Top Story


Home >> Media - Others >> Article

CII Brand Conclave: Clyde Fessler shares the Harley Davidson experience

Font Size   16
CII Brand Conclave: Clyde Fessler shares the Harley Davidson experience

Building of a strong brand has more to with the process than with the product. It was the essence of Clyde Fessler’s presentation on the second day of the CII Brand Conclave in Kolkata.

This, he naturally, sought to exemplify through references to his experiences at Harley Davidson, where he was at the helm of marketing and communications for two decades -from early 1980s to 2002 - when the American bike-maker successfully overcame stiff competition from more modern and cheaper Japanese bikes. This period saw the emergence of the Harley Davidson cult in America, and resulted in a complete turnaround in the fortunes of the beleaguered company.

The starting point of Harley Davidson’s counter strategy was a value proposition that was arrived at by answering three simple but fundamental questions: who are we, who are our customers and what do they expect from us?

This value proposition for the Harley Davidson, drawing from its intrinsic strengths, was defined as: ‘We build big, beautiful motorcycles for motor enthusiasts, who want their product and services to be symbols of strength, freedom, individuality, Americana, and want to share participate in the Harley Davidson heritage, tradition and mystique.’

Once adopted this proposition was aggressively driven through all the four Ps of the brand’s marketing mix. Thus whether it was ‘Just in Time Inventories’ on the product front or equating price to resale value or, for that matter, a hyped-up cross-country consumer meet in Milwauki the Harley Davidson personality remained consistent.

The same values above all extended to the fifth and most important P, its People as well. This was effectively done by reorienting the entire business process to the company’s values and constant training programmes for its people. It was their passion that often made the difference in the Harley Davidson experience, he contended.

Again underlining the criticality of a process, Fessler argued that building a brand takes commitment, focus and three to five years of complimentary programmes; its not just an advertising campaign but a well thought out process that requires a company-wide effort unifying everyone’s energies towards the same common objective.


The production house has already established itself as the leader in the non-scripted genres. However, Rege now wants Endemol to achieve the same in the original scripted zone and film production

Naidu also talks about the ushering in of a new era of digital payments and says this is just the beginning and there’s lots of space for newer players to step in and evolve

Markus Noder, Managing Partner, Serviceplan International, shared innovative tools, ideas and methodologies to generate tangible business values

The primary reason that led to growth of OTT is the constant improvement of internet speed and service across the country: Sandeep Gupta, ACT Fibernet

India has become the diabetes capital of the world, with prevalence of the disease estimated to rise from 69.2 million to 123.5 million by 2040

Laban Stretchy Man, the new human shaped, stretchy, fruit flavoured chews from Orkla- Norway’s number one confectionery brand, has been launched and localized by MTR Foods in India