in some way. Create an ad to
support your conclusions.