Marketing Plan for Harley Davidson: UK Market

Executive Summary

 Harley-Davidson is the leading designer and manufacturer of motorcycle companies that has carved a niche among US customers because of the unique and innovative products developed by the company. Since, the company has attracted a vast number of customers in the US market; it is now planning to expand its operations in UK market so that it can have the same firm position in this market as well resulting to incur huge profits and luring more customers towards it. The business plan is to expand the business of the firm in UK market by analysingthe micro and macro environment, which includes SWOT, PESTEL and Porter’s five force model.

Apart from this, there is a need to select the right target audience by understanding their preference in terms of products and quality of motorcycle they wants from the company. The marketing plan for the firm is developed for three years, which ranges from 2012-2015. To have a successful operation, there is a selection of two target markets for the firm in UK market and also includes customer profiling and positioning and marketing mix for both markets so that they are given accurate product at the right price at the right place and with a strong promotion strategy. To expand the business in UK successfully, there is an inclusion of control mechanism in the report to identify loopholes at the right time. Followed by this, conclusions and recommendations are also a part of the report.

Introduction

In the growing global economy, improvement in their market share is the main objective of the multinational companies. As a part of this, companies are looking for their business   expansion as a strategic process into the new international markets (Levy and Powell 2004). Increasing intense competition among rivalries in each business industry is the principal ground behind this problem. To have a successful business expansion in any new international market, it is essential for the business organisation to adopt a significant marketing plan with the consideration of analysis of both internal and external environment of the related market and industry. This analysis proves significant for companies to compare their own organisational performance and competence in front of the existing rivalries. Through having deep insight into the existing marketing conditions, companies have become able to select the most appropriate target markets into the new business environment in order to have a successful business position at all stage of product life cycle. Harley Davidson being a multinational company wants to expand its business into the new UK market in order to overcome the problem of increased degree of competition and declined sales in different international market. Harley Davidson is a motorcycle maker company, which has a renowned position at the global level (Harley Davidson 2012). The company has a powerful brand image and provides matchless riding experience to bikers. Improved brand positioning is the unique selling proposition (USP) of the company. This business plan is useful for the company to analyse its competitive position in its own industry. For this purpose, the business plan includes environmental appraisal and selection of two best suited UK markets as part of its market expansion. Effective product positioning is an essential measure for Harley Davidson to capture good market share in new UK markets. The environment analysis can be conducted effectively with the help of the strategic models.

Company Overview:

Harley Davidson was a motor biking company that was established in the year 1903 by William Harley and Arthur Davidson. The company has a leading position in the motorcycle manufacturing industry for designing and manufacturing motorcycles with different attributes including heavyweight, cruiser, touring, custom and performance. In addition to this, company also offers a good range of accessories, parts and general merchandise of motorcycles. The first dealership of Harley Davidson was opened in Chicago during 1904 (Harley Davidson 2012). The main focus of the company in its product manufacturing process is one heavy customisation and distinctive designs. The company retains a loyal brand image through meeting the customer needs of heavyweight motorcycles. These are basic elements that have resulted into high demand of the company products into the world market. The core customer group of the company comprises younger people up to the age group of 35 years that reflects the demographic segmentation strategy of the company. The business operations of the company are expanded across the world as it exports its motorcycle products to foreign markets other than its native country. As there is high competition for the company in the world market, the company constantly revamp its marketing efforts through approaching larger number of other customer segments (Harley Davidson 2012).

Environmental Appraisal:

Prior moving into any international market, conducting environmental appraisal is an essential aspect for business organisations (Schaffer, Agusti and Earle 2008). In this context, Harley Davidson also needs to conduct an environmental analysis of UK market in order to have successful market position at the introductory stage of Product Life Cycle (PLC). For conducting environment analysis, it is essential for the company to examine their own organisational performance. In addition to this, Harley Davidson also needs to conduct external environment analysis in a dual manner including micro environment analysis and macro environment analysis.

Organisation Environment Analysis of Harley Davidson:

The financial performance of Harley Davidson is good in terms of its earning as the business has hit all spheres of market. The restructuring efforts of the company in the international market are on course to have cost recovery in a sustainable manner. In the reduction of losses, the financial unit of Harley Davidson has been quite successful. The cash flow of Harley Davidson has improved, and with this, the company has on course to attain its liquidation strategy to have projected liquidity for about minimum 12 months (Harley Davidson Rides To $59 As Growth Hits on All Cylinders 2012). The net revenue of the company has been increased in the year 2011 to $4,662,264 from $4,176,627 in the year 2010. In the same series, the gross profit of the company has also increased in the same proportion (Harley Davidson Annual Report 2011).

The operating structure in the manufacturing facilities of the company has significant changes with the follow up of the same operating system at all the production facilities. The company in the present run has gained immense transformation momentum in order to have exceeded the level of customer expectation. With the continual operations, the income of the company has doubled to that amounted to $548.1 million (Harley Davidson Annual Report 2011). The operations of the company are based on the flexible manufacturing process with the development and implementation of improved operating functions. On the basis of the retail demand, the company makes changes in its product mix to a significant level.

The marketing performance of Harley Davidson is highly superior in its existing markets. Marketing achievements of Harley Davidson is remarkable in terms of marketing transformation from a no-hoper company to the leading and popular brand in the western world (Jenkinson and Sain 2005). In UK market, Harley Davidson has had high market push that has refreshed the market image of the company and has forced the motorcycle enthusiasts to buy new generation Harley bikes. In the youth hangouts and music festivals, the customised bikes of Harley had have a good experience in terms of customer preference towards these bikes in the form of stationary bikes. The market sales of Harley have in UK increased to £1.1bn in the second quarter that is a hike of 14.6% and with this, the profit percent of the company has increased up to 29.7% (Harley-Davidson powers ahead 2012). In order to unleash the full potential of Harley Davidson, the company works extremely hard every day, and as a part of this, it is opening new dealerships in the international market including UK market.

Competitor Analysis:

            Harley Davidson faces a stiff competition for various globally known motorcycle manufacturing companies. The main competitors of Harley Davidson include Triumph, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki. All these competitors share a good market in the world motorcycle market. In UK market, Harley Davidson needs to pick up good competition from existing competitors (Fifield 2012). In UK, the keenest competitor of Harley Davidson is Triumph that is the largest marketer of motorcycle products in the entire UK market (Goodley 2011). In the year 2010, the market share of British Group including Triumph in the overall motorcycle market has increased from 13% to 16%. According to the performance of the financial year 2010, the registration of motorcycles in UK market has grown by 13% (Goodley 2011). In the year 2010, Trimum sold more than 50,000 bikes that showed increased market share of the company (Ruddick 2011). In comparison to this, the market share of Harley Davidson in the US market is about 55.7% for the whole year (Jan 2012).

Micro Environmental Analysis:

Micro environmental analysis of Harley Davidson is done in order to analyse the competitive position of the company in its related industry. For the purpose of industry analysis of Harley Davidson, Porter Five Forces Model is highly significant and suitable. This model provides significant insight into the existing external forces that have directly influenced the business performance of the company into the existing market. The analysis of micro environment forces for Harley Davidson is done in the light of this model.

Porter Five Force Analysis of Harley Davidson:

Threat of New Entrants:

The business of designing and manufacturing heavy motorcycles requires high capital investment. In the motorcycle manufacturing industry, scale economies are required in different business activities including research & development, production, marketing and services to a high level (Gilligan, Richard and Wilson 2012). Due to this reason, there is negligible threat of new entrants for Harley Davidson into the new market of UK. One more reason for this low degree of threat is that Harley Davidson has established strong brand identification for many years and to overcome this brand positioning of Harley is a big challenge for new entrants. Harley has premium brand positioning in the world market with the focus of product differentiation strategy (Qumer and Purkayastha 2012). The distributional channels of Harley are limited as it deals through private dealers and distributors in a licensed way and thus, to have creation of their own distribution channels will also require significant investment by the new entrants that are a barrier for them.

Bargaining Power of Suppliers:

The main supplier group of Harley Davidson includes steel suppliers, electrical equipment suppliers and shipping of end products. All these industries are not saturated in UK market, and still larger numbers of options are available for Harley Davidson to switch to other suppliers in case it finds any problem with existing suppliers (Davies 2012). The availability of wide panel of suppliers is a highly flexible factor for Harley Davidson to flourish its business successfully into UK market. In this context, the bargaining power of suppliers is extremely low as Harley can acquire steel and other materials on a cheaper rate.

Bargaining Power of Customers:

Customer satisfaction is the most focal area for Harley Davidson to operate successfully into UK market. Though Harley offers riders with unique designed and high quality profits and has won eminent degree of customer loyalty and profits through its differentiation strategy, yet high price is also a critical factor for Harley Davidson in UK market. This is because there are other competitors in UK market namely Honda, and Suzuki that are providing their motorcycles on a cheaper rate (Fifield 2012). This factor symbolises high bargaining power of customers and market share of differentiated heavy motorcycle products is not large and thus, customer bargaining power for Harley Davidson is quite high in UK market. For instance in the year 2010, Honda experienced sales increase of 82.5% in UK market (European Motor News 2012).

Threats of Substitutes:

In the developed countries like UK, motorcycles are used as recreational vehicle and leisure items that do not have necessity for customers. There are several other options available for customers despite using motorcycles such as public transportation options, passenger cars, scooter bikes and sports bike. The production of motorcycles in UK in the year 2011 has increased to 50,000 motorcycles (The UK Motorcycle Industry 2012). All these substitute products though not pose a great threat for Harley Davidson as the company deal in unique and distinctive motorcycle products, yet it is essential for the company to consider this factor while dealing in UK market.

Rivalries:

In the UK market, Triumph is the chief rival company for Harley Davidson as it enjoys the largest market share in UK. Other than this, Honda is also the close competitor as it retains leading position in the market (George, Joll and Lynk 2012). Other than this, Yamaha, and Suzuki also share the market of Harley Davidson as these companies are also transforming their production process to design and develop modified motorcycles (Bowers 2010). The existence of rivalries is a threatening condition of Harley Davidson.

Macro Environmental Analysis:

Apart from industry forces, external market factors also affect the business of companies when they move into new markets. Under the external environment analysis of UK, it is essential for Harley Davidson to evaluate political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal factors as they direct the business to a great level. In this context, PESTEL Analysis model is implied in order to analyse the macro environment of Harley Davidson.

PESTEL Analysis of Harley Davidson:

Political Factors:

In recognition of motorcycles, the government of UK plays an extremely significant role. The motorcycle manufacturers in UK have strong political support in order to create growth of the economy. This is a favourable symbol for the business of Harley Davidson in UK. The government’s objective in UK is the development of clean manufacturing technologies and reduction in carbon emission (The UK Manufacturing Industry 2012). For the motorcycle manufacturing companies, it is a significant aspect to keep the improvement in safety aspects of the motorcycle products in order to keep traffic regulations followed properly.

Economic Factors:

In the economy of UK, the contribution of UK motorcycle industry is notable through having annual turnover of about £5billion. In the overall economy of UK, motorcycle manufacturing adds value of about 2.8billion pounds (The UK Manufacturing Industry 2012).  Sports and leisure are also a prominent sector of UK motorcycle industry that signifies a favourable point for the business of Harley Davidson as its bikes are highly suitable for sports and leisure activities. Due to the recent economic crisis purchases of motorcycles have declined, but indigenous motorcycle manufactures have even gained good growth in their market share. The total turnover of motorcycle related manufacturing in UK is about 500million pounds. According to IBIS World Economic Report 2011-12, UK motorcycle manufacturing industry including exports won about 406.7 million pound revenue in between the year 2007 to 2011 that signified the annual growth of about 8.6% (The UK Manufacturing Industry 2012).

Social Factors:

In UK, adult population uses motorcycle to a good level. In UK per 1000 people have 22 motorcycles (The UK Manufacturing Industry 2012). More than 3 million people in UK hold a driving license for motorcycles.  In UK, riders want motorcycles that can provide them convenient riding experience, which are time saving and can be easily parked. Automatic and semi-automatic gear shifting bikes are in high demand among UK customers. The customers in UK even prefer to ride adventurous sports bikes that they can use for racing and other leisure activities. Considering these facts, it will be essential for Harley Davidson to produce high quality, high performance and high value motorcycle products for riders in UK in order to have significant sales growth even at the introductory phase. In UK market, the average age of motorcycle riding with license is above 17 years (The Law 2012).

Technological Factors:

In UK, the existing players in the motorcycle manufacturing industry research and development are the main dominating activities for the motorcycle manufacturing companies. All manufacturers of motorcycle products in UK are following advanced and expert engineering process. Suzuki the keen competitor of Harley Davidson is working with Intelligent Energy of Loughborough University for the production of hydrogen powered motorbikes. In UK electric race bikes are also in high fashion. In UK, high degree of innovations has been made in order to test motorbikes to provide safe and improved riding to customers (The UK Manufacturing Industry 2012).

Environmental Factors:

The government in UK promotes environmental policies and agendas for the motorcycle manufacturing company as a part of environmental protection process (The UK Manufacturing Industry 2012). In order to reduce the environmental impact, it is essential to produce fuel efficient motorbikes in UK, which is a challenging factor for Harley Davidson. The federal regulations related to environmental protection from motorcycle exhaust are dealt by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Ruch 2012). The agency has imposed labelling requirements for new models of motorcycles and asks the company to assure that exhaust systems in their motorcycles have a good degree of compliance with these standards. In order to examine the compliance regulations, the governmental administrators follow a set testing process. In order to conduct its business successfully into UK market, Harley will need to have compliance with government specifications for concentration on reduction of carbon emission from its manufacturing process and even motorcycle products.

Legal Factors:

In UK, the motorcycle manufacturing companies have to pay a significant amount of their revenue as tax amount. In the total tax revenue of UK, i.e. 1billion pounds, the manufacturing sector shares about 60 million pounds. In addition to this, the UK government has posed several governmental regulations for motorcycle manufacturing companies to keep their process highly environment efficient in order to reduce pollution. In UK, people above the age of 17 years can only hold the driving license to ride motorcycles on the road (The Law 2012). Only individuals having these licenses can drive high engine capacity bikes. This is also a challenging factor for the business of Harley Davidson in UK market. As per the regulation of EPA in UK, if the motorcycle manufacturing companies do not follow its standards, the manufacturing process of companies can be ceased as per legal regulations (Ruch 2012).

Target Markets for the Company

In order to establish its business into the new market of UK, Harley Davidson needs to select two suitable target markets that it can approach to have successful establishment among other competitor motorcycle manufacturing company. For the selection of the suitable target market, the company will follow STP (Segmentation, Targeting, positioning) process.

Market segmentation by companies is done on the basis different factors including demographic factors, psychographic factors, geographic and behavioural segmentation. From among these market segmentation factors, Harley Davidson must do its market segmentation on the basis of demographic segmentation and psychographic segmentation (Seddon 2012). Under demographic segmentation, occupation is the significant variable that the company can use to have a selection of its target market. The market segment must be selected by the company on the basis of psychographic factors. In concern to this variable, the company must select the variable of lifestyle patterns of customers (Seddon 2012). This market segmentation is appropriate for the company as in UK larger numbers of customers have trendy and stylish lifestyle. As per the data of UK economy from among 1000 people, only 22 people own bikes. This show a good prospective for Harley Davidson as the company can take advantage of lifestyle pattern of UK customers and target this market.

In the first market segment on the basis of occupation, Harley Davidson must target the professional racers as these people have a high preference to own heavy and unique designed bikes. Under the second target market, Harley Davidson should appeal the young customers of age group of 18 to 25 years. The customers of this age group come under youth generation and follow modern lifestyle (Seddon 2012). Of the total UK population this customer mass includes 7,247,000 people (Grundy and Jamieson 2002). Over the years this customer mass is increasing. Riding modified bikes having sporty look with specific design attributes is considered a status symbol by these customers and through owing Harley bikes, these customer groups can signify their unique identity among peers.

Prior to position its products, the company must develop its product portfolio in an effective way with the consideration of increasing consumer demands. In the product portfolio, the company must include designing of specific vehicle models for both racing bike and trendy bikes. In the product portfolio, the company must focus on the overall appearance of bikes as well as engine capacity (Moore and Pareek 2010).

In order to position it’s uniquely designed motorcycle products successfully into the sight of these customers, the company must demonstrate its distinctive physical and other attributes during positioning process. The product positioning process of the company must be based on the concept of the value proposition. Under this concept, the company delivers good value of products and services to its customers in return on money paid by them. In this context, the two main positioning attributes for the company are quality and price. The demonstration of this product position of Harley is done under the following positioning map.

POSITIONING MAP

Selection and Justification of Target Markets:

Target Markets: From among the entire UK market of motorcycle products, the two best suited and potential markets for Harley Davidson are young professional racers, and youth favouring trendy lifestyle from the age group of 18-25 years. Both these target markets have growth prospects for the company as the company produces integrated sportier motorcycles. The heavy weight division of the company makes designer and customised bikes, and this is the strength of Harley to win these target markets.

Rationale behind Selection of Target Markets:

The decision of target market selection of Harley Davidson is quite wise and justified as Harley has a good market reputation over the world for making racing bikes. The bikes of Harley are popularly used in races and rallies since; its establishment. The keen competitor of Harley Davidson, i.e. Triumph sells middleweight sports bikes. Still there is a good scope for competitive racing motorcycles in UK as only 22 people out of 1000 rides motorcycles in UK (The UK Motorcycle Industry 2012). The demand of sports bikes in UK is quite high for both customer bikes and racing bikes (Custom-built Triumph 675 Racing & Track Motorcycles 2012). This dual demand of racing bikes is a positive factor for Harley Davidson to select this market.

The youth market following trendy lifestyle prefers to use sporty looking bikes for dual purpose and this demand of customers directly matches with bikes of Harley Davidson (Qumer and Purkayastha 2012).  The sport sector in UK motorcycle manufacturing industry is at the forefront of technological advancements and innovations. Though during the recession period, the demand of motorcycles downed in UK, but later in the year 2011, the sales of motorcycle pick up that justifies the selection of this target market for Harley Davidson (Industry Sector: Motorcycle Dealer 2012).

Customer profiling and Positioning:

            In both the selected target markets of Harley Davidson, both categories of customers have specific customer profile. The first customer group will comprise professional racers between the age group of 20 years to 35 years. These customers are highly passionate to own racing and sporty bikes for tracks, as well as for usual purpose. The preferences of these customers are to have heavyweight motorcycles with high engine capacity and high performance. In the design features, these customers mainly like branded, adventurous and sporty look bikes (The UK Motorcycle Industry 2012).

The second customer group of youth comprise youth generation between the age group of 18 to 25 years belonging from high income families that is 36% that have had increase in the income during 2009-2010 (). These customers are not price sensitive and thus, can own expensive bikes. Mainly college going students share this customer group. Owing a uniquely designed and expensive bike is considered a part of status symbol for these customers. The lifestyle of these customers is extremely exclusive and overhauled that determine their preferences to opt highly unique and expensive riding vehicles. These customers are highly brand conscious and want to have highly popular and unique brand based motorcycles. To attract these customers, the company will need to improve its product features according to the consumer needs.

For both these customer profiles, Harley Davidson must position its products with proper brand recognition. In the product positioning, the company must focus on physical features of the product including surface colour, size and lights (Potts and Neuman 2008). The designing of motorcycles should reflect the high technology based engineering used in bikes. Motorcycles must have modulator headlights to provide critical visibility. Under brand positioning, the self concepts of products must be highlighted in a significant way to attract customers towards it (Sengupta 2005).

Product Life Cycle:

As Harley Davidson is introducing its products into the new market of UK, where there are already some successful organisations working at a good level, it is highly essential to maintain a good market position even at the introductory phase of PLC (Product Life Cycle). At the introductory stage of product life cycle, the company must meet the product demand at instant level with the desired features to all prospect customers in order to have a good market share in the new UK market. This successful entry at the introduction phase of UK market, the company would be able to have a good growth stage with the passage of time among existing competitors. Having good market position at the initial stage of PLC is a symbol of successful future business of companies (Stark 2011).

Summary:

This marketing plan for Harley Davidson is quite effective and supporting to have successful business in selected UK markets. With the help of suggested marketing mix strategies, the company will be able to meet needs of customers to a good level. The environment analysis shows that there is a great need for the company to overcome the competition as there are some competitors like Honda and Triumph that have successful business position in UK market. In addition to this, consideration of environment factors is also a major essentiality for the company. To overcome these problems, recommendations proposed to the company are quite significant for its future business success in UK.

Marketing Mix for Target Markets:

In order to position its products to a successful level into new UK market, Harley Davidson must determine its marketing mix strategy in the most significant way. Prior to determining marketing mix strategy, setting objectives of the marketing mix is an essential task for Harley Davidson. For each target market, the company will determine the marketing mix strategy in segregated way.

First Target Market: First target market of the company is professional racer for which; it wants to develop a specific market mix.

Objectives of Marketing Mix:

  • Increasing market share by attracting new potential customers in UK market
  • To attain competitive advantage in UK motorcycle manufacturing industry among existing competitors
  • Improving its sales through increment in per unit sales of heavy motorcycles
  • Strengthening its relationship with customers in order to retain them in longer term for continual sales of its motorcycles

Market Mix: For the first target market, the company will determine the marketing mix element in a specific way. The marketing mix for this market is defined as under:

Product Mix:

For the professional racers, Harley Davidson must focus on specific product attributes during its designing and manufacturing process. In this series, the company must design heavyweight motorcycles that can have stable and balanced riding on tracks. The engine capacity of bikes should be highly efficient to keep acceleration adjusted according to the dimensions of tracks (Botha, et al 2006). The designs of motorcycles should be highly unique and have a sporty look. The designing and colouring of bikes should also be unique to give racers a pleasant feeling.

Price Mix:

The professional racers are mainly product centric customers, which want to have uniquely designed, and high performance based bikes without having concern with the price of bikes. As the bikes of Harley Davidson are already quite expensive; the company must follow a premium pricing strategy for this target market. With the help of premium pricing strategy, the company would be able to have effective follow up of value propositions by providing good and value based products in return of the money paid by them (Botha, et al 2006).

Place Mix:

In the marketing mix strategy, place mix has a highly significant role to provide end products to the end customers in an appropriate way (Lamb, Hair and McDaniel 2008). As Harley Davidson mainly follows dealership strategy for distributing its products to the customer over the world, it should also follow the same strategy in UK markets. The professional racers can have direct contact with dealers to purchase their required bikes and on the basis of their orders; dealers can make them avail their desired bikes on their desired destinations.

Promotion Mix: As Harley Davidson is introducing its products into the new target market, promotional activities will be highly supportive for it to have a successful position at the introductory phase. In this series, the marketing efforts of the company must be centred on distinct ways. At the first level, the company must organise its own sponsored events for the promotion of sporty and racing bikes (Botha, et al 2006). In addition to this, dealership promotion is also a suitable technique for the company under which, it should provide an incentive to its dealers to promote its bikes into markets through their own dealership promotion practices. Adverting practices are also essential for the company at this introductory phase under which, the company must give advertisements of its bikes in the sport magazines.

Control Mechanism:

In order to control the performance of marketing practices, it is essential for companies to follow strategic marketing decision making as a continuous and iterative process. In order to evaluate current position of the marketing mix activities, marketing auditing is the suitable control mechanism for Harley Davidson. The auditing process is intertwined with marketing decision making process that provide signals to marketers for making required changes in the marketing mix strategy according to movements in the marketplace (Doole and Lowe 2012). With the help of auditing technique, the marketing environment can be monitored in order to maintain the functioning of marketing activities. Auditing control mechanism provides performance standards for each element of the marketing mix to examine their performance in an individualised manner.

Second Target Market: Second target market for Harley Davidson in UK is the youth that follows trendy lifestyle. The marketing mix and its objectives for this market segment are required to be determined by Harley Davidson with an equal degree of significance.

Objective of Marketing Mix:

  • Development of popularise brand position of Harley products in front of existing motorcycle products, in UK market
  • Increasing prospect customer mass for its future business in UK through promoting its products among high class customers
  • Promoting lifestyle supporting bikes that provide a unique recognition to customers
  • Becoming an industry leader even at the initiation phase in order to have long-term sustainability

Market Mix: Determination of the marketing mix strategy for the second market is done under the following section:

Product Mix: For the target market of youth customers, the motorcycle products should be developed as a style icon that symbolise their unique personality. The features of bikes must be associated with the trendy lifestyle and distinctive attitude of the young generation. In the product mix, Harley Davidson must focus on engine capacity, unique and stylish design, surface colour, size and lights and overall appearance of the bike. Brand recognition is also a prominent feature in the product mix for this segment of customers as they want to depict the product as a means of personal freedom in life (Fifield 2008).

Price Mix: As Harley Davidson produce value added motorcycle products, the company can determine high price for its stylish bikes. The target customers of these sporty look bikes can afford expensive bikes easily as they belong to high income families. The determination of this pricing strategy must be done by the company with the support of the concept of the value proposition. With the help of the value proposition,  Harley Davidson can articulate all benefits and effective features of its bikes to make their customers realise that the company is providing them full value of the high price paid by them (Mohr 2011).

Place Mix:

In the existing markets, Harley Davidson is following online marketing practices through its websites. The company can follow up the same online marketing services in this new target market of UK. Under this distribution process, the company must develop an online catalogue for its customers in which, the list of products must be provided with pictures, as well as location of dealers must be mentioned. The customers can place their order by selecting their desired model from the online catalogue (Fifield 2008).

Promotion Mix: In order to promote its products among these customers, Harley Davidson must use online advertising and promotion activities as this generation of customers have increased usage of internet. As a part of brand promotion, the company must use magazine advertising to popularise its product on a regular basis. In addition to this, company can also organise sport events and take help of different media means to promote its products to a great level (Fifield 2008).

Control Mechanism:

Under marketing functioning, to have effective control of the marketing mix practices, benchmarking is the most suitable mechanism in order to evaluate the market performance of the company against competitors. With the help of the benchmarking mechanism, Harley Davidson can evaluate the marketing performance of its products in comparison to other competitor products (Doole and Lowe 2012). Competitor benchmarking helps the company to acquire information about the market performance of competitors and thus, is quite helpful for the company to undertake specific measures to outperform its marketing efforts.

Recommendations

The market environment analysis of UK market for Harley Davidson reflects that there are several competitors operating in UK markets against the company. Even macro environmental factors are also critical for the company to adhere. To overcome these challenging factors, the company needs significant recommendations to attain a successful business position in the long run. In this series, some recommendations are provided for the company as under:

  • In order to attain a competitive position among existing competitors, Harley Davidson must incorporate promotion activities in its marketing efforts. In this series, Harley Davidson must use “pull” selling strategy under which, it must make significant spending on different marketing activities including advertising and consumer promotion. With the help of this strategy, the company would be able to build strong consumer demand for its products (Smith and Taylor 2004).
  • Environmental protection is the main prerequisite for motorcycle manufactures in UK. In this series, Harley Davidson must develop its CSR practices in such an extensive way that they can adhere with environmental protection policies of the government. For such purpose, company must take reference of environment management system in order to have compliance with laws and regulations of UK government.
  • In order to have a successful business in UK markets, Harley Davidson must conduct regular audits so that responses of the market towards its products can be acknowledged and thus, significant measures can be undertaken to change the business process (Baker 2008).
  • The last recommendation to the firm to have a successful business line of operation in UK is to come up with new and advanced technology in products as per the changing preferences of customers so that its sales increases in UK market in the long run.  This will attract large customer base towards the company as new products will be offered, which other competitor companies are not able to provide.

Summary

After developing the marketing plan for H-D for 2012-2015, overall, it can be summarised that if the company in advance, analyse the internal, as well as, external environmental factors, it will be able to expand its business in UK market successfully. With the selection of the two target audience i.e. professional racers and the youth, company can understand their existing preference in terms of product quality and designing of the motorcycle, which will act advantageous for the firm to gain competitive edge. Choosing the right promotion strategy, pricing, place and product is necessary for the firm to offer a unique line of motorcycle to customers in a short span of time. Focusing on these aspects will help the management to carry out their business successfully and retain customers with them for a long period.  

Conclusion:

Harley Davidson has been facing challenging business position in the US and other world markets. In order to balance its market performance, the company wants to expand its business in UK market as there are enough growth prospects for the company in this market. The market environment analysis of UK motorcycle manufacturing industry reflects that micro environment factors in UK are quite supportive for the business of Harley. Based on its market environment analysis, the selection of the two best suited target markets by Harley Davidson is a favourable decision for Harley Davidson. The proposed marketing mix strategies for both markets are effective enough to establish the company’s business into the new market in a successful manner. With the proper control mechanism, Harley Davidson can capture these target markets in a successful manner. Despite this fact, the company must consider that in UK market, there is stiff competition among existing motorcycle manufactures. Triumph, Honda and Suzuki already have significant market position in UK market. In addition to this, environmental protection is also a significant prerequisite for motorcycle manufactures in UK. In order to keep good dealing with all these factors, it is essential for Harley Davidson to take reference of some effective recommendations. In this series, some supportive suggestions are provided for the company that it can implement to overcome problematic situations in UK market. Overall, this marketing plan is a quite supportive tool for Harley Davidson to establish its business successfully into the new market.

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