Ronin Gets A Lift From Indian Motorcycle

September 5, 2013 by Dave Haynes


A tip of my tin foil hat to the sales team at Wireless Ronin, who manage to win business here and there despite some pretty compelling arguments (company financials) why end users should maybe be kinda, really cautious.

The company announced a deal today with Indian Motorcycle, which is billed as America’s original motorcycle manufacturer (pffft Harley) but has a fraction of the brand recognition or owner base of Harley.

The company was bought by Polaris a couple of years ago and is trying to build itself back up in the market, saying it has real financial backing for the first time since the 1950s.

From an optics perspective, it’s a nice deal for Ronin because this is a brand now spending some real money to make itself known, and needs digital in its dealerships to reinforce the legacy, sex appeal and emotion of buying one of these things.

However, it’s one screen over a fireplace at dealerships, and there are not – at least not yet – a whole pile of Indian Motorcycle dealerships. The dealer locator suggests there’s general bike dealers around the US selling the bikes, but only a handful of corporate stores that would be kitted out like this.

Wireless Ronin worked closely with Indian Motorcycle to create an in-store customer experience that matches the ease, functionality and interactivity of Indian Motorcycle’s existing online assets. The dealership solution includes a 46″ display as part of a central Media Hearth along with a mobile tablet that sits tableside near the Media Hearth allowing customers to select content from the tablet to play on the 46″ screen. When not being controlled by the tablet, the Media Hearth screen plays a standard video loop along with social media and weather content zones. A bike side tablet is also being deployed, providing interactive, bike-specific information to the customer.

It’s not going to mean all that much to the bottom line, but it’s a story to tell and show of faith. Polaris is also in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, which wouldn’t have hurt.

In a release, the company also said this deal “builds upon a 20-year history of success with the automotive industry.” Which is interesting, since the company was founded in 2000, launched its software in 2003 and developed an auto offer in 2007-8.

Anyway …

On a vaguely related note, this is a great little flick: The World’s Fastest Indian

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