Harley Davidson’s brand is one of the most valued and recognized in the world. Why else would many of its customers tattoo the company’s logo to their bodies? Harley Davidson customers’ brand affinity has little to do with horsepower, handle bar configuration or time it takes to go 0 to 60 miles an hour. Sam Hill and Glenn Rifkin brilliantly summarized the appeal of Harley Davidson’s brand in their book Radical Marketing. They wrote that Harley Davidson represents, “a lifestyle, a work of art and an emotional connection to a widespread and unique community.” If you ever speak to a Harley owner and ask them why they chose the brand, they will most likely reference the feeling they get when they ride their bike.
Five years ago, no one would bet on Best Buy. The poster child for showrooming, Best Buy appeared destined for the same graveyard that housed vanquished competitors Circuit City and Radio Shack. Best Buy appointed Hubert Joly as its new CEO in 2012, and he developed a plan dubbed Renew Blue that featured:
Word of mouth is responsible for 93% of messages passing from one person to another. Everyday, Americans engage in 16 word of mouth conversations where they say something positive or negative about a showroom, product, service or person. We recommend restaurants and movies we’ve watched to coworkers, tell family members about a great sale and recommend babysitters to our neighbors. American consumers mention brands 3 billion times a day. Our mentioning of brands is about as involuntary as is our breathing. We do it so often, we don’t even thing about it.