Posts Tagged ‘Branding’

The Harley Brand

May 27, 2009

When we take our Harley trips, I finally relax.  And I love to study other bikers.  During our recent trip, we saw a little of everything humanity has to offer.  Start with the annoying crotch rockets: youngsters with a death wish, all leathered up with full face helmets and likely, small dicks. Then, the folks on Gold Wings, usually a middle aged, overweight couple with matching jackets and helmets with their little microphones sticking out…they give you the big, cheery wave when you pass them.  So Not Cool.

But then there’s the Harley people. They give you the subtle, hand-low-to-the-ground gesture of acknowledgement…no fucking wave.  It would be So Uncool.  

I’ve got the Harley  people down into two basic groups:  Tough guys and tough girls, tattoos and tramp stamps, adorned with flaming skull t-shirts and doo-rags.  They’re likely welders and waitresses. The second type are suburbanites…likely secretaries and store managers… adopting the Harley persona for weekends only. Mom got a sitter, Dad shined the chrome, and out they come to mingle in their unscuffed boots and pressed T-shirts.

The Harley mystique has an amazing depth…it’s downright intoxicating.  So many different people all wanting to own a piece of the brand promise: Be Rebellious. Independent. Dark. Cool. Renegade. The Experience. The ride of a Lifetime. Not only a superior piece of engineering, they back it all up with every piece of of clothing and accessory you can imagine.  And the web site…well,  go here.  It sucks you right in. Smart as hell.

Harley reminds me so much of Apple’s brilliant marketing. If you want it, you’ll pay for it.  Yeah, you could ride a Yamaha (own a PC).  

But then you’d be a pussy.

imagesIf I have to explain it, you wouldn’t understand.

It’s true.

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So That’s What a Brand is!

February 18, 2009

My dear, sweet, alcoholic ex-partner (ex-Michigan Avenue Art Director) used to tell us:  “Kleenex IS the Fucking tissue.  iPOD IS the Fucking mp3 player.  And that’s what branding is.  Get it?”

Yes, we get it.  But here in Hooterville, we don’t get a real chance to BE anything, although we try like hell to get our clients to let us try.  So I found this, and every client we have WILL be coming in for this little tutorial!  WOW.  

If you’ve seen it, sorry, but it’s so good you should watch it again.