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Harley-Davidson Company’s Recommendations Case Study

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Updated: Oct 7th, 2020

Key Issues

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Harley-Davidson was a leading producer and marketer of superior motorcycles that targeted tough consumers such as Hollywood rebels and military officers. However, the emergence of new competitors such as Honda exposed various issues that affected the firm’s competitiveness. The first issue was the company’s inability to monitor the needs of the expanding market. The other issue was the ineffectiveness of Harley’s manufacturing system. Additionally, the firm’s choice of the baby boomer generation was a mistake. Finally, the company failed to embrace the power of lean production.


The recommendations presented below can make a huge difference for Harley-Davidson.

  1. The firm should target an increasing number of potential young consumers.
  2. Harley-Davidson can use lean production to streamline production.
  3. Harley-Davidson should produce cheaper motorcycles characterized by superior features.


  1. The decision to focus on the younger generation will present positive results. The younger generation has the resources and desires to support this new strategy.
  2. Lean manufacturing has been supported by many theorists because of its ability to reduce wastes and maximize production. The stages of lean encourage firms to focus on the unique needs of the targeted consumers. The motorcycles will have advanced features in order to compete in the market.
  3. Harley-Davidson’s motorcycles have been admired for its V-Twin engine. However, the firm should include new features in order to make the brand successful.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
  • The recommendations will drive performance.
  • Harley-Davidson will become competitive.
  • The firm will become profitable.
  • Lean boosts productivity and minimizes wastes.
  • These recommendations are expensive to implement.
  • The younger generation might not embrace the new product.
  • Competition is still high in the market.

Lessons Gained from the Class Materials

The class materials presented unique ideas that can be used by marketers to achieve their potentials. Giant businesses can use big data effectively in an attempt to realize their business potentials. The main lesson from this fact is that big data can help companies predict consumers’ purchasing patterns and improve the marketing process. The second lesson is that the gathered data should be analyzed by psychologists and marketers in order to predict consumer behaviors accurately. This practice is critical in order to ensure the marketing process is personalized. The third lesson is that big data can mislead businesses trying to understand the preferences and expectations of specific consumer groups (“How Statistics Can Lie”).

For example, a situation occurred when a certain marketer informed me about a superior smartphone in the market. The marketer wanted customers to purchase the iPhone 5 a few weeks after its official launch. The marketer could not explain to customers why the phone was expensive than its rivals in the market (“Big Data, Big Problems? Nate Silver Explains Why We Need Better Habits For Weighing Up Information in this Data-Rich Age – Video”). He was unable to outline the unique features that made the iPhone an outstanding device. That makes consumers unhappy with the marketer because he treated the iPhone 5 as a must-have gadget.

This experience taught us several ideas about marketing. For instance, marketers should gather critical information from targeted consumers in order to develop positive relationships. Marketers should listen to their customers instead of forcing them to purchase a product (Duhigg par. 15). The opinions of different consumers should be respected. These approaches can make it easier for marketers to manage relationships and eventually realize their objectives.

Works Cited

Duhigg, Charles. “The New York Times Magazine. 2012. Web.

Leslie, Nathan. “ YouTube. Web.

Silver, Nate. “.” The Guardian. 2015. Web.

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