The Challenge

For those who ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles, few things match the throaty roar and unbridled power of these iconic “freedom machines.” Since opening their doors in 1980, Appleton Harley-Davidson has become a favorite of these folks in Northeast Wisconsin, earning an elite status in the dealer network.

With the outlet now undertaking a physical expansion of their campus, Appleton H-D’s owners were interested in a brand overhaul, including a refresh of their logo and other elements of visual identity. Wild Blue was given the opportunity to capture the core of their essence in a whole new way.

The Solution

While the global Harley-Davidson persona is well defined, nuances exist at the dealership level. In effect, each dealership is given the latitude to develop an identity that works for their geography, customer-base and more.

It was a fine line. The owners knew they had to maintain their appeal to a rock-solid base of traditional riders. At the same time, pursuit of the growing Millennial market was essential — a demographic with no problem looking overseas for their bikes.

This was Appleton H-D’s chance to reinvent themselves in a way that resonated with both audiences, alienating no one, and developing a brand persona that would differentiate Appleton from all other area H-D dealers.

Work kicked off with a comprehensive brand discovery session. Analysis of existing logo assets, a review of corporate brand positioning documents, and a brand discovery meeting with the dealership’s leadership team began to paint a picture of where the dealership wanted to be.

After aligning on mood boards to establish a general look and feel, and then working through a number of iterative logo concepts, Wild Blue delivered a logo and wordmark that serves as a more dynamic manifestation of what makes the dealership tick.


The Results

The new Appleton Harley-Davidson (formerly Harley-Davidson of Appleton) brand identity was met by rave reviews from both leadership and customer. Merchandise sales have increased dramatically, and overall dealership traffic is up, indicating their Millennial strategy is working. Since introduction, the new logo design has since been scaled across all touchpoints – from in-store design and signage, to branded merchandise, to web and social media, and beyond.