Many business owners will tell you that the most effective advertisement in the world is a chatty customer who is pleased with a product. Harley-Davidson is making good use of this resource by combining the best of two worlds; they’re taking old fashioned word of mouth and mixing it with modern social media to create one unique advertising campaign.
Harley-Davidson’s #stereotypicalharley campaign is intended to dispel the idea that there is such thing as a stereotypical Harley-Davidson rider. The riders featured in the commercial are policemen, teachers, soccer moms and engineers. The idea for the campaign came not from a professional creative team within the Harley-Davidson company, but from a random man named Harold Chase of Tukwila, Washington, who simply had a good idea. His idea was solicited as a result of crowdsourcing efforts in which real customers are asked to share their experiences as Harley-Davidson riders via the company’s Facebook page. Mark-Hans Richer, Harley-Davidson’s chief marketing officer, says that all of their main creative ideas originate from customers themselves.
This method of crowdsourcing might not work for everyone, but Harley-Davidson is a company with a really loyal customer base. When someone buys a Harley-Davidson bike, it is not usually to satisfy a need for transportation, but because it’s a Harley. The name Harley-Davidson is synonymous with a state of mind, not just a mode of transportation. The best way to grow brand awareness is to encourage existing customers to do the selling.