Jackie Huba

Creating Customer Evangelists, the Harley Way

300,000 Harley-Davidson customer evangelists descend upon Milwaukee this week for the company’s 100th birthday bash.

Rhonda Racklisse, a customer from Minot, Maine, rode some 1,800 miles with her husband and son to visit “the best family in the world.” “We’re all brothers and sisters,” she said.

Another customer riding from Philadelphia to Milwaukee remarks, “it’s just like a fraternity, a massive club, where everyone has one commonality, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.”

Many of these people are members of HOGs, Harley Owner Groups. The company started the HOG club in 1983 as a way to allow people to share the Harley experience. In the first year of the club, 30,000 riders joined, and the group now has about 750,000 in more than 1,300 chapters worldwide. HOG members meet regularly for rides, parties, fund-raisers, motorcycle seminars and other events.

Bottom line: Harley’s efforts in creating customer evangelists have helped their bottom line.

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