Polaris, a global leader in "power sports", already had significant market share for its side-by-side off-road products, its all-terrain vehicles, and its snowmobiles.

But its Victory line of motorcycles was in a rut. The reason, according to Pam Kermisch, Polaris' Senior Director/Integrated Marketing and Customer Experience, was not product quality: "Consumers would tell us, 'Wow, your products have the best handling, the most balance, the best power. This is like nothing we've ever seen."

And it wasn't lack of ambition: "This company is known for engineering products. We believed, 'We can create a better motorcycle.'"

The problem, Kermisch told delegates at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2017 Brand Activation Conference, was a "brand" – specifically, the Harley-Davidson brand. "And, in this category, brand matters a ton," she reported.