As baby boomers continue to get older, what will happen to the motorcycle industry’s key market? According to former Harley-Davidson Chief Marketing Officer Mark-Hans Richer, the answer is not much. Richer sees boomers as the “healthiest and wealthiest generation on the planet,” who, he believes, will not stop buying bikes anytime soon. Perhaps more surprising, Richer points out, is the fact that Harley-Davidson sells more new motorcycles to Millennials today than they sold to boomers when they were the same age. GLG sits down with Mark-Hans Richer to discuss Harley-Davidson, major industry trends, and why motorcycles have such an emotional hold on consumers.
Mark-Hans Richer is an award-winning senior marketing executive with 25 years of corporate and agency experience leading marketing strategy and marketing operations of major U.S. and global brands. He is currently an independent consultant and owner of Richer, Inc. Richer most recently served as Senior Vice President and CMO of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company—a top 100 global brand—and a manufacturer of custom, cruiser, and touring motorcycles as well as motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear, and apparel. During his eight years at Harley-Davidson, Richer oversaw the company’s growth and development, including diversifying its global and demographic customer base.
In addition to traditional marketing areas like strategy, advertising, events, and research, Richer’s responsibilities included product planning, sustainability, retail experience, and operations, including service, dealer systems, analytics, and logistics. Richer also led revenue-generating areas such as the Harley Owners Group, e-commerce, and the Harley-Davidson Museum. Before joining Harley-Davidson, Richer spent nine years at General Motors, where he served as Director of Marketing for Pontiac, Director of Advertising for GMC Trucks, and in similar roles for Chevy Trucks. Prior to this, Richer worked at the leading ad agency DDB Chicago, handling accounts for McDonald’s, McDonald’s International, as well as numerous packaged goods.