Harley Davidson is the 5th biggest motorcycle producer across the globe. Harley-Davidson is registered in New York Stock Exchange with the name of Harley Owners Group, commonly called as HOG. The corporation is very famous all over the world for its unique and classic motorcycles, which represents the image and spirit of the people of the United States. The company was formed in 2000 and is well-known for its flexibility and endurance in the Great Depression. The Company is a major manufacturer of heavyweight motorbikes which are mostly designed for cruising.
Communication Strategy in Harley Davidson Company
The Business Strategy of Harley Davidson is a very sensitive and critical document that defines the vision of the company. The communication of goals, objectives, values, and another thing to internal and external people is very important and essential.
Though, the external communication (both verbal and non-verbal) is also very important as it could inspire the support of the investors and gain the interest of the client give the company the competitive edge. After all, in today’s situation, the corporations are mostly judged by how they are acknowledged externally.
In Harley Davidson, The post of Communications specialist is created and are given with the task to appropriately communicate the corporation’s business strategy to their external audiences in an effective way. Communications, thus, are very vital in all the modern industries. This is particularly true because of the over-abundance and excessive data that the modern technologies and companies offers to their clients – from a fretful investor to the attentive one. When decisive external communications are not placed perfectly in its place, people start to come out with their conclusions about the organization, which might eventually be harmful to the image of the company (Pugliese, M. J., & Cagan, J.2002).
In Harley Davidson, Communication specialists are accountable for abridging significant strategy information into major key-points and distribution; these points proficiently on the company’s public profiles.
Traditional Vs. Modern Communications Models in Harley Davidson
In the last decade, the communications departments are made for the main aim of producing very well-written content for executive speeches, press releases, and major journals. These well-written contents are the main touching points among the stakeholders, business entities, and customers. In the modern digital environment, organizations are maintaining strong communication with their external audience. The press releases and the latest news are posted in the daily blogs on the company’s website and on social media. The clients also expect a very high response rate when they reach out to the company on social media and companies hired dedicated staff to meet out their demands and queries.
Key Points to consider in Communications Professionals
Harley Davidson Company highlights the significance the role of Chief Communication Officers in designing the company’s strategic communications, saying that around 40% of COOs are already prepared to deliver on the prospects that they might faces in the modern marketplace. By understanding the essential components of reputed management and the core of effective external communications in the motorcycle industry.
Reputation management mostly means contributing, monitoring, and replying to the queries on social networks. Transparent and Preemptive reputation management means replying suitably to client responses and feedbacks and providing helpful information to the clients will improve the reputation of the company (Sandman, P. M.1993).
How reputation management is linked with the business strategy? Harley Davidson’s business strategy outlines what’s vital to the business in a vibrant and concise way. This would, consecutively, state how external communication (both verbal and non-verbal) is taking care of. The business strategy of Harley Davidson includes inspirational two million new bikers in the U.S, and the introduction of more than one hundred new high-impact H-D motorbikes, and increasing the business without rising any environmental effect. The company is optioning for a better personal approach and tactic, communicating its morals and values at particularly hosted parties and events and the company is spending just 15% of their marketing budget on the traditional budget (Teerlink, R., & Ozley, L.2000).
In other businesses, communicating business strategy is accomplished mainly with the help of advertising campaigns. Harley Davidson’ business strategy comprises of the goals such as retaining the clients by concentrating on the retrieval of the lost client by improving the qualities of their bikes.
The Importance of a Strong External Communication Strategy
The Communication of business strategy to customers and stakeholders is very important since buyers are progressively making their selections centered on the reputation of the company. The fundamental business strategy that states what’s imperative to the corporation could play a vital role in making leads, sales, or attracting the support of the investor. For the communication strategy to be successful and effective, it must align its actions with their aims and goals both inside the corporation and among their clients (Eisenberg, E. M.1984).
In the modern world, In Harley Davidson, the Chief Communications Officer is likely to apply a structured procedure for the 24/7 branding and managing the reputation for all of their stakeholders, through all the available channels and in all the available markets. The internet contains a wealth of information available to their customers, and most of the information is uncontrollable. In the year 2017, more than 97% of the clients have used the internet to search for the company’s products and reviews. It is very important for communication specialists to have a stronghold of what possible clients will try to find if he is interested in buying a particular product (Schembri, S.2009).
When a corporation’s business strategy is shared and communicated efficiently on all the available channels and platforms, this data becomes easily available to the clients who are looking to buy a product from the company. More than 30% of clients make procurements that are focused on their individual beliefs. This is also true for the youths that are particularly interested in buying motorbikes. Amongst millennial, more than 60% are trust driven purchasers, whereas 53% are Generation Z, and 51% of people are in Generation X buyers. If a corporation’s business strategy efficiently shapes the company’s core principles on precarious issues, this would drive an increase in sales significantly and establish deeper connections with the clients
How to Effectively Communicate Business Strategy Externally
When the business made a strategic change, the communications experts must take instant action to make it sure that these are communicated and shared suitably with key persons both inside and outside the organization. Though Press Releases are an effective tool for sharing several news and announcements, they are not the ultimate means of communicating the information with the general public.
Social media is the most prominent and ideal communication channel and a vital method of distribution for the strategic business’ aims and objectives and visions because it is not only unmatched in its prominence and visibility but also a strong relationship based. In any case, in the modern world, many individuals buy the products and invest in a company on their reputation, and social media helps to build a strong reputation.
The Leadership approaches would always vary, but in broad, communications specialists in Harley Davidson must follow these rules and guidelines for efficiently communicating the strategy of the business externally:
- Endorse the business strategy as an important part of the corporation’s overall marketing strategy.
- Design advertising graphics that highpoint the essential doctrines of the business’s strategy.
- Share updates on the company’s policies and business strategy through the blog post and press releases.
- Endorse the strategy updates on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Reply to social media comments with info that promotes the knowledge of the company and the business strategy.
- Designs and implement all the marketing communications according to the company’s strategy.
The Leadership of Harley and Davidson must implement the above rules and regulations for their brand reputation and growth in sales.
Effective Audience Outreach Techniques
One of the best method of audience outreach (verbal and written) is social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Harley Davidson has hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter and of Couse it is the most effective way to convey a message to millions of people across the Globe. Public events, mass media, print medias are also audience outreach techniques however Harley Davidson spend only 15% of their total marketing budget in mass media and mostly focus on social media for maximum audience outreach.
When the Harley Davidson business strategy is according to the goals, interests, and concerns of the customers and shareholders, a strong communication plan could turn out to be one of the company’s most valued assets for attracting new clients, satiating the stakeholders and even making cost-effective business partnerships.
Communications professionals in Harley Davidson needs a well-rounded thoughtful of the reputation of business strategy in addition to the best ways to share it both externally and internally verbally and non-verbally.
Sandman, P. M. (1993). Responding to community outrage: Strategies for effective risk communication. AIHA.
Pugliese, M. J., & Cagan, J. (2002). Capturing a rebel: modeling the Harley-Davidson brand through a motorcycle shape grammar. Research in Engineering Design, 13(3), 139-156.
Teerlink, R., & Ozley, L. (2000). More than a motorcycle: The leadership journey at Harley-Davidson. Harvard Business Review Press.
Schembri, S. (2009). Reframing brand experience: The experiential meaning of Harley–Davidson. Journal of Business Research, 62(12), 1299-1310.
Eisenberg, E. M. (1984). Ambiguity as strategy in organizational communication. Communication monographs, 51(3), 227-242.