About Us

What is MVP?

Back in 2000, Harley-Davidson® dealers around the country were enjoying unprecedented success. The press was full of unabashed praise for the revitalization of a once dying brand brought to life and consumer demand drove unit production higher and higher. Yet in the midst of this great run, the dealership in St. Paul, Minnesota was experiencing only mild sales and profit increases. With a great brand, soaring demand, and a great new location, the dealership should have been producing more than the $7mm revenue it had generated the previous year. This is the puzzle that the General Manager began to tackle in order to understand what was happening and what could be done.

The GM sought out opinions from within the dealer network, from current and past customers, and even marketing experts outside the motorcycle industry. The goal was to understand the core elements that separated the truly successful dealer from the average dealer.

One key learning point in this investigation was staring him in the face from the beginning. The dealership’s HOG® chapter had swelled to over 2,200 members throughout the 1990s and into 2000. The group, on paper, represented a loyal core from which to build upon. But a closer look revealed the truth behind the numbers. Of the 2,200 local chapter members, less than 150 of them were active in any month through the year. The answer to this riddle was the 10% HOG® chapter discount granted by the dealership. What was considered to be a loyal following of customers was in actuality, 2,000+ chapter members that weren’t interested in HOG®, but rather, interested in a discount off retail prices.

Another key take away in analysis was that the dealership was falling woefully short in fully supporting its riders. Many dealers claim that they were keeping their riders engaged in the sport and we were no different. It was only when we began to break down what engagement meant to the rider that we saw how we needed to fill in the gaps to provide the full, one-stop experience to motorcycle enthusiasts. The process, known as the “wheel of engagement,” fully encompasses the process and was an integral part of the development of MVP – Motorcycle Value Program.

At its most basic level, it was concluded that St. Paul Harley-Davidson® just wasn’t that good at supporting customers with the services they wanted and valued. As a result, they shopped there only when the discount suited their immediate need. It became increasingly apparent that their affinity was to the Harley-Davidson® brand and not the dealership.

With no clear market leader in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, customers voted with their wallet and simply bounced from dealer to dealer, following the open houses and sales sponsored by the other dealers. The issue was loyalty – what the customer wanted out of their “home” dealership and what they truly valued in the partnership.

The Solution:
Motorcycle Value Program (MVP): A complete loyalty application built by riders for riders

Building loyalty by delivering what customers want from their “home” dealership and what they truly value in the partnership.

The program grew steadily in the first two years, amassing 2,100 members in two years. Curiously, other metrics ticked up positively as well. The St. Paul dealership, never a player in the Motor Company’s Bar & Shield program, began to see its scores take off. They began to realize that a strong correlation existed between the growth of MVP and our enhanced metrics. A Bronze award was garnered in 2000, 2001, and 2002, the first ever recognition for the dealership. MVP membership nearly doubled in size in 2003 and grew steadily in the subsequent years. Along the way came more awards, this time in the form of Gold Bar & Shield wins in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. Not surprisingly, revenues and profitability marched upward too and by 2007, the dealership crossed the $30mm barrier in revenue. All departments (MC, Parts, and Service) received national and regional recognition during this time as well, rewarding excellence in performance in all phases of dealer operation.

It’s not all about rewards and recognition. When it comes time to look at dealership operation, their numbers jumped off the page, in the district, the regional, nationally and in our Performance Consulting group. Consumers experienced value in the program and as a result began to support the dealership with their loyalty. Their prices were not the lowest in the market, but this program offered value and privileges not available at other local dealerships. A discount can be matched, but the Motorcycle Value Program (MVP), could not be matched and proved to be the glue that tied big and small customers to the dealership year-over-year.

In 2004, it was apparent to those in the dealership and others in the industry that the model had something unique to offer. They set up the first franchise location in May of 2004, and ran MVP for a year to prove that it could work outside their walls. They had to show that it was the unique system of benefits, driven by a proprietary engine, that could be successfully run by personnel at a completely different dealership and geographical location. In 2005, the program's success was validated and they began the slow process of locating dealers with the right customer-first mentality to offer them the opportunity to deploy MVP within their operations.

MVP continues to seek out high-quality dealers in an effort to build the finest network of excellence-focued, customer-driven operations that support more than 130,000 members. To read about dealership selection criteria, click here.

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From the drivers behind its creation to its evolution into a World-Class loyalty application for the heavyweight motorcycle market.