Harley-Davidson’s Problems Explained in Under 15 Minutes

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If you were looking for a succinct and fairly accurate portrayal of Harley-Davidson’s current business dilemma, look no further than this video put out by the minds at Canada’s FortNine.

Laced with their uniquely irreverent tone, FortNine breaks down how Harley-Davidson has gone from an industry-dominating name (and one of the strongest brands in the world), to a crashing meteor of declining sales and profitability.

Whether you agree with the video’s premise or not (namely that Harley-Davidson is beyond saving), the video is certainly striking a chord with the interneting masses – it had over 300,000 plays within its first 24hrs of it being on YouTube, and currently has close to 6,000 comments, just a day later.

While reasonable minds can disagree on some of the points and conclusions that FortNine makes and reaches, the video tells plainly the perception around the Harley-Davidson brand, and it is of special importance to note that it comes from a self-identified millennial and from a tech-savvy internet-based company.

If Harley-Davidson truly wants to turn around its fortunes (and of course it does), the speakers here are precisely the market and segment they need to convince. These are Harley-Davidson’s future potential customers.

Of course, the video echoes many of the points that industry insiders have been saying for years decades about the Bar & Shield brand, though the comments hold special meaning now that Harley-Davidson has abandoned its “More Roads” business plan for its still poorly defined “Rewire” strategy.

Agree with the video or not, the Bar & Shield brand is at a pivotal point in its history right now, especially with a new CEO at the helm. Where will this American icon go from here? Well, we have a front row seat as we find out.

Source: FortNine (YouTube)

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.