creative haberdashery

Brand story party of the century


I’ve worked with Doug Kamerer for years now, meeting up with him as his career takes him to one great opportunity after another.  His current gig is as Minister of Culture (cool title, huh?) for  A.D. Farrow Co. Harley Davidson. A.D. Farrow is the longest continuously operating Harley dealership in the world. This gives Doug, a passionate brand storyteller, a real opportunity to target his ideal customer, something that was never more evident than when he helped the company celebrate its hundredth birthday.

As the home of Harley, A.D. Farrow offers motorcycles, of course, but also all kinds of Harley gear, from motorclothes to helmets. And as part of the centennial celebration, Doug decided to showcase that gear. The result was a fashion show unlike anything ever seen in Paris or Milan.


The Harley-riding universe is quite diverse. It includes everyone from the stereotypical

rough-n-ready riders, to retired couples, executives and administrative assistants.

This makes identifying a target customer difficult: do you go with the customer base that accounts for the greatest sales, or do you go with an emerging customer profile whose business you want to increase?

Doug’s smart solution was to look for the areas in which they all had something in common: in this case, the love of riding and Harleys. The theme of our show? “I am A.D. Farrow.” This was our choice because the tagline:

  • Immediately conveyed what all the characters had in common
  • Gave audience members a sense of belonging
  • Communicated the Harley way — through direct language and a work hard/play hard attitude
Creating targeted customer personas

Under the “I am A.D. Farrow” umbrella, Doug and I worked together to create three unique riding stories: The City, The Country, and The Desert. Within each story, we used

AD-Farrow-Model-ChildDoug’s subject matter expertise to craft character profiles. The city story, for example, was about weekend riders, expensive leathers, clubbing and showing off the tats they hid during their day jobs. Target customers included a banker, a scientist, an office worker, and a house painter.

We dressed the models in gear from the Farrow store, then added rip-away clothing over the top of the gear. This meant the scientist persona could walk the stage and rip his lab coat and heavy glasses aside to reveal his true self: the Harley lover underneath.

The show opened with a bass-heavy voice reading what Doug and I called the “A.D. Farrow Credo,” followed by the models, who used our target customer personas to set up the riding stories. As the models walked the runway, they ripped away their “everyday clothes” and strutted their true colors as they made their way to the top of the stage, pausing to acknowledge cheers from the watching crowd.

 The benefits of targeted customer marketing

The result was a great demonstration of Farrow’s category ownership, across all targeted customers. In the short term, it inspired sales of Farrow Harley gear (the showroom was mobbed!). Over the long term, the benefits of targeted customer marketing continue to pay dividends. The company now has a clear vision of their customer base, enabling them to craft events and promotions that pinpoint different customer segments without alienating other segments. Farrow was also able to demonstrate why and how they dominate the local Harley landscape, further reinforcing their brand story. Finally, the event brought hundreds of new customers into the store, perhaps for the first time, to ogle the bikes, experience the atmosphere and make A.D. Farrow their preferred Harley vendor.

The A.D. Farrow Credo

By Cindi Acker-Hein

A lot has changed in the last hundred years. We’ve gone from the Silent Gray Fellow, to the Softail Deuce. From rocky roads, to smooth pavement. From hill climbs to endurance rides. But there’s one thing that will never change: the people, the experience and the hell raising rush of a Harley. Meeting up at a diner a hundred miles from nowhere. Making a thunder tunnel for the fight against breast cancer. Refusing to be beaten. United by independence. We are the suit sitting next to you. We are the soccer mom across the field. We are the guy who sleeps on his bike. We are all . . . Living . . . Cage . . . Free. Because no matter who we are, or where we are, or what we are, we remain one big thing. We are A.D. Farrow.

Please share your own target customer stories!

Ready to get to work on yours? Please contact me.



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cindi acker-hein

cindi acker-hein

writer + creative partner
I love my work: teaming up with awesome creatives. Word nerdery. Problem solving. Simplifying. Intelligenting. Learning. Seeking FTA, SOH, PR.Read more...


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