Bud's Harley-Davidson's marketing manager created the concept of mixing motorcycle culture/lifestyle music to the traditional Black Friday shopping day.
Prior to the creation of this event, Bud's was not doing early morning extended hours. This event has broken all of Bud's Harley-Davidson's single-business-day sales records dating back to 1959. (computerized record keeping dates back to the early 1980s) This entire program was/is approved via Harley-Davidson MAP/PAM guidelines. The concept was to take one of the largest retail shopping days of the year, and combine it to a popular music album or song to create a bike lifestyle shopping event.
This was done in 2011 by using the theme of the famous blues song, later made famous as a rock song by the band Ram Jam, "Black Betty." Artwork was created for print and digital media advertising. Radio and television promotions were also created and designed to reflect the theme of the music as a concert-style event.
The store was decorated with concert-style posters and advertising. The front of the showroom was loaded with an audio system (interior and exterior public address sound) to reflect the concert atmosphere and played music and store announcements. Store hours were set in the same style as conventional retailers in the area, with doors opening at 6 a.m..
The first 100 customers to come inside received a limited-edition Bud's Harley-Davidson event T-shirt. These shirts were designed to resemble concert tour shirts featuring the date and the dealership as the concert venue. The next 200 customers received a smaller limited-edition gift, such as Koozie coffee holders, sling backpacks and smaller trinkets. Special sale pricing was then advertised based on early bird shopping hours. From 6 a.m. - 7 a.m., all customers making it into the store received a color-coded coupon allowing them one transaction (multiple items allowed) for a 25 percent discount off of all licensed products (excluding motorcycle sales and labor). They were issued the color-coded coupons that allowed them all business day (that day only) to make their purchases (due to lines and crowd size). Literally, there were lines at every register in the dealership that exceeded a one-hour wait for more than 60 percent of the business day.
Customers who came into the store from the hours of 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. were given a color-coded coupon for 20 percent off (again one transaction multiple items), good all business day that day. Bud's regular business hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Fridays, so beginning at 9 a.m., the customers no longer need a color-coded coupon and the discount was 15 percent off of all licensed products for the remainder of the day. All day during the extended hours of 6 a.m. - 7 p.m., the themed music remained, and there were special announcements for bonus discounts based on in-house drawings and a spinning discount wheel.
Conveying this event to the public was done via, print, radio, Web and limited television media. Return on investment: the largest single business day since 1959 for this dealership.