I am truly excited while writing this blog because it is about one of my favorite things- bikes. Yes, this US trip is coming out to be exciting as I am not just adding to my lessons, but also enriching myself to become a better person, both personally and professionally. It is true that travel makes you learn a lot of new things.
So, let me talk about this particular day when we (my friends and I) visited the Harley Davidson Museum, and were totally in awe of what we found there. Like most kids or even grown-ups, I too had the dream of owning a Harley Davidson or at least riding it once. So, when we walked into the museum I was obviously excited. I felt like a kid at that time!
So, what I expected was a small shop-style place where someone would come and talk to me about the bikes. What I found there was the most incredible experience a museum can offer.
So, when we walked in we found separate galleries showcasing the different types of Harley Davidson bikes, the history of the company, the engine room and other such things related to the bike company. There was a particular gallery that showcased how the bike and this company particularly impacted the American culture.
What I found most interesting about this journey was the fact that they had a simulator section, wherein you will feel like you are actually riding the bike. It was a museum I have never been into before, and I fell in love with it almost instantly.
It was innovation obviously! You don’t expect a bike brand to come up with such a spectacular museum idea that blows your mind apart but, the best part of this innovative museum was the fact that it was done in such a simple and easy-to-walk around manner.
This made me look at the whole experience in two ways- one the way the company has grown by leaps and bounds, and how easily you can imbibe innovation into anything you want. I also understood why they say simplicity is the key to enriching experiences.
So, are you ready to follow me through yet another experience and learning?
Harley Davidson- The Company
Ok, so being a fan, I have to say I was thrilled to read through the entire history of the company, and I found it quite interesting. Without narrating it like anywhere else, I am going to tell you what exactly was fascinating to me.
So, firstly Harley Davidson survived the Great Depression, which was amazing, considering that all the companies that were need-based were gulped down by it. This American company started out as a small shop that was located at the house of a common friend of the founders, William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson. Later joined by the other brother, Walter Davidson, they managed to complete their first bike. Eventually, the brother duo with Harley began working on improvising the machines and the bike’s look and feel.
Guess when was the first prototype for the modern Harley released? It was in 1904 in a Milwaukee race that the prototype was first taken around, and by then the three had set their shop in Davidson’s backyard.
Imagine, growing from such humble beginnings to the world’s best and fastest bike company. Relentlessly the three people worked against the competition, improving the quality of their products and also working through the slow economy.
Each time a model got famous or, was acknowledged for its power, the company came up with another interesting and powerful model. Apart from the bikes, the company has also released bicycles.
Despite a lot of reputation issues and global market issues, the company survived and stayed strong. So, what led to the company’s growth and fame?
⦁ Firstly, the three people involved in the beginning were very dedicated to bringing in innovation. They wanted to offer something different experience. The company opened up to offer an interesting experience that cannot be negotiated.
⦁ They knew how to survive all issues, including the financial downfall and other crisis that they went through. The company stayed strong through it all.
⦁ Despite closing down the few factories and operation centers, they did not earn a bad name with the employees working there. They made sure that the employees had prior knowledge of what is happening, and they were compensated for the company’s actions.
This enriching growth obviously made me realize how important both product and employee care is to the company, which has helped them gain their customer base and their reputation.
This is just one part of what I learned, and that too from history. The museum taught me something else altogether, which I will be taking with me and implementing in all that I do, once back in India.
Harley Davidson Museum: Innovation with Simplicity
So, when I told you Harley Davidson bike museum, what is it that people who have not been there expected it to be like?
I for one can say I expected a guide of a sort taking me through the entire place or, at least someone who would explain the things to me sitting at the museum.
Instead, I was greeted by galleries that consisted of the different things that the company wanted to showcase. They had in store artefacts from years ago that showcased the grand history of the company. There was one section that talked about the company, and how it worked and from where it started. Some of the impressive pieces of Harley Davidson were lined up, and you could read up the history connected with each of the bikes. Apart from the history related to the bike making, there was history related to marketing, advertising, the first posters, etc. also in that museum.
The tank gallery consisted of all the tank graphics for the bike company. Finally, comes the exhibit where they added the simulator.
Impressive isn’t it? Imagine if the narration is this impressive, watching it live would have been so incredible.
I was totally taken aback. I think I spent close to a few hours at the museum, which made me realize how less I knew about the company.
The museum was not grand but, what it had kept us engaged, and that’s what you need
Here are my key takeaways from the museum that I saw:
⦁ Experience does not require you to follow any particular extravagance. You simply need to follow through your ideas and what you want to represent. You can have the simplest design and medium and yet be able to engage the audience
⦁ Engagement comes with what you have to offer. When you give people just what they need, then they are going to be engaged. For instance, a Harley bike lover is going to be engaged with the history and the artefacts that you have to offer. If you are unable to gauge the pulse of the audience, you might miss out on the engagement
⦁ Make sure you know who your audience is going to be, and you can deliver the products accordingly. If it is a bike lover, they would be interested in experiencing the bike, and giving it to them would make them happy. That’s what Harley Davidson did. However, if you don’t know what experience they are counting on, then it becomes difficult. So, knowing your audience is important.
I would like to sum up by saying, do visit the museum if you are in the US. It is a must-have experience.
If you want your audience to love you and give you enough attention, then you ought to make sure you know what they want and give it to them.
If you would like to discuss the experience further or want tips on how to offer innovation through simple techniques, connect with me. My experience has enriched me with delightful thoughts, and I would love to share them with you.