Harley-Davidson's Retail Traffic Builers (1,171 words)
Harley-Davidson dealers customize retail traffic-builders
It's summer, and while most people troop around in shorts and tees, motorcyclists take to the roads in perforated leather and nylon mesh.
In the motorcycling market, Harley-Davidson stands out with its Motorclothes line. Customer brand loyalty is strong, as the Web site (www.harley-davidson.com) reminds us: "It's one thing to have people buy your products. It's another for them to tattoo your name on their body."
Harley-Davidson, headquartered in Milwaukee, WI, was incorporated in 1903 but started mailing catalogs only 10 years ago. This year Harley will mail an annual core book of over 100 pages, and three smaller catalogs of seasonal products.
Rather than soliciting mail orders directly, these catalogs refer buyers to an 800 number or the company's Web site to find dealers near them where they can purchase the apparel, accessories, gifts and collectibles featured in the catalogs.
WHERE'S THE NEAREST HARLEY DEALER?
In 1997 Harley-Davidson and its agency of record, Carmichael-Lynch of Minneapolis, had the idea of producing customized retail traffic-builders to help dealers generate business.
Banta Corp. was hired to print the 12-page, four-color traffic-builders. Banta also manages the database and drives participation in the customizing program by signing dealers up at Harley trade shows.
Julie Telesz, innovation production analyst at Banta, explains, "Carmichael-Lynch wanted to put more variable information into the seasonal books and make them more dealer-based to drive traffic into the stores."
Banta's director of innovation, Andy Bear, adds that the creative agency "was looking for someone to handle the customization from start to finish."
Of approximately 650 U.S. dealerships, more than 85 percent now participate in this marketing program. The dealers sign up for the direct-mail program, then provide Banta with the custom information required for the retail-building catalogs.