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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Harley Davidson Museum- Using Experiential Marketing Innovatively

Today, Business week has this story about Harley Davidson opening its museum at Milwaukee's south side. The article mentions that the museum will have artifacts such as the hogs owned by Elvis Presley & dare devil Evil knievel. It also mentions how the look of museum and all the Harley stuff inside will provide visitors unique experience. From a commercial point of view it has been mentioned that it is really not a marketing-driven project.
Mmmm....But is it really not a marketing driven project…i was thinking what is the purpose of having a museum of a product which already is being sold and can be seen on roads. Why would companies like Harley Davidson & Toyota motors have their museums and Can other companies learn something from it. I think the major reason why Harley Davidson is going in for a museum is to provide experience to visitors of a Harley living and what it means to be an Harley Rider… that the visitor (which very often young being accompanied by their parents or themselves) gets a real feel of Harley Experience & gets converted into a customer. Its known as experiential marketing.

Increasingly, I think companies need to focus on giving their potential customers a taste of what they are, whats their culture is, how their products look, what is it like to own their product.
I guess, this technique in future will be used by Companies recruiting in the sense that instead of recruiting company going to campus for placement interviews,
prospective candidates can visit companies, be there for a while, experience the culture by meeting employees, may be work on very short projects free, etc . In this way both parties (recruiting company & candidate) gain as in recruiting company gain by showcasing its real culture to candidates and checking whether candidates can perfectly fit and avoid attrition rates and the whole cycle of selecting & training new candidates again. The candidates will be much more clearer about whether or not the company is perfect for him/her.

Experiential Marketing is an old phenomena but its time that it is being used in some innovative ways to provide potential customers a chance to experience company's culture & product and turn them into customers and may be brand loyalists. And one last thing Harley will be charging $16 for adults and $10 for children (great stuff the company is marketing its products & instead of paying for Advertising/Promotional Activity, customers are charged for it!!!)

Till next time
keep Innovating
Neeraj Jain