For a long time, Adidas has always been known as the biggest sportswear manufacturer in Europe and second largest globally after Nike. The company is also synonymous with its renowned brand logo of a leaf and three stripes, revived to three bars resembling a mountain.
Since the Reebok acquisition in 2006, the Adidas brand had been struggling with decreasing resources and a diminishing brand. The merger was meant to achieve one common objective – to compete with Nike in the global market. The Nike brand was the first choice to many consumers because they offered stylish gears with quality material and was also famous for its fashion status, attractive colors and combinations. Adidas, on the other hand, was only known for its good quality gear, made for comfort while the Reebok brand offered the ip hop’ style.
This combination made it impossible for the two brands to compete with Nike, considering other brands like Puma was also a threat. With this in mind, the Adidas team needed to think fast to position themselves as global leaders in quality sportswear. With the assistance of the company management and senior industry advisors, Adidas employed a number of strategies:
Recreating The Organization’s Corporate Culture
To be able to beat Nike at their own game, Adidas knew that there had to be an organizational change. This meant out with the old and in with the new, to open up to new ideas and keep strides with new trends in the market.
New innovations -For a long time, Adidas produced classic sportswear that would last a long time, forgetting that consumers’ needs were changing as years went by. By listening to their customers and getting their feedback, Adidas has been able to be on the forefront in innovating new apparel fabrics, new innovative technology on sportswear and accessories to stay up with the current trends in the society.
Clear distribution channels – One of the challenges faced by the Adidas before was poor distribution decisions especially for its Reebok brand which compromised the entire brand in general.By creating an effective production system and a sustainable supply chain system, Adidas has been able to produce the right products for the right markets at the right time.
Partnerships with key athletes – Adidas has signed on key athletes to endorsements deals that have helped elevate the brand in the eyes of the consumers, especially in North America market. For example, Adidas relationship with popular basketball player James Harden has greatly put a lot of credibility in the brand among athletic gear shoppers.
The women market- Adidas products have always been male oriented, which didn’t give much room for women gear. By studying women trends in sportswear, Adidas has been able to design and produce women gear that resonates well with their style, character, experiences and lifestyles as well. In return, this new approach has created a significant increase in the company’s revenue.
Adidas’s ultimate goal is to rebrand itself as an organization that everybody will identify with. This has always been a challenge before because Adidas is a manufacturer first, making it hard to control its own image. By claiming its own brand narrative, from advertising, on ground promotions to retail stores, the brand will definitely achieve this goal while at the same time staying ahead of its competitors.