Something we missed when it was published, Harley-Davidson has remained on the 2012 Interbrand 100, and even made a 10% gain in value according to Interbrand’s brand valuation. The 76th most valuable brand worldwide in 2009, Harley-Davidson fell to 98th on the list in 2010, and threatened to fall off this list in 2011 when it was ranked as the 100th most valuable brand.
For 2012 however, Harley-Davidson’s brand value seems to mimic its unit sales, finding its rock-bottom value and then making some gains with the slowly recovering economy. After getting a 10% boost in brand value over its 2011 figure, Harley-Davidson ranks 96th amongst the world’s most valuable brands — a far cry from its position several years ago, but a step in the right direction for the venerable motorcycle brand.
A cautious indication of the company’s current trajectory, it should be pointed out that BMW (12th) and Honda (21st) took home higher honors in the eyes of Interbrand (due almost exclusively to the companies’ automotive lines), but Harley-Davidson still managed to trump brands like Yahoo!, Moët, Ferrari and GAP in the firm’s rankings.
The go-to business school case study on effective lifestyle branding, Harley-Davidson’s recent business woes should be made an addendum to MBA curriculums, as the company struggles to redefine itself with its aging demographic and this new economy. It will be interesting to see how Harley-Davidson (re)defines itself in the coming years, and how those changes (or lack there of) affects its sales and brand value.