Be Independent

2 07 2010

What does “Independence” mean to you?  For me it means freedom from rule, with the power to choose, the right to be an individual and live by your own standards.  4th of July is a celebration of our rebel roots.

Born To Be Wild over 100 years ago, Harley-Davidson is synonymous with individuality, freedom, and independence.  Developed and engineered in America, Harley-Davidson fought in two World Wars and survived to spawn a new form of recreation.  In the process, it became a symbol of rebellion – inspiring an attitude and a culture.

I’m far from being a Harley guy, but as a guy that studies brands, I cannot think of a better example of a uniqueness and differentiation than Harley-Davidson.  I am proud to have produced projects for this iconic brand – popular to the point that during the year of their 100th birthday celebration they used so many black t-shirts it caused a severe shortage in the marketplace.

So how do they do it?  How did they build a brand to carve out an iconic niche in Americana?

Ride Easy

  • Blend substance with style
  • Become part of a culture
  • Be different than anything else

And how do they represent themselves?   Two-color shield – that’s it.  You don’t have to read the words to know what that sign means.

Any company can do this – any company that is willing to completely commit to superior quality, innovation, consistent market presence, and an undeniable uniqueness from other brands.  That’s good business.  That’s independence.


Big barbeque weekend out there – just remember, Red Shirts not only look patriotic, but they also hide spills of BBQ sauce, ketchup, and wine.

Have a safe and festive Independence Day weekend!



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