Marketing Case Study
prepared by Mark Francis
Polaris Industries was founded in 1945 by Edgar Hetteen, his younger brother, and their best friend. Initially, the company was called Hetteen Hoist and Derrick, and they specialized in repairing farm equipment. In their spare time they would tinker with different machines and inventions. The founders wanted to find a better way to reach the remote hunting cabins in Minnesota, and that was the motivation that led to Polaris' first vehicle. The founders needed to establish a brand with the public. Edgar arranged a 1,200 mile trek across the Alaskan wilderness to prove the vehicles would hold up. They made the journey in 12 days, and the snowmobile was a success.
The Polaris brand means delivering high quality vehicles, products, services, and experiences to millions of people around the world.
Polaris industries has succeeded in marketing its products since the 1950's. They benefit from spending time and resources on fully understanding the market. What I discovered during my case study of Polaris is how closely the company follows some of the methods described in "The Purple Cow". For example, the content on Polaris' social media sites follows the recommendation of designing content that is native to the platform. On Facebook, posts about how Polaris is active in The Wounded Warrior Project, Boy Scouts of America, and United Way, is less annoying than just displaying the product. On Instagram, the pictures involved the products combined with people who used a Polaris vehicle in a power sports competition. Polaris has a marketing tool called the Ridecommand. It is an app that anyone can download, and it allows riders to organize group rides. Customers can share information before, during, and after a ride. It is a brilliant way to promote customers to spread excitement about the product.
Polaris industries sales in 2016 were approximately $4.8 billion dollars, which shows how well they know the customer and their market. In my opinion, Polaris industries should continue following the current marketing plan.