OF self-expression and ride to freedom

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Pallavi Singh DIRECTOR MARKETING, HARLEY-DAVIDSON INDIA

What is the first thing a consumer looks for in a brand?
Consumers are increasingly associating with brands which they feel represent them in the best way. For generations, consumers have turned to Harley-Davidson for authentic and inspiring ways of self-expression, be it through our motorcycles, motor clothes, customisation options or rallies and events.

In managing a brand, where does leadership come into play?
Creating an environment of trust, right values and freedom are critical for leaders to manage brands. Developing a work place where everyone feels passionate about the brand and the product they are endorsing is the leadership’s primary responsibility.

Was there any particular challenge your brand faced in the market initially?
Our biggest challenge was to establish a culture of leisure motorcycling that previously did not exist in India. This was overcome by investing in creating experiential events throughout the country and focussing on providing customers a taste of the Harley-Davidson lifestyle. We’ve led the way for leisure motorcycling since we entered the country five years ago. We’ve been the founding sponsors of India Bike Week for the last three years since the inception of the festival. We’re also deeply invested in giving our customers more and more reasons to hit the road on their motorcycles, through our zonal H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) rallies and music festival Harley Rock Riders.

What/Who is your inspiration and what keeps you going?
At Harley-Davidson, we aim at fulfilling dreams of personal freedom for our customers and that has been the governing principle for everything we do. Our inspiration comes from our customers – the rides they do, the motorcycles they customise, the stories they tell. My journey till date has been one hell of ride! Where else do you get to ride a Harley-Davidson with hundreds of other passionate Harley owners as part of work?

What are your favorite pastime activities to keep away the work pressure and deadlines?
The passion for motorcycles and riding is paramount and takes precedence over everything. I get to live my passion for motorcycles on my Dark Custom themed Iron 883.

How important are advertising and marketing in the present day scenario?
In the present day scenario of increasing information and decreasing attention spans, marketing must step up and add value to the business like never before. It can no longer be just about awareness generation and creating demand. It has to be about forging relationships that last a lifetime.
At Harley-Davidson, our relationship with a customer does not end with the sale of the motorcycle. It actually begins from there. Our customers continue to stay engaged with the brand through various opportunities like motorcycle rallies, H.O.G. and the endless customisation possibilities we offer that let them build a new motorcycle of their dreams every time.

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