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Losing incoming markets for road motorcycles?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Mouth, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. When you see Harley's numbers falling and HD reacts by having a major shake up and installing new marketing staff while announcing a major spending increase you know the rest of the retail motorcycle business needs to pay attention.

    When I was 20 something I did not know a male that did not want a motorcycle and a fair amount of females too. Today with risk aversion and limited income the 20-30 somethings that should be driving a boom are a bust. Stand in any motorcycle shop for an hour on a Saturday and visually survey the traffic for average age. Bet you that 50+, maybe 60+ with dominate especially in Euro & Domestic brand dealers.

    Even though the pond has gotten larger [realm of potential consumers] the number of fish has gotten fewer so we need to stock the pond. Where and how are we going to find a way to enhance demand among the Generation X, the Millennials and Generation Z who are now in elementary and high school? What is the key to reviving that desire to feel the freedom only two wheels gives one? To make motorcycle ownership appealing functionally as well as recreationally?

    It is my long held belief that there has ever only been 1 successful motorcycle advertising campaign, " You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda" - 1963. That created NEW riders, new demand and if you drill down far enough you'll find that those consumers created a half century ago are the audience we have been selling to for the past 5 decades.

    If you look back at the media buys for the Honda campaign, it was placements in the major magazines and regular television. They reached out to non-riders, the ads expressed the normality of riding a motorcycle, showed people dressed in street clothes doing something fun while getting there on their bikes. Now the motorcycle media is incestuous, we only court those already members of the family. That doesn't provide growth, we all just steal consumers from each other as we switch brand loyalty. This industry needs more.

    - Reynolds Mansson


  2. There is a lot of truth in these comments. Women are a growing segment in bike sales and manufacturers need to cater for them better. Young riders don't seem to be taking up the pastime. I am not sure if this is the case in other countries. Those that have motorcycling entry level systems for 16y/o probably get a better follow through when these riders are permitted larger bikes. I agree that the motorcycle industry does themselves no favours by not encouraging young riders. Greater urbanisation in living should result in increased scooter usage, it would be interesting to see if that is the case.
  3. I agree with the last paragraph particularly. Marketing any product is all about targeting the right audience.
    The realisation that the target market needs to be the potential rider rather than the existing rider is sound. I'm surprised that more advertising isn't aimed in that direction. I won't be surprised to see motorcycle promos appearing in all sorts of unusual places in the future.
  4. Start marketing to the 16yo and up, if you can get them at that age you'll see more 20-somethings browsing when they start earning their own income, plus we'll start seeing a greater number of bike aware cagers.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. #5 chillibutton, Nov 14, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
    The bike companies don't really bother with mainstream advertising. It's expensive, and their budgets would be (relatively) tight, but I feel a lot more could be done. I have no idea how effective their social media is, but judging by the fact that my wife and I both ride, and we haven't ever heard a thing about it, I'm guessing it's not very.

    Right now with filtering having become legal in Vic, if I was the brand manager for Kawazukiha or similar I'd be running short, sharp TV and online ads on the benefits of biking for commuters. Save time traveling, money parking, etc etc.

    Agree with above comments, you can't just keep preaching to the converted, you need more bums in seats!

    Edit: turned on channel 9 a few minutes ago to watch the cricket, and saw an ad for cash converters. Featuring a girl on a moped going past lines of traffic. So they know about filtering lol...
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. We've had a lot of negative "bikie gang" AirPlay that seems to connect us to the criminal world by association. This has probably had a general negative effect on the next generation. The positives, such as (maybe perceived) cheaper running costs, filtering, ease of parking and the general fun of riding has not been promoted. But who's job is that?
  7. Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and the like in my view. Mind you their advertising budget in Australia is small as is the market but some clever well directed ads would be a good start.
  8. It would make a lot of sense for the manufacturers and M.A to get together and work on ideas and campaigns to grow the industry.

    An ad campaign that's funded by the manufacturers jointly would help to make their money go further, as it would give them an opportunity to get people that might not have been keen on a bike to start looking into it - at which point they can use their existing channels and campaigns to try and get that person into one of their dealerships.

    Another thing that i've noticed is that it seems to only be the cruiser manufacturers that really market a lifestyle more than the product. Manufacturers should take note and really market how different styles of bikes are used in the context of the real world.
  9. Agree although it is not really in MA's area of concern. You can argue I suppose that more road and off road riders will lead to more competition riders.

    Regarding marketing to a new generation of riders, traditional avenues of approach are not good value for money here. Social Networking options, in game advertising etc can be far more targeted at younger riders.
  10. if the total number of riders and bikes sold is increasing... do we care if HD are selling less?
    maybe less obnoxiously loud bikes on the road would be a good thing for the image of motorcyclists in general? :D

    a lot of it is to do with HD's approach in America, and who their bikes are traditionally targeted at... I think other brands don't have same issues...
    from HD site
    “In 2012, U.S. sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles to our ‘outreach’ customers — young adults 18-34, women, African-Americans and Hispanics – grew overall at more than twice the rate as sales to our traditional U.S. customer base of Caucasian men, ages 35-plus.”

    is Mansson still just as jaded about "Bikers" now (vs regular motorcyclists), after having done a few stints as marketing Director and VP of marketing for Harley Davidson?
    is he more jaded now that the newly installed marketing staff at HD doesn't include him?

    besides.. in Australia the Learner market is the biggest segment no?
    Learners, cruisers lead motorcycle market - Motorbike Writer
  11. A whole generation got turned on by a film called ON Any Sunday. Riding is supposed to be FUN. Not a dangerous means to get to work cheaply.There seems to be a lot of ANTI bike stuff from the authorities and safely nazis for want of a better description,this needs to be fought against Stimulation that its fun neave would work again.Just as a demo on how insidious this thought manipulation is a mate was telling me about a car he was thinking of buying, what excited him was it had I think 12 air bags in it.That the kind of thinking we are against. All this total safety being pushed and what hope bike riding.
  12. What I meant by M.A getting involved is that they can assist the manufacturers to showcase a lifestyle through competitive riding and even just track days.

    In my own experience I have found just how hard it is to get information when it comes to getting into racing - you really need to seek it and spend plenty of time researching & asking questions.

    If M.A and the manufacturers were to work together they could better promote things like road racing and off-road racing.

    An example that i'd like to see is something like a new-racer training academy for new riders 18+. Almost like a planned course of multiple track days/tuition at a discount rate. If this went forward there could even be a racing class for 18-22 year olds with LAMS only bikes to keep it cheap and fun (as they could potentially use their normal bikes).

    This could be sold with Ninja, Honda, Ktm etc. Lams sportbikes and would really help to promote the lifestyle of sportbikes and grow the sport, rather than the current marketing of the bikes being a 'sporty commuter'
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Motorcycling emerged from the doldrums of the 50's by the release and clever marketing of the 50 cc Honda step throughs. Thousands of these bikes were sold and led to a renaissane of motorcycling in Australia. Gradually, engine capacities increased until today nearly everyone wants a big bike as soon as they have finished their 'P's. A lot of fun can be had on a 250 . It is a pity registration costs are so high for bikes of this size.