In the hopes of regaining market share, motorcycle manufacturers are switching up their strategy. Many manufacturers are producing cheaper and more fuel-efficient bikes in order to reach and appeal to a broader demographic. In particular, many of the popular bike brands such as Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, and Suzuki Motor are trying to attract a new demographic – the younger rider. A recent Wall Street Journal article – “Harley-Davidson’s Hurdle: Attracting Young Motorcycle Riders,” also touched on this new marketing strategy. Harley-Davidson’s CEO, Matt Levatich believes the most important segment right now is young adults.
By using our InsightStoreTM platform, we were able to identify individuals, specifically Millennials, who are in the market for their first bike or a new bike. We were able to find insights on everything from their demographics, to their personality traits, to their social media habits, and more – information that can be helpful for motorcycle manufacturers, motorcycle dealerships / showrooms, and marketers.
Over the past year, specifically from mid-July 2014 to the end of July 2015, we have gathered data on over 29,000 consumers about their motorcycle ownership and intent to purchase one:
By combining respondents who answered “Yes but I need a new one” and “No but I plan to buy one soon,” we can see that about 11% of adults are in the market for their first bike or a new bike. Now let’s see how that compares to Millennial respondents:
When looking only at Millennial respondents, 14% are in the market for their first bike or a new one, compared to 11% of all adults 18 and older. It makes sense to target Millennials, since they are more likely to be in the market for a motorcycle than the average adult. They are more likely to be interested in purchasing their first motorcycle, which could largely be due to their age.
Let’s dig into who these Millennials are who need a new bike or plan to buy their first one soon – we will call them “potential buyers.” We will be comparing them to the average Millennial on a variety of topics.
- Potential Millennial buyers are 20% more likely to be men than the average Millennial.
- Potential buyers are 39% more likely than the average Millennial to have a lower household income of $35K or under.
- They are 14% more likely to still live with their parents.
- They are slightly more (+8%) likely to be single, never married.
- They are slightly more likely to live in a rural area.
Due to their lower than average income, low-priced bikes will be more popular among this potential buyer group.
- Potential buyers are 40% more likely to prefer being around people rather than feeling comfortable being alone.
- They are 25% more likely to prefer learning new skills when tackling a project (rather than using established skills).
- They are 24% more likely to admire creative ideas rather than practical solutions.
The potential Millennial buyers prefer being around people rather than being alone, and their openness to learning new skills when tackling a project means that they are probably more open to try new things.
- Potential Millennial buyers are 58% more likely to travel at least once a month for business.
- They are 47% more likely to smoke cigarettes every day than the average Millennial.
- Possible buyers are 47% more likely to own more or more cats than the average Millennial.
- They are 31% more likely than the average Millennial to prefer sports cars.
- Millennials in the market for a bike are 24% more likely to not eat breakfast in the mornings.
Potential buyers are more interested in a sporty looking vehicle, so motorcycles that have a smaller body and sleeker look will grab younger consumers’ attention more so than traditional motorcycles.
- Smartphone ownership is identical for each Millennial group – the potential buyers and the average.
- Tablet computer ownership is fairly equal, although motorcycle millennials are slightly more likely to own one.
- They are slightly less likely to be addicted to their digital devices (6% less likely).
Device ownership is very similar among the two Millennial groups; however, potential Millennial buyers are slightly less likely to be addicted to their devices. They probably are spending less time on their personal devices than the average Millennial.
- They are 185% more likely to follow Major League Soccer.
- They are 129% more likely than the average Millennial to follow NASCAR.
- Potential Millennial buyers are 33% more likely to follow the NBA.
- They are 25% more likely to follow the NHL.
- Potential buyers are 22% more likely to follow the NCAA men’s basketball.
- Possible buyers are 19% more likely to follow NCAA football.
Potential buyers are more likely to be passionate about sports and it shows in their likelihood to keep up and follow professional and college sports.
- They are 57% more likely to play video games daily.
- They are 36% more likely to enjoy reading science fiction books.
- Potential buyers are 29% more likely to prefer action movies than the average Millennial.
Video games are important to potential buyers and the majority (70%) are playing video games at least once a week.
- They are 77% more likely to be most influenced by ads on the Internet (rather than TV ads or comments on social media) than the average Millennials.
- They are 10% less likely to say price is more important than brand when shopping.
We know that Millennials in general are more likely to be on social media than the general population. And while 50% of potential Millennial buyers are most influenced by comments or recommendations on social media, they are more likely than average to be influenced by Internet ads. TV advertising probably wouldn’t be the best bet to reach these younger customers. Also, although they have a lower income than the average Millennials, they are slightly less price sensitive when it comes to their purchases and they put a slightly higher value on brand than average.
Social media usage
- 83% use YouTube daily or weekly which is slightly more than average Millennials.
- 23% use Twitter daily or weekly which is slightly less than average Millennials.
- 22% use Instagram daily or weekly which is slightly less than average Millennials.
- 12% use Vine daily or weekly which is slightly more than average Millennials.
Overall, the social media usage of potential buyers and the average Millennials are very similar, however, potential Millennial buyers are more likely to use Vine and YouTube actively.
Motorcycle manufacturers, retailers, and marketers can potentially see a lot of success by targeting the younger, Millennial demographic. From what we found there are more Millennials in the market for a new a bike than the general population, probably due to their younger age and the lower likelihood that they already own a motorcycle.
Younger adults are interested in riding motorcycles, companies just need to know the best ways to target and market to them. Potential buyers have lower incomes than average, but they may be willing to spend a little more on a name brand bike. A sportier-looking motorcycle will probably appeal to this group more than a traditional motorcycle. Advertising on the Internet or on YouTube could be worthwhile investments as well as any ads in mobile video game apps or online video game sites.