Challenger Challenge Issued by Indian Motorcycle

Discussion in 'Indian Motorcycle News' started by NickJ, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. NickJ

    NickJ Administrator
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    Jul 25, 2016
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    National Demo Tour, Local Dealer Demos, Advertising and Episodic Video Series Serve Up Bold Demonstrations of the Indian Challenger’s Superiority Over the Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special

    Minneapolis (February 12, 2020) – “May the best V-twin win.” That’s the rally cry for the newest marketing campaign for Indian Motorcycle’s all-new Indian Challenger – a fully-loaded premium bagger designed as a superior alternative to the category leader, the Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special.This morning, Indian announced the “Challenger Challenge,” a campaign that invites motorcyclists to test ride the Challenger and Road Glide Special back-to-back for the ultimate head-to-head comparison.

    Launching at Daytona Bike Week on Friday, March 6, the Challenger Challenge product demo tour will visit Indian Motorcycle dealers around the country, as well as select motorcycle rallies and events, including the legendary Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August. In addition to the national tour, select Indian Motorcycle dealers will have a Road Glide on hand to ensure that any customer who visits their dealership can take the Challenger Challenge.

    Indian Motorcycle will support the Challenger Challenge with a digital media campaign, highlighted by an episodic video series where action sports icon Carey Hart and his loyal sidekick, Bryan “Big B” Mahoney, pit the new Indian Challenger head-to-head against the Road Glide Special in a series of tests that showcase power, torque, braking and handling. In addition to the digital media campaign, the content series can be found on, Indian’s social media and YouTube channels.

    “The Challenger’s combination of power and dexterity is at another level,” said Hart. “The first time I rode it, I knew that they had something special. But riding the Challenger back-to-back against the Road Glide, it’s not even fair. The Challenger absolutely crushes it.”

    “Over the years, the Road Glide has firmly entrenched itself as the category leader and has become the default choice, but our bike is simply better and our confidence in this product is what this campaign is all about,” said Mike Dougherty, President, Indian Motorcycle. “The difference when riding these two bikes back-to-back is undeniable, and we’re excited for riders to experience it for themselves with the Challenger Challenge.”

    Discussion Thread: Starting a fight with HD | Indian Rider - Indian Motorcycle Forums
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  2. Baldhead_J

    Baldhead_J Gold Member
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    Jul 29, 2016
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    Sunday Strategist: Indian Motorcycle Shifts to Conquest

    Breaking down the boldest bets in business

    Kyle Stock
    March 15, 2020, 6:00 AM CDT
    An Indian Chieftain motorcycle sitting on the assembly line at the Polaris Industries factory in Spirit Lake, Iowa. PHOTOGRAPHER: SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES
    No one is panic-buying motorcycles. Well, probably not. But it’s safe to say there is no longer a bull market for a chrome-covered splurge.

    Tomorrow, into the midst of the pandemic, Indian motorcycles will launch one of its most ambitious (and expensive) ad campaigns to date, splashing “mid-seven figures” across a wide range of media, including a national television buy (the NBA and the NHL playoffs were a big part of the package, though the spots will transfer elsewhere). At its heart, the new Indian push is an old-school, Coke-Pepsi taste-test, encouraging motorcyclists to compare its bikes to those of Harley-Davidson.

    In addition to the ads, Indian, a Polaris brand, has stocked at least one $21,700 Harley at almost all of its 200 North American dealerships for the moto-curious to compare and contrast.

    It's as big of a bet as we've placed previously," Indian marketing chief Reid Wilson told me.

    Every consumer-facing executive faces a binary market dynamic: either draw new, first-time customers or steal someone else’s—what car and motorcycle makers call “conquesting.” Indian has always been tuned for the latter, since Polaris bought the long-defunct brand and relaunched it in 2014. Its first product wasn’t a small, starter bike aimed at riding rookies, but rather a big, piggy cruiser with a Harley-esque price tag ($19,000).

    "From a brand standpoint, there’s a definite slice of the pie that wants a different choice,” Wilson says. “They don’t want to be confined to an image that was already there.”

    In other words, Harley’s outsized lore, its brand swagger, its appropriation as a cultural identity by roughnecks and retired dentists alike, can be a liability as much as an asset. Indian's oppositional stance has worked out nicely. It now reckons that it has rounded up about 10% of the U.S. market for big, cruiser bikes and 20% of the mid-sized bike business.

    As for the new ad blitz, Indian was working on it long before the world started falling apart, but the timing is propitious. Harley is skidding badly. At the end of January, CEO Matt Levatich stepped down shortly after posting the company’s fifth consecutive year of declining U.S. sales. Harley has made decent headway luring green riders, but it’s having a hard time keeping them on the road. Meanwhile, it’s losing some of its best customers to age and, increasingly, Indian.

    It’s safe to say the motorcycle market is in for a rough ride as Covid-19 casts a shadow over the busiest time of year for sales and rallies. In the U.S., motorcycling still hasn’t recovered from the last recession. New bike registrations dropped to 253,000 last year, less than half of their 2006 peak. Meanwhile, Harley’s U.S. market share has slipped from 53.3% when Indian revved up in 2014, to 49.1% last year.

    It's a scared and scary new world out there and customers will be scarce for awhile. Savvy companies will be working hard to keep the ones they have, while stealing the ones they don't. Self-contain, swipe, repeat.
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    IROQUOIS Gold Member

    Mar 8, 2017
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    Victory brand was around....19 yrs..or so and garnered 7% of the motorcycle market.
    Indian in its short (new) life has already surpassed Victory in market share.
    They're doing something right with this brand.
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