Rebranding 3

by | Nov 10, 2022 | Direction, Generosity, Giving, Legacy, Planning

(Part Three)

18 One day Jesus was alone talking to God. His disciples were there too. He asked them, `Who do people say I am?’ 19 They answered, `Some people say you are John the Baptizer. Others say you are Elijah. And others say that one of the old prophets of God has risen from death.’
20 Jesus said, `But who do you say I am?’ Peter answered, `You are the Christ sent by God.’
21 Jesus said to them, `Do not tell this to anyone.” 22 Then he went on to say, `The Son of Man will have much trouble. The leaders of the people, the chief priests, and the scribes will not believe him. He will be killed. On the third day he will be raised from death.’ 23 And He said to all the people, `If anyone wants to come with me, he must leave what he himself wants to do. Every day he must take up his cross [be ready to die] and come with me. 24 Anyone who tries to keep his life will lose it. And anyone who gives up his life for my sake will find it. 25 What good will it do a man if he gets the whole world for himself but loses his life or spoils it?” Luke 9:18-25

There are a few products that we have produced in the United States that would be associated with a term known as “Americana.” This term means that this product is so intertwined with our cultural understanding of who we are as a nation that we immediately associate it with America when we see the product. It gives us a sense of pride. Harley Davidson Motorcycles fall into that category. Nothing looks like them, but more especially, nothing sounds like them.

Harley Davidson was one of only two motorcycle companies that survived the great depression. This was not enough for Harley Davidson to survive the influx of Japanese motorcycles that hit the nation in the 1970s. In 1970 Harley Davidson dominated the motorcycle world, claiming a 78 percent market share. By 1983 their market share had fallen to less than 23 percent.

On the verge of bankruptcy, Harley Davidson faced severe domestic market conditions and heavy foreign competition. They decided to address the challenge with a small team of creative hands-on people that met for four days of strategic planning. They went through a process of analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the company and its competition.

What came out of the meeting was a strategy to turn left when the competition turns right and to plan to apply that strategy to the basic four p’s of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion. The Harley team added a fifth critical factor, people, which is essential in any business turnaround. They knew it would be nearly impossible to compete against the competition on a head-on basis, so they decided to be the alternative and offer products, culture, and activities that the competition couldn’t.

They created stores where people felt comfortable bringing their bikes and riding. The motorcycles would no longer be hidden away in a storeroom or behind glass; they would be in a place where you could touch them and ride them. They even created the Harley Owners Group and started sponsoring ride events where customers could use and show off their motorcycles. These rides helped raise over 70 million dollars for Muscular Dystrophy research. This saved the company from bankruptcy and transitioned them into the success they are today. They found a new purpose.

Jesus said that our new purpose would be seen through a new life. What does that mean exactly? Our purpose in life is to pursue a life of love. It is to be focused on giving and not focused on receiving. Our new life puts us in relationships that influence others to follow Jesus. We are to lay down our old life and put on the new. Our new identity will be found in following and living out this new life so that the culture around us takes notice. We are the product placement for being a Christian. Let us influence our communities to follow Jesus with us.

Journeying Together,





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