One Thing: Day 337: Your Harley Davidson

Day 337: Your Harley Davidson

Yesterday I was explaining how we’re creating a game-changing new ‘Scoreboard’ for our business coaching software.

Speaking of scoreboards…

What do Raiders fans do after they win the Superbowl?

Turn off the Xbox.

In other news…

I’ve noticed that happy people are busy evaluating themselves….

And unhappy people are busy evaluating others.



3 Marketing Lessons from Harley Davidson

Cute girls in your high school and my high school… went for the BAD BOY.

Every country, every culture every language… it’s the same everywhere.

Harley Davidson (HD) was founded in Milwaukee; is 115 years old and is one of the most iconic brands in the world… but it wasn’t always this way.

Between the ten year period of 1973 to 1983 low priced Japanese bikes like Suzuki and Yamaha (I used to have one!) flooded the market while HD market share sank more than 57%.

The rapid decline nearly sank the entire company and if not for some impressive marketing, willingness to pivot, and some crisis management…

They’d be extinct like so many others.

After a remarkably successful run…. Matthew Levatich recently stepped down as CEO of Harley Davidson… during his tenure, I watched and learned a LOT about coaching, branding, and building a cult-like following.

Here are the 3 BEST Coaching and Marketing lessons I learned from Harley Davidson:

1. Lean Manufacturing:

Toyota made Lean or “Just in time” manufacturing famous and you’ve likely heard of the guy that created it, W Edwards Deming.

This isn’t the most exciting part of the brand but it SAVED Harley Davidson from extinction.

HD eliminated more than 1000 production employees using Lean manufacturing. The concern here is that when too many jobs go… employees feel unsafe and morale goes down the tubes.

They don’t want to lose their jobs and don’t want to see their friends lose them either.

But if it’s done correctly and respectfully, the opposite can happen… and did happen. It increased efficiency and created a more stable company, with bonuses for increased profits/efficiency.

Lesson:  They say in ten years 40% of the jobs we now have will be gone for good. Many are now pushing for “free community college”… problem is the jobs you’re trained for in community college will totally disappear shortly.

So it’ll be another government exercise in wasted time and money 20 years too late.

Remember when you used to go to the bank and get frustrated because they wanted you to use the ATM machines to deposit/withdraw money? Now we get pissed off when we need to go into the bank and speak to someone!

Truck drivers will lose their jobs to self-driving trucks.

Taxi drivers are already losing to Uber. Hotels are getting decimated by Airbnb. Local retailers disappearing thanks to Amazon.

Stockbrokers are being shown the door thanks to automation and powerful algorithms.

Get in tune (get your clients in tune) with automation or plan to become instinct like the saber tooth tiger.

2. Building A Cult-Like Following:

The rider of a Harley is an older, successful cigar smoking type alpha male that likes the ‘bad boy’ image and a loud powerful machine between his legs.

Picture Arnold Schwarznegger.

Some might see this as a disadvantage due to the restricted core audience but it’s the exact opposite.

They’ve worked hard to understand exactly the type of person that appreciates the Harley brand and how best to cater to their wealthy, alpha male pseudo bad boy audience that likes the idea of everyone hearing that they’re coming.

It’s also not a coincidence alpha males over the age of 50 have plenty of money to spend on something they want.

Possibly midlife crisis… cough cough…

To the target market, a Harley-Davidson is more than a motorcycle. The brand represents power, mystery, image, freedom, individualism.


Lesson: You’ll often hear me say “If you can sell you can’t coach and if you can coach you can’t sell.”

Slight exaggeration but not far off the truth.

In order to sell coaching (an intangible), you need to “disrupt” the prospect… not sing Kumbaya and tell them how amazing it’s going to be to work together.

You need to cut their arm before you provide them a band-aid.

**If you need the process for this… just ask me via reply email.

3. Price Elasticity:

For a bunch of reasons, Harley isn’t concerned with the price tag hanging off their bikes.

HD is easily beaten on price (and quality!) by less expensive foreign brands and its ideal client has enough money (ppl afford things they want) to pay high-end prices.

In fact… THEY PREFER IT… because they don’t want just anyone to have one!! They want to sacrifice and know that others sacrificed too.

Harley has always been intelligent using SCARCITY by limiting the supply of their bikes which creates demand and a waiting list.

Walk into a Harley store and try to buy the latest and greatest bike this year… welcome to the waiting list and you must leave a non-refundable deposit to get on that waiting list!

When ppl experience this it for the first time it blows them away.

Same with Porsche, Ferrari, Lambo, and other similar brands. Therefore, the only people who own a Harley are those totally devoted to the brand (see point 2 above!).

OK, now try to buy a 1915 11F Harley….you might fall off your chair when you see the price tag.

A popular Harley is an appreciating asset.

*I drove a Ferrari for 10 years and made a handsome profit*

Lesson: YOU NEED TO LEARN YOUR CRAFT FIRST AND BE AN “EXCELLENT” BUSINESS COACH before doing this or you’ll screw it up for yourself and more importantly the industry.

Once you hit that elite level, being the least expensive coach is ridiculous.

Some business owners want to pay more and that will never change, plus they refer at twice the norm.

Russell Brunson has a $1MM dollar coaching program. Tony Robbins has charged Peter Tudor Jones over $1MM per year, plus upside, for over a decade.

My most expensive coaching program was $750,000.

I created it from scratch, created the documentation with my lawyers, and sold it all by my lonesome.

$327,000 hit my bank account in one day… was kinda cool and all this happened before my 35 birthday. But if I’m honest… it was incredibly anti-climactic.

I’ve sold MANY coaching programs at well over $100,000 and multiple programs at $500,000.

Bottom line… how many brands like HD do you know that are “Tattoo-worthy.”

Talk about successful marketing!! 

I’m more of a car guy but I appreciate a KILLER business story. Matthew Levatich and his HD crew most certainly accomplished that.

You heard it here first.

Obsessed with your business coaching success,

Karl Bryan aka King Karl

PS. A skeleton walks into a bar. The bartender says, “What’ll you have?” The skeleton says, “Gimme a beer and a mop.”

PPS. Marriages break up from lack of money… over lack of love X 100.

Business failures lead to destruction, addiction, depression, anxiety, suicides, and unfortunately, far more.

As good business coaches we save marriages, save families, save kids from self-destruction… we save lives!

A true life of purpose.

PPPS. If you’re looking for a proven system to follow for your coaching…. I created business coaching software and high-end step by step training to support it…

It’ll teach you ‘How to find any small business owner $100,000 in 45 minutes without them spending an extra dollar on marketing or advertising.’

Imagine finding your annual $12,000 to $50,000 coaching fees BEFORE you started coaching your new clients?!  And a proven coaching system created for you to follow with your new coaching client.

Reply to this post if you want to start following a proven coaching system.

PPPS. Forward this to someone that needs to subscribe to my daily emails and get a limited time, complimentary subscription to my business coaching magazine go here:

PPPPS. They tell me my Podcast is Ric Flair style, Money Makin, Client Getten, Joint Venture Landing, Event Fillin, High-End Coaching Client Findin Gold For Business Coaches.

Entertaining, Informative, Uncensored, Unedited:

Business Coaching Secrets

Subscribe to Six-Figure Coach Magazine

Business Coaching Secrets on iTunes

One Thing series with Karl Bryan