Harley Davidson Revved Up on Hip Hop to Resurrect Brand

By CultureBanx Team

  • Harley Davidson is using influencers to reach a younger demographic

  • 43% of black adults use Instagram, more than any other group

Legacy American motorcycle brand Harley Davidson (HOG -0.57%) could use all the social media influence it can get, after once again missing earnings expectations. With the rise of influencers primarily attached to trendsetters in the hip hop community, plans to revive the company rely heavily on culture. Can Harley Davidson attract a younger generation of bikers by leveraging these influencers?

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Why This Matters: Riding into millennials lives via the influencer route may prove challenging for Harley Davidson. With a strong roster of people leading the charge from when they announced a new line of 2018 motorcycles via Facebook (FB -0.59%) owned Instagram like rapper Ludacris and actor Jason Momoa, they still need to overcome their aging demographic which is heavily skewed to married men in their 50s.

Tapping into younger consumers image conscious side may be the company’s best bet with its influencer push. Pew research found 43% of black adults use Instagram, more than any other group in the country, and getting this trendsetting subset interested in motorcycles could be very useful. UBS analyst Robin Farley wrote “one hopeful sign for the industry is that younger potential buyers cited the second most common reason to buy a motorcycle is that ‘it goes with their self-image’.”

They still need to overcome their aging demographic which is heavily skewed to married men in their 50s

Even if younger people for some reason started to think Harley Davidson motorcycles were cool again, you have to factor in the high price for its Hogs which appeal to middle age men making around $90,000 a year,  according to the swiss bank. The average millennials makes far less than that and they would need a cheaper bike, that would bring in lower margins for manufacturers.

Situational Awareness: The decline of Harley Davidson could be viewed as millennials killing another industry, but it’s also plausible they hold the keys to the future of the motorcycle sector. Over the next decade the company plans to bring in two-million more riders, while also getting into the electric bike market with the two concept motorcycles they previewed in January.

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