Harley-Davidson Drops 24% In Brand Value

Interbrand just released its 11th annual ranking of the 100 Best Global Brands. The company uses a very respected methodology analyzing the many ways a brand touches and benefits an organization, from attracting top talent to delivering on customer expectation.

Three key aspects contribute to a brand’s value; the financial performance of the branded products or services, the role of brand in the purchase decision process and the strength of the brand to continue to secure earnings for the company.

Iconic brand Harley-Davidson dropped nearly 24% (the most out of all the Interbrand 100 companies), falling from 76th on 2009 rankings to 98th in 2010 (risking to be dropped from the top 100 in 201 and losing over a billion dollars in brand value in the process. For the 11th year straight, Coca-Cola retains its #1 spot as the number one ranked brand on the list, then # 2 is IBM, # 3 Microsoft, # 4 Google.

16 Responses to “Harley-Davidson Drops 24% In Brand Value”

  1. 1 Unkl Ian Sep 24th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Will the HD President’s compensation package also drop by the same amount ?
    Or will he get bonuses for squeezing concessions from the workers, and tax breaks from the government?

  2. 2 Seymour Sep 24th, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Wow, holy mackeral. And for the past I don’t know how many years every announcement HD made about itself stressed, I mean STRESSED the importance of “The Brand”, as if that was what they were really all about. The Brand, not The Motorcycles. Not bashing HD, it simply feels like things are coming to roost now. This is big bad news but you almost think they deserved it. Remember, this all began with ELTON F**KING JOHN being the headliner at their 100th.

  3. 3 Jeff Nicklus Sep 24th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    ….. and this surprises who?

    Over & Out,


  4. 4 Rohring View Sep 25th, 2010 at 8:49 am


    I had not given the connection between the Elton John performance and the decline of the motor company any thought. You raise a very good point, well played!

    Rohring View

  5. 5 jim Sep 25th, 2010 at 9:59 am

    elton john… i did not know that…holy crap…

  6. 6 jim Sep 25th, 2010 at 10:10 am

    bottom line is that it all started with a a couple a guys gett’n together to build something they hoped they could sell and (maybe) provide a better life for themselves and the families ( i guess)… they don’t owe anyone anything…

  7. 7 stache Sep 25th, 2010 at 10:50 am

    One example: You buy a new Harley. You want that “Harley sound” com’in out of your pipes right away. What do you have to do? Buy an aftermarket set of pipes at say . . .ooh . . .$600.00-$900.00. It’s this kind of manipulatiion that will eventually drive Harley’s value down. I know they have EPA rules they have to follow. But as I’ve learned thru 61 years of living, there are ways around “everything” . . . . .except death.

  8. 8 Unkl Ian Sep 25th, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    They only went with Elton John, because
    Liberace, Boy George, and Michael Jackson turned them down.

  9. 9 sly Sep 25th, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    homophobia is everywhere, so sad. do you hate left-handed people also?

  10. 10 Seymour Sep 25th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    LOL just someone please explain to me how they could have been more out of touch with their loyal customer base, and at such an incredibly significant milestone?

    HD bigwigs – “The spotlight is really going to be on us, so we have to show the world what today’s Harley Davidson is all about. Ladies and Gentlemen, Sir Elton John!”

    What kind of statement did that send from HD Corporate to the loyal HD masses and the rest of the world? I mean seriously, WTF has been going on in Milwaukee??? I’m baffled but like I said above, maybe all these things are coming home to roost. I sincerely hope this is not the sad ending, but I can’t see a modern HD and not think of Sir Elton, or see an older one and not see the founding fathers doing the rollover six feet under. Is it just me?

    (For the record, I have owned 5 Harleys and fell HARD in love with them around 1980).

  11. 11 jim Sep 26th, 2010 at 12:50 am

    i’m think’n maybe : zz, skynyrd, seger, nugent, outlaws, blackfoot, montgomery gentry… to name a few, might of been better…

  12. 12 Eric Sep 26th, 2010 at 9:13 am

    “Never get involved in a seasonal business”-H. Ross Perot

  13. 13 Finally!!!! Sep 26th, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Duh… did people really think HD would hold Value after an over mass produced bike? Funny how all these riders look the same.. dress up in their weekend costumes to LOOK like a biker.. the only thing that makes HD money these days is clothing.. otherwise Honda makes a better bike.. Stick with the clothing HD.. since it’s all made over-seas in a sweat shop, might as well screw more HD riders out of their money when HD pays $5 for a shirt that an HD rider buys for $60

  14. 14 Sark Sep 26th, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    I still like my HD with over 68,000 miles and it runs great.

  15. 15 Waitaminute... Sep 27th, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    It’s funny (to me)…when I first saw the picture above I didn’t see “100” but instead I saw “I O U”…..
    hmmm… :/

  16. 16 Miami Chopper Shop Sep 29th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    It’s the people who have “lived” Harley during ups, downs, sideways, whatever….who rode Harleys, even AMF Harleys (mine was a great bike) – it’s people like us, who have always dressed the same, week-end or not, who are going to keep this thing that can’t be explained alive. The fact the Harley lured in a bunch of hopefuls who are now flooding the market with their “like new” (of course……hardly ridden) bikes is as much a success, albeit temporary (Harley Bubble?) as it is, in great part, responsible for their declining appeal, thus value. A lot of people are just plain resentful at the Market for the Rich.

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Cyril Huze