When times get tough, many brands start digging their shaking hands into the bag of tricks looking for “quick fixes” to give the balance sheet a boost while the they ride out the economic storm.

As a result we see brands acting out of desperation, discounting, offering coupons, the buy one get one offers (BOGO), free gas cards with promotions.. and on it goes. And of course just opt to pull the plug on the marketing budget all together until things start looking up.

It’s rare to see a brand that can see beyond the front page headlines of despair and know that avoiding cheap fixes and staying true to and dedicated to it’s core will pay huge dividends over the long haul. It’s even more rare to see a brand that acts on this understanding.

That’s why this weekend when I read this tag, which was clipped to every bike in the dealership, I was kicking myself for not having my camera with me. Luckily I easily found the tag on EcoModder, which didn’t seem to get the sarcasm.

Harley could have turned their back on 105 years of beliefs and tradtions, by hawking their bikes for their fuel efficiency. While they were at it, why not crank out an eco-friendly model? Green racing stripes anyone?

But they didn’t. Instead they got tough and took what’s on everyone’s mind (money, gas prices, oil) and turned it into a way to reinforce the story of their brand. And if someone decides to buy a bike because it gets 50mpg, that’s bonus.

Dont Ride a Harley-Davidson motorcycle because it gets 50mpg