Harley-Davidson Marketing Mix (4Ps) Analysis

Harley-Davidson marketing mix, 4Ps, product, place, promotion, price, motorcycle industry, business strategy case study analysis
A Harley-Davidson motorcycle’s Twin Cam engine. Harley-Davidson’s marketing mix creates competitive advantage through a careful combination of products, place, promotion, and price. (Photo: Public Domain)

Harley-Davidson is a success story in the motorcycle market. The company remains profitable despite challenges in the global automotive industry. Harley-Davidson’s marketing mix provides insights on how the firm maintains its business resilience. The marketing mix (4Ps; Product, Place, Promotion, Price) is the set of strategies and tactics used to execute a marketing plan. In the case of Harley-Davidson’s marketing mix, concerns about promoting and strengthening the brand are effectively addressed. Even though the company has increased its advertising efforts, its marketing mix remains practically the same. Through this marketing mix, Harley-Davidson competes well in the domestic and global motorcycle markets.

Harley-Davidson’s marketing mix (4Ps) indicates how a motorcycle company can focus on personal selling to promote its products, brand, and business. This factor in the marketing mix supports the company’s efforts for a resilient brand despite strong and growing competition.

Harley-Davidson’s Products (Product Mix)

Harley-Davidson has a limited product mix. This component of the marketing mix covers the outputs that the company sells. The product lines in Harley-Davidson’s product mix are as follows:

  1. Motorcycles
  2. Engines
  3. Parts and Accessories (Example: H-D’s Screamin’ Eagle brand)
  4. MotorClothes Merchandise and Collections
  5. Rentals through Authorized H-D Rental Dealers

Harley-Davidson is most popularly known for its chopper/custom motorcycles. However, the company offers others product lines, such as engines and motorcycle parts and accessories. Harley-Davidson also provides apparel and related merchandise under the MotorClothes brand. Moreover, the company offers a variety of its motorcycles for rent. This component of the marketing mix shows that Harley-Davidson has diversified its business through a limited number of product lines, mostly focused on chopper/custom motorcycles.

Place/Distribution in Harley-Davidson’s Marketing Mix

Harley-Davidson’s products are distributed to maximize sales revenues. The venues for reaching customers are considered in this component of the marketing mix. In Harley-Davidson’s case, the following are the places for distributing its products:

  1. Authorized H-D Dealers
  2. Authorized H-D Rental Dealers
  3. Harley-Davidson Online Store

Authorized Harley-Davidson dealers are the primary places for distribution of the company’s products. Majority of the firm’s revenues are generated through these dealers. Some dealers are also authorized to rent out Harley-Davidson motorcycles. In addition, the company’s online store allows customers to place online orders for motorcycle parts and accessories, apparel and other merchandise. This component of the marketing mix presents Harley-Davidson’s strategy to optimize the efficiency of its authorized dealers.

Harley-Davidson’s Promotion (Promotional Mix)

Harley-Davidson’s brand and products are commonly promoted alongside the chopper/custom biker culture. Communication strategies and tactics are covered in this component of the marketing mix. Harley-Davidson’s promotional mix contains the following strategies/tactics, arranged according to significance:

  1. Personal selling (field selling)
  2. Public relations
  3. Advertising
  4. Sales promotion
  5. Direct marketing

Personal selling is the most significant promotional strategy in Harley-Davidson’s business. Specifically, the field selling technique is used to encourage customers to explore and try the company’s motorcycles at authorized dealerships. Harley-Davidson also uses public relations, such as by organizing and supporting Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) rallies in various locations, to promote and increase awareness about the company’s brands and products. In addition, the company advertises its products to reach large populations of potential customers. Sales promotion is occasionally used in Harley-Davidson’s marketing mix. Direct marketing is the least significant of the company’s marketing communication strategies and tactics. This component of the marketing mix highlights the importance of personal selling as an effective way for Harley-Davidson to promote its brand and products to customers and to optimize sales revenues.

Harley-Davidson’s Prices and Pricing Strategy

Harley-Davidson uses the premium pricing strategy. Relatively high price ranges are applied in this pricing strategy. For instance, Harley-Davidson motorcycles are generally more expensive than most other motorcycle brands available in the American market. The company justifies these high prices by emphasizing the craftsmanship and quality of its products. This component of the marketing mix relates with Harley-Davidson’s generic strategy of differentiation, which capitalizes on uniqueness to set products apart from the competition.

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