Posts Tagged ‘Sales Pitch’

Gustaf Tenggren's -- The Little Trapper 


Gustaf Tenggren's -- The Little Trapper

In less than 5 minutes on the internet you’ll notice that Harley is using a barrage of online tools, advertisements and video such as YouTube to push its recently announced guarantee to provide full value on trade-ins of its Sportster motorcycles.

Who are they kidding?  This is the mother of marketing gimmicks wrapped in company hype about strong trade-in values!  This is about as absurd as Flynt (Hustler) and Fancis (CEO, Girls Gone Wild) seeking a $5 Billion federal bailout for the “Adult” industry.  Now I could debate that that is an idea which makes sense with our tax money, but won’t!

Anyway, the deal is you buy a new Sportster motorcycle or trade in a recently purchased Sportster before March 31, 2009, and you’ll get the Sportster’s original manufacturer’s suggested retail price value when you trade up to a Big Twin or VRSC motorcycle.

There is nothing new here.  It’s déjà vu all over again…Harley did this back in the late 80’s.  In the fine print I’m sure the motorcycle has to be in mint condition on return, you don’t get any taxes back, you’ll have to pay for any repair/maintenance work, you won’t get any incremental value for custom modifications or enhancements, you may have to pay to bring the motorcycle back to “dealer ready” condition and of course you’ll have to pay full on for the new one your trading “up” too.

Mark-Hans Richer, Harley-Davidson SVP and CMO, said in the press release;

“This effort is driven by the uniquely strong value of Harley-Davidson motorcycles,” and went on to say “Our strong trade-in values allow us to offer something nobody is likely to match.” 

Has he been on the internet and looked at motorcycle prices on Craig’s list?  They are in free-fall.  There is a place for absurd cause-related marketing…but this incongruity is like those ads for swimsuits benefitting the cure of skin cancer!

I’m sure the company and dealers are hoping this promotion will drive traffic, someone to the showroom and boost sales.  I guess Hyundai’s preemptive no-penalty return incentive program had the folks in Milwaukee wondering how to compete with their definition of “life-changing” event?  Maybe they should ask Joe-the-plumber what he thinks of this promotion?  Wait he’s off to Israel reporting on the Gaza conflict.

All this absurdity…is funny.

Photo courtesy of ASIFA-Hollywood Animation archive.

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It showed up in my inbox.  I was randomly selected by the “Harley Research Team” to participate in an online survey. 

As a registered ticket holder for the Harley-Davidson 105th Anniversary event, I was unique (like the other 100K+ people attending) and “got” to take a survey to help Harley plan for my stay.  Well isn’t that nice that they care so much about my stay in Milwaukee?!

I don’t buy it.  However, I did complete the 10 minute survey which had approximately 7 of the 20+ questions asking me about my plans to buy a new motorcycle and if so which manufacture was I considering and the timeframe.  I think the marketing guys got into a conference room with the Dealer network/Sales folks and said, “Hey, why don’t we ping all those 105th ticket holders and see how many are planning to buy a new motorcycle”?  “Maybe they haven’t heard about all the new Copper-tone 105th models we have in show rooms”? 

There were no questions about the Museum or attendance.  That is discouraging since I didn’t get a ticket via the lottery process and the museum is closed during the 105th.  I’ve whined enough about that though previously.

The email goes something like this:

Dear Mac,

The Harley-Davidson 105th Anniversary celebration is almost here! As a
registered 105th Anniversary ticket holder, please take a moment to complete
a short survey for our internal research team.  This is not a sales pitch.
Your feedback will help us plan for your stay in Milwaukee.

For participating, you will be entered into a drawing to win ONE of five $100
gift certificates to be used at any Harley-Davidson dealer. Click on the link
below to access the online survey.

If you are using AOL or if you have any problems linking to the survey, please
copy and paste the below survey link into the address line of your Internet
browser, and then manually enter your password in the space provided.

Survey Link:  http://www.surveyzone.net/s058

I know I’m busting Harley’s chops on this, but I’m fairly confident the email survey is about trying to anticipate/predict the attendance turn out of the 105th event and get some sales data.  With Sturgis attendance down this year it only stands to reason they would confirm ticket holders who indeed do plan to attend the event.

I hope they get the “Honey Bucket” count accurate because I hate standing in long “relief” lines!

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