Spuds and Harley's

Spuds and Harley's

Spuds and Harley’s. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

You wouldn’t think there wold be a connection between the potato and a Harley but accoring to Ken Schmidt, Former Brand Visionary and Communications Strategist with Harley Davidson, there is.

SCHMIDT: I’m glad to work with a company that has spent hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in sound development to get $20-thousand dollar motorcycles to make the potato sound. Is there anyone in this room that is not familiar with the 3-note exhaust out of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle? The phonetic pronunciation of sound that comes out of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle is what? Potato, potato, potato.

Schmidt talks about one of the keys to their success.

SCHMIDT: This bike left the plant in York, PA finished. Perfectly serviceable, perfectly beautiful motorcycle will do anything you want it to but if you were to buy this motorcycle, you would immediately change it. That’s part of the process at Harley-Davidson Motor Company. Part of the culture that we’ve created because you are going to look at that motorcycle and say “oh my god, I’m going to need to make a lot of expensive changes to this thing immediately.

Not a bad way to look at a business but Schmidt says they really don’t sell motorcycles to customers.

SCHMIDT: These are not customers. We used to look at them as customers. We had customers when we ran out business down the toilet. We had customers when we had over 90% market share to 20% market share. A customer is somebody that you sell to. These aren’t customers - these are disciples.

More tomorrow.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

Previous ReportPotato Varieties
Next ReportSpuds and Harley's Part 2