Harley Davidson Motors is a motorcycle company that has become one of the leading bike companies in the world. It competes with other famous brand names but is considered to be one of a kind. The original nature of Harley Davidson bikes separates it from the rest of the industry and distinguishes it as one of a kind company and bike type (Davidson, 2001).
The logo that came out with the first bikes was a simple shield that said “MotorCycles” and in the middle of the shield was a rectangular bar that said “Harley-Davidson.” Even though there is not much on the logo, its style and font display strength and durability. The sharp corners of the logo and the lettering represents brute force and aggressiveness.
As the business was still young and people were not so much preoccupied with “fancy” life, the audience consisted of people who could afford and allow themselves such a bike. As it was made with high quality parts, the target audience would be someone who could afford such a luxury (Holmstrom, 2004). The commercials and advertisements from the 1990’s were conservative and to the point. One of them shows several riders on the road with close ups of the bike. It focuses on the bike and its parts, engine, wheels and seat. Most of the early advertisements focused on strength and reliability of the bike. The slogan was “Define your world in a whole new way.” This saying represents the unique culture of the bike and the role it plays in the life of a person. But, in the 1990s, people did not spend much time riding and cruising and so, socially, it was a want and not a need. The classic logo has stayed the same throughout the years and is often used on bikes but each dealership can make its own modifications, after consulting the parent company (Mitchel, 2007). From a shield and a bar, the logo started to have symbols that would represent its quickness and sense of direction:
The lines and the image of movement add to the design, representing the significant focus on riding and doing it with style and speed.
Year 2003 has marked the 100 years of Harley Davidson Bikes. The new logo that was created to commemorate the event was the usual shield and bar but the wings on both sides were added, year 1903 and 2003 were opposite to each other on the left and right sides and a big “100” was under the shield. The clear representation of the way the bike feels and moves is made with the wings. It reminds the audience that anyone who rides the bike, will feel as if they are flying, being free and uncatchable. The decade of 2000’s changed the industry, as more people were able to afford the bike and devote much more time to the maintenance and updates to the bike. Today, it is mostly men who have reached some sort of stability in life, established a family or a business and are looking for a hobby and a way to enjoy the open road (Mitchel, 2007). The technological advancements have made the bike very appealing. Harley Davidson became so popular that it has its own following and culture, which is represented by people who love the sound of the chopper and the power that it gives out. The freedom of mind and body is often associated with the bike and the logo. Present society has become much more liberal and acknowledging people’s rights and freedoms and it has been reflected in the Harley Davidson’s commercials. They are full of rebellious humor and the general message is to live by own rules and be above the system—unique. The power and reputation and displayed in every advertisement, creating a circle of an outsiders, who are free and above the social structure (Dregni, 2005). One of them shows a man having an anniversary dinner with his bike and the slogan is “Love affair continues” (Harley Davidson Commercial). This reminds the followers that the makers are staying true to traditions and continue to take pride and pleasure in providing high quality motorcycles. Humor is used to show that a man’s bike is closer than his family and his is devoted to spending time and working on it, more often than anything else.
The future of Harley Davidson creates unimaginable possibilities. The technology advancements will make it possible to build more powerful and more functional bikes. The advertisement of the future shows a bike in the clouds. This presents a possibility of high powered flying bikes that will change the world. The slogan might be—“Want to fly fast-Harley is the way.” The target audience will be people who are able to afford and allow themselves such a machine because it is a way of life and there are many people who dream of such lifestyle. Information technology will allow for bike owners to make own modifications at home, with an easy to use kits. The movement of Harley Davidson owners and all who are interested will become enormous. People’s lives will no longer focus on work but time away from it. Harley Davidson bikes have a great ability to take the person’s mind off anything, except the bike and the road. The future will make it possible for the younger population to get such a high priced and quality bike and this will increase the number of clubs and followers that are in existence. It is even possible that there will be children’s models that would allow for safe and enjoyable time spending.
Davidson, J. (2001). Growing Up Harley-Davidson: Memoirs of a Motorcycle Dynasty. Stillwater, united States: Voyageur Press.
Dregni, M. (2005). Harley-Davidson: The Good, the Bad, And the Legendary. St. Paul, United States: Voyageur Press.
“Harley Davidson Commercial.” You Tube. Web. 2013.
Holmstrom, D. (2004). The Harley-Davidson Century. St. Paul, United States: MotorBooks International.
Mitchel, D. (2007). Harley-Davidson. St. Paul, United States: MotorBooks International.