We don’t make motorcycles here

I spent a night in Missoula, MT a few months back (you may recall this post).

The following morning, I did a little touring. Next to my hotel was a Harley shop, which made for an ideal place for wandering.

Bumping around in the shop, I was struck by the culture that they’ve crafted. I knew it would make a good blog post topic someday so I snapped a picture of this sign:


Harley Davidson doesn’t make motorcycles to get people from point A to point B. They simply use motorcycles to connect people who have seen themselves as rebellious outsiders and change them into beloved tribe members.

They aren’t the cheapest, fastest, most reliable, most efficient, or highest quality bike on the road (although if there’s any Harley fans reading this, they may have a few words for me). Someone will always be able to make bikes with any one or more of those attributes better than they will. But that’s fine by them. They don’t make motorcycles.

At it’s core, Harley Davidson connects.

So how do we transfer this to our business? Rather than racing to be the cheapest, fastest, classiest, most reliable option in the market, how can we become connectors?

It’s not so important what we make in this economy of connection. It’s just important that we would be missed if we were gone.

Like this post on tribe-building? You might like this one on marketing by humanness!


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