HD stores vs Japanese bike dealers
I witnessed an interesting contrast between how HD sells it's stuff vs how most Japanese motorcycle dealers sell their motorcycles this morning.
I accompanied a friend to the local HD dealership. 2/3 of the highly themed and decorated retail space was devoted to HD branded "stuff". The remaining 1/3 to a few bikes on display. They have a whole wall of HD branded dog accessories, not to mention several different kinds of HD pyjamas, a display case of HD watches, and walls of HD jackets, HD vests, HD jeans and HD shirts, hoodies, sweats and more. Most of the HD stuff is of high quality too and stylishly designed, although maybe over priced. Think Nike store or Roots quality and prices rather than Walmart. Eg. $45 T-shirts. I was approached several times by mature and professional sales people who used a soft sell approach. On the bikes they push the exclusivity of each model. "At $25,000 It's the ONLY purple sparkle, dark denim, dyna softail, screaming eagle, XLG extra chrome package in Canada and we just can't get any more". It gives you the impression they sell an exclusive, premium product, even though I'm worldly enough to know better.
This was in complete contrast to the Honda/Ducati dealer we went to next. The Honda dealer was a large undecorated space with unfinished concrete floors and bikes crammed into every available space. They had 10x the number of bikes on display though in the same size space. Apparel was basically stacked and hung where extra space allowed. It was a functional but not a "designed or styled" space. I got the feeling sales people were paid minimum wage as all the store staff was basically young adults. There was no push to sell bikes, if you asked someone would get you a price quote but that was about it.
It's easy to see why HD is as successful as they are. HD stores only sell HD bikes and their efforts at branding are legendary. In contrast most Japanese bikes simply allow independent dealers to pick up their product line and sell it with many other motorcycle brands any way they want it.
Last edited by twowheels; 11-22-2014 at 06:45 PM.