HARLEY DAVIDSON How to create an iconic brand
How to create an iconic brand
Grammar: some / any / none / every
Functional Vocabulary: Emphasising information
Listening: Harley Davidson’s strategy
Cultural Awareness: Wearing a Helmet
Business Expressions: Dependent Prepositions
Reading: Image problems
Role Play: Economic problems
Discuss these questions:
• What do you know about Harley-Davidson?
• Do you think Harley-Davidson is a global name? Why?
• Do you know what these words mean? (You will hear them in the listening
exercise below) Iconic - cruising – suffered – threat – retro – annual - rose
You are going to hear a spokesman talking about Harley Davidson. As you listen
take notes, and answer the questions below.
1. When and where did the company begin?
2. What happened during the 1st and 2nd World Wars?
3. What happened in the 1970s?
4. How did the company combat its problems?
5. What were annual sales from 1992 to 2007?
EXERCISE: Say these sentences to practice the sound:
How many apples are there in your orange hat?
Who has a Honda and who has a Harley?
Here is an angry horse with a hungry owner.
Happy hour is in the bar at half past one, OK?
CULTURAL AWARENESS POINT:
Wearing a Helmet
In the UK it is illegal to ride a motorbike without a helmet (a
In America it depends on the state. In Michigan, for example,
motorbike riders must wear a helmet.
In California it is not necessary.
What do you think?
• Do you need to wear a helmet in your country?
Why not wear a helmet?
What about wearing a helmet on a bicycle?
Do you wear a seat belt in a car?
Q: Which of these sentences is correct?
There are some bikes outside.
There are any bikes outside.
There are every bikes outside.
There are none bikes outside.
Some, Any, None, Every
Some is used for unknown quantity in positive sentences
I have some money
Some is also used in questions that are offers or requests:
Would you like some coffee?
Can I have some tea?
Any is used for unknown quantity in questions and negatives
Do you have any money?
No, I don’t have any
Is there any petrol in the motorbike?
No, there isn’t any
None means ‘not one’.
I want a motorbike jacket. There are none left.
Do we have any money? No, there is none left.
Every means all things. It is used with a singular verb
Every motorcyclist wants a Harley Davidson
Every bike they make is beautiful
Complete with the correct adjective pronoun some / any / none / every
a. There isn’t
news to tell you.
motorbikes are iconic.
c. Can I get you
motorcycle has a history.
e. Were there
clients at the conference? No, there were
I have a serious problem,
g. I’d like
of my credit cards work.
time to think about the contract.
h. Do you have
It is the same with
bike I buy. After a year I want to change it.
telephone messages for me?
Supplement this task with other exercises from a good grammar book
BUSINESS EXPRESSIONS – Dependent Prepositions
Some verbs are followed by a specific preposition.
Match the Verb on the left with its dependent preposition on the right.
Read the article and put a preposition from the box into the gaps.
From - Through - To - On - For - Over
Harley-Davidson – Promotion of the Iconic Product
The company promotes the Harley lifestyle experience
Harley-Davidson's merchandising includes clothing, tattoos, coffee cups, belts and
children’s clothes. It is intended
support and increase the riding experience.
Today, Harley-Davidson customers are diverse. They range
directors, bankers, engineers, housewives, graphic-designers to factory workers.
In 1984 Harley-Davidson nearly went bankrupt.
Japanese competitors were taking
the U.S. market with high-tech bikes and
Harley's machines had quality problems.
The company's leaders remember the problems and understand how important it is
to promote the Harley image.
'Let's do the things they can't do,' was their plan to compete. And that became
Harley’s strategy in everything they did and still do."
That meant a clearly defined marketing plan focussing
the company's special
place in American culture, including its retro look. It now concentrates on three core
areas: customers, employees and dealers.
Harley-Davidson managers developed loyalty
their products into a customer
passion. It was so successful that it has attracted thousands of new buyers.
Harley-Davidson had 56% of the America's big-bike market in 2008.
FUNCTIONAL VOCABULARY: EMPHASISING THE MESSAGE
This is used when you want to make the information more powerful.
Used before an
Used before a
noun + a
The plan is so
Honda is such a
It is very difficult to
My Harley is so
easy to ride
There is such a
lot of work to do
It is a complete
I am really sure
You are definitely lost
They are clearly trying
They are making a
EXERCISE: Use the vocabulary above add emphasis to these statements:
1. We do not offer discount
2. There are a lot of good workers in the company
3. It is a disaster
4. There is a big difference
In pairs discuss this situation taking turns to use the language of emphasis:
Team: Your team has made a lot of sales but the director does not recognise
this. He / She thinks you need to improve customer service.
Speak to the director, and try to emphasis that you are successful.
Director: The team tells you they have done a good job. Explain that they need
to do better in the customer services sector. Sales are not enough.
Try to come up with a variety of options and an acceptable solution.
What do these words mean? You will hear them in the listening exercise.
Luxury – recession - survive – loan – stabilise – growth – stereotype - nowadays
Listen to the recording and answer these questions.
1. Do all Harley-Davidsons cost over $30,000. Is this true?
2. Who loaned $300m to Harley-Davidson?
3. Has Harley-Davidson cut jobs in 2009?
4. What is the future growth plan?
5. What do many young riders prefer to ride nowadays?
THE MEETING: The management team at Harley Davidson meet to discuss the
problems with the economic recession and how the company can survive.
Divide into two groups and discuss these options.
Group 1: You want to develop in a new low-cost model that will appeal to women
and young riders. It will be a smaller bike and the quality will be good but not as
high as the other models.
Group 2: You want to cut bike production and concentrate on developing other
products using the company brand name, like clothing. You believe that
diversification is the best strategy.
Discuss the options, and try to come up with a solution.
Practice using the Grammar (some, any, none, every etc.) and the Functional
Vocabulary (emphasising the message) you have learnt in this unit.
Harley Davidson – Intermediate level
William Harley and Arthur Davidson started making motorbikes in 1901. They
founded their company in 1903 and within twenty years they had created one of the
most iconic brands in the world.
The Harley-Davidson Motor Company is based in Milwaukee, USA. The company
sells big motorbikes designed for cruising on the highway.
During the 1st and 2nd World Wars, Harley-Davidson provided more than 50,000
motorbikes for the military, and their reputation for high quality products helped to
establish the global brand.
But it’s not all been good news. There were problems for Harley-Davidson in the
1970s, when the Japanese manufacturers, like Honda and Suzuki, gave the
company serious competition and the American bikes suffered quality problems.
To combat this threat the company decided to promote the Harley-Davidson retro
image. They concentrated on quality control and building motorcycles that have the
look and the feel of their earlier machines.
This strategy worked and the customers began to return.
From 1992 to 2007, annual motorbike sales rose from 278,000 to 1.1 million.
But Harley-Davidsons are a luxury product, and many cost over $30,000, so how is
the company surviving in the global economic recession?
It is a difficult period. Harley-Davidson cut production by up to 13% at the beginning
It has also needed a $300m loan from the billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
The money helps the iconic American brand to stabilise its cash-base, after profit
losses of 60% at the end of 2008.
In addition, Harley-Davidson announced a cut of 1,100 jobs in 2009, and is also
reducing the number of bikes it produces by 10%.
For future growth the company is producing new machines and promoting the Harley
Davidson experience to “younger riders,” as well as the stereotype Harley owner, a
rich middle-aged man.
The company realises that many young people nowadays prefer to ride sport bikes
produced by Ducati, Kawasaki and Suzuki.
LESSON PLAN – HARLEY DAVIDSON – INTERMEDIATE
Key objectives – to practise aural and oral Business English
INTRODUCTION: Start by asking students what they know about Harley-Davidson.
Teacher (T) – Students (SS) 5 mins
LISTENING 1: Make sure the students understand the vocabulary (they will hear it in
the listening exercise). Next tell students they are going to hear a spokesman talking
about Harley-Davidson’s origins. They need to answer the questions at the end. Play
the listening and ask students the questions. (T) – (SS) 10 mins
PRONUNCIATION: Write down the words “happy, apple, Harley, argue ” on the
board and ask the students to pronounce them. Go through the exercise and ask
students to pronounce the words. Teacher (T) – Students (SS) 5 mins
CULTURAL AWARENESS: Discuss the benefits and limitations of crash helmets
with the students. Ask for opinions and try to get them to emphasise their ideas (S) –
(T) 10 mins
GRAMMAR: Ask the students which sentences are correct.
Go through the rules and do the exercises that follow.
Ask students to read the questions and answers out loud. (S) – (T) 10 mins
BUSINESS EXPRESSIONS: DEPENDENT PREPOSITIONS: Ask students if
they know what preposition follows the word “invest”. Get them to match the
prepositions with the verb / adjective. (SS) – (T) 10 mins
READING: Find out what the students think about how Harley-Davidson has
survived for so long. Go through reading and ask students to read out loud, fill the
gaps with the correct preposition. (S) – (T) 10 mins
FUNCTIONAL VOCABULARY: Write: “We need to sell more bikes” on the board
and ask the students how to make the message more emphatic. Elicit answers. Go
through the examples and do the role-play exercise that follows. (S) – (T) 10 mins
LISTENING 2: Make sure the students understand the vocabulary. Ask the
question, how can Harley-Davidson survive the recession? Tell students they
are going to hear the 2nd part of the listening. Play the listening and students
answer the questions (SS) – (T) 10 mins
ROLE PLAY: Split students into groups and get them to read their role cards and
prepare to discuss the situation. Make sure they practice the grammar and
vocabulary learnt in the lesson and to try and use the case study material in their
argument. (SS) – (SS) 10 mins
1. 1903 in Milwaukee, USA
2. Harley-Davidson provided more than 50,000 motorbikes for the military, and their
reputation for high quality products helped to establish the global brand.
3. Japanese manufacturers, like Honda and Suzuki, gave the company serious
competition and the American bikes suffered quality problems.
4. The company decided to promote the Harley-Davidson retro image. They
concentrated quality control and on building motorcycles that have the look and
the feel of their earlier machines.
5. Sales rose from 278,000 to 1.1 million.
There isn’t any news to tell you.
Some motorbikes are iconic.
Can I get you some water?
Every motorcycle has a history.
Are there any clients at the conference? No, there were none.
I have a serious problem, none of my credit cards work.
I’d like some time to think about the contract.
Do you have any questions?
It is the same with every bike I buy. After a year I want to change it.
Are there any telephone messages for me?
BUSINESS EXPRESSIONS: DEPENDENT PREPOSITIONS:
READING EXERCISE: PREPOSITIONS
1. No, many do, but not all.
2. The billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
3. Yes, 1,1000
4. Producing new machines and promoting the Harley Davidson experience to
younger riders, as well as the stereotype Harley owner, a rich middle-aged man.
5. Sport bikes produced by Ducati, Kawasaki and Suzuki.