Posts Tagged brands

Small Business Alliances: The Case of Lehman Trikes


During the height of the Great Recession of 2008-2009, Lehman Trikes formed a strategic alliance with Harley-Davidson. Lehman Trikes, a small publicly held company on the TSX Canadian  Venture Exchange, lead the industry in making three-wheeled motorcycles in Spearfish, South Dakota. Harley-Davidson announced it selected Lehman Trikes as its exclusive supplier of its Tri-glide three-wheel motorcycle. Before signing the alliance, Lehman made the three-wheeled motorcycles in the aftermarket. Harley legitimized the three-wheel motorcycle with its announcement bringing it into the established motorcycle market (Looney & Ryerson, 2011).

By the end of the summer of 2010, Harley-Davidson faced difficult times losing half its business. Harley-Davidson did not renew the agreement signed with Lehman Trikes. Harley kept the rights to the Tri-glide brand and granted no residual rights to Lehman Trikes, but in its original agreement clearly laid out its non-renewal rights and terms. Although Lehman feared Harley might not renew the contract, it understood the risks when it signed the original agreement (Looney & Ryerson, 2011).

Do you believe the alliance between Lehman Trikes and ¬†Harley-Davidson met both companies’ goals? Do you believe the alliance had successful results? What benefits did the companies achieve because of the alliance? What risks did the companies face by signing the alliance? Did the alliance benefit Lehman Trikes, the smaller company? Do you believe Harley exercised its rights in a fair and transparent manner? Knowing that ending the agreement would limit its supply of the Tri-glide, did the strategy benefit Harley-Davidson? Did Lehman Trikes have a viable business model or could it have strengthened its model?

Let us know what you think? Do you want to know more about forming strategic alliances? Learn more.

References

Looney, D. C., & Ryerson, A. (2011). Lehman Trikes: A story within a story 17, 35-39. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ent&AN=69927663&site=ehost-live

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Business Reputation No Longer Matters


I have seen many examples in recent years where it appears reputation no longer matters. Starting with the financial crisis behemoth companies like AIG, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and a myriad of others have fallen to scandal only to come out with renewed vigor. So what does it mean when a company falls out of favor because of scandal or financial ineptitude? Why do companies work so hard to build a brand only to lose their reputation to scandal?

Seemingly, some companies believe they can have a double standard and believe it’s okay to “do as I say and not as I do.” Why do these companies jump right back into business and rebuild so quickly? Is it because reputation no longer matters?

I believe the problem is a leadership problem of trying to keep a double standard. What’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander. Weren’t things better when we could trust companies to obey their own standards? Isn’t that what leadership is all about?

I believe leadership is about valuing people to carry out a common vision and trust is the main ingredient needed to develop leaders. Why do companies not spend more on training executives on developing their leadership skills? Are they too arrogant and insensitive to open and honest feedback or do they believe their reputation no longer matters?

Think about what people are buying. I see more people buying generic brands and putting less value on major brand names. I go to Wal-Mart and see generic foods just as good as the major brands for less money. I see the same thing happening with other products. Just yesterday I was looking at lawnmowers and I only saw brands I never heard of before. Whatever happened to an automobile with a body by Fisher? Does anyone care about the brand or do people go for the value?

AIG, Goldman Sachs, General Motors, and Bank of America are right back at it with renewed vigor and one would think these brands would have had some damage. I am sure you can think of others. These companies spend huge sums on advertising to replace customers. Can we trust these brands?

I still believe reputation is critical for success and trust matters. I believe in a new breed of leader that people can respect and trust. Why do today’s executives do okay without the respect and trust of their workers and customers? Why do they need double standards? Have we lowered our standards as consumers?

Please leave a comment or visit us for more. I want to know your thoughts. Does reputation matter?

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