Archive for September 22nd, 2008

Harley-Davidson Survey

Harley-Davidson Survey

The first principle of creating a good survey is FOCUS.  By having specific objectives ahead of time you can expect to obtain usable information from a survey.  Those objectives drive the questions and every question will in fact tie back to the specific objective.

Disguised as a survey I was solicited by Harley-Davidson’s “research team” for feedback on the 105th Anniversary event.

Cool.  I figured they want to connect with their customers and engage in a dialogue to further connect the customer base with the motor company. 

Typical Survey Question

Typical Survey Question

And so you know…in full disclosure here…I don’t have a master’s degree in applied mathematics or a Ph.D. in statistics, but after six questions into the survey I realized -HEY- their jacking me around and vetting my responses (the customer) into potential sales leads.  It’s NOT really about encouraging feedback on the 105th event (well a little) or how to improve Harley motorcycles. 

Here are a few examples of the survey questions for you to make up your own determination:

  1. How likely is it that you will purchase a motorcycle for your own use in the next 12 months?
  2. How long from now do you plan to purchase a motorcycle?
  3. If you were purchasing a motorcycle today, which makes/brands would you seriously consider purchasing?
  4. And, which make/brand would you most likely purchase?  (Multi-choice: BMW, Honda, Yamaha etc.)
  5. Before taking this survey, were you aware that Harley-Davidson produces “anniversary edition” model motorcycles (e.g., 100th Anniversary, 105th Anniversary)?
  6. How interested are you in purchasing “anniversary edition” motorcycles (e.g., 100th Anniversary, 105th Anniversary)?
  7. How likely would you be to attend another Anniversary Celebration in the future?
  8. Which of these 105th Anniversary events/activities did you attend or participate in?
  9. Please rate each of these 105th Anniversary Celebration events or activities.
  10. How much do you agree that the 105th Anniversary … a). Has sped up my plans to buy a new H-D motorcycle? b). Has helped me decide which H-D I’ll buy next? c). Made me feel closer than ever to Harley-Davidson?
  11. What impact, if any, did attending the 105th Anniversary celebration have on your feelings about each of these co-sponsors? (Ford, Shell, etc.,)
  12. What was the best event and why that did you attend?
  13. What needs to be improved for next time?
  14. Which previous Harley-Davidson anniversary events did you attend? (Choose 90; 95th; 100th)
  15. How far did you travel from home to get to the 105th Anniversary in Milwaukee?
  16. Which best describes your accommodations/lodging while attending the 105th Anniversary?

I counted 7 of 16 questions probing on my purchase intent!  I would think in today’s somewhat depressed economic and highly competitive climate, it’s more important than ever to understand your customer and their needs.  Clearly this survey is about parsing 105th attendees into potential buyers. They are splitting us into “buy now” vs. “buy later” camps. And the buy later group means spend NO more time or $$ to acquire this customer. It’s all about the sales ABC’s…

Survey photo’s courtesy of HD Research web site.

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Waxing the paint on your motorcycle can make a difference in how your bike looks and how long your paint lasts.  With so many newer bikes using “pearl-ess-ness” paint a good wax job will only enhance the luster and I’ve found that a good wax job removes all the things you can’t see in/on the paint from tree sap, tar to small bug splats.

3M announced that they have entered into an agreement to acquire Meguiar’s Inc., the 100-year-old family business that manufactures the Meguiar’s brand of motorcycle and car care products. The terms of the transaction haven’t been disclosed.  What began as a simple furniture polish lab in the garage of Frank Megular, Jr. now is part of the specialized chemical company that has a product for just about every conceivable type of surface.

CEO Barry J. Meguiar employs 115 people out of his headquarters in Irvine, California. On the other hand 3M (St. Paul, MN) produces thousands of products for dozens of diverse markets. With $24 billion in sales, and 79,000 employees worldwide it’s not clear how Meguiar’s will survive.  It’s like the Queen Mary pulling up to the boat dock saying “let me give you a hug”.

Meguiar’s has an entire set of motorcycling products and let’s hope they keep the unfettered “wax craze” alive.

Meguiar’s logo courtesy of web site.

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