Many of us have heard of the fairly new workout brand CrossFit that has been sweeping the world for the past decade or so (2000). Some of you may even participate in the ultra intensified fitness regiments at your local CrossFit gym, or “boxes” as the growing cult has come to call them. For those of you who are unfamiliar with CrossFit, it is an exercise program that advocates a mix of aerobic exercise, body weight exercise, gymnastics, and Olympic weight lifting that requires an individual to “to keep up the intensity, each and every time.” What does CrossFit have to do with total quality management within a corporate conglomerate you ask?
Well it just so happens that Adidas recently purchased Reebok back in 2006 and the company has been struggling mightily ever since the latter lost its decade long contract to outfit the National Football League last April to its biggest rival, Nike. This loss will reportedly cost Adidas an estimate of upwards to $250 million in lost revenue annually, a crushing blow to a company that was already being scrutinized for its purchasing of the floundering organization that had become Reebok. Reebok has also suffered heavy losses from lawsuits regarding their falsified health claims of their new “toning” shoes that deceived consumers. These allegations were brought forth by the Federal Trade Commission and required Reebok to pay nearly $25 million in total refunds. To top it all off, there has been turmoil within the infrastructure of the organization as an investigation has been prompted relating to alleged fraud by two former executives. However, there may be a silver lining yet for this once promising business transaction as Adidas hopes that sponsoring CrossFit using their newly affiliated business partner Reebok as its representative will not only reverse the current trend of posting a decline in sales the last three of five years, but also restore the brands image as a major powerhouse in the industry that is a force to be reckoned with.
Adidas continues to stand by there decision to purchase Reebok and hopes that their new two year deal with CrossFit will help them accomplish their goals that they set for themselves prior to their recent setbacks. In hopes of reaching the $3 billion objective for 2015, Adidas believes that their sponsorship of CrossFit will help speed up the process and provide them with some insurance they desperately need. The rapid growth of the CrossFit health craze is most certainly a positive sign for pulling Reebok out of the gutter as more than 3,000 gyms have popped up worldwide. The cult-like fitness routine seems it will continue to grow in popularity in the future as people gravitate towards the infectious atmosphere of the contagious motivation/energy and the promise of a complete workout in under 20 minutes. Will Adidas end up regretting their decision to purchase Reebok in the future? Or will the new addition of Reebok and the sponsorship of CrossFit pay off in the long run?
The battle for technological dominance is beginning to heat up. Apple and Samsung have been at each other’s throats competing over market share and cultural relevance for years now, with Apple seeming to come away the victor year after year. However, the momentum has seemed to shift in Samsung’s favor recently. So why the sudden change? In 2013, Samsung took a huge leap forward against their arch rival by enjoying a monumental 56% surge in sales pertaining to smart-phones. Whereas Apple only saw a disappointing 6.6% increase in sales within the smart-phone sector. Samsung now has a stranglehold on the market share, controlling 33% of the smart-phone division compared to Apple’s mere 18%. With this sudden charge in 2013, Samsung experienced soaring profits and revenue sales of $47.6 billion, a 17% increase compared to Apple’s 11% increase.
People are beginning to wonder why Apple has become so stagnant with their products, while Samsung continues to innovate, push the limits, and surpass new boundaries as a organization. As we all know, Apple as a company has gone through major changes when it comes to management ever since the passing of their charismatic and brilliant leader Steve Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011. However, they are not helping themselves with their lack of new products entering the market, along with their rather “elementary” tweaks to the iPhone 5 that have left many longtime customers of Apple disappointed and looking elsewhere for new and innovative mobile devices. For example, Apple upset a good portion of their customer base by changing the adapter that charges the battery life for a majority of Apple products. One of the major draws for Apple’s iPhone line was the fact that their mobile devices had become standardized with the ability for users to charge their phones just about anywhere, even if they forgot their phone charger because they could just use someone else’s. All the while Samsung continues to focus on the quality of their products by offering a wider range of specifications regarding smart-phones that have consumers clamoring for more. Also, Samsung’s new handset, the Galaxy S4, has premiered to critical acclaim among customers and could potentially threaten Apple’s iPhone as the gold standard among smart-phones in the industry.
Samsung has been able to achieve this triumphant comeback through intense quality focus and strong leadership throughout the organization. Especially at the top with former Chairman Kun-Hee Lee who strove for product quality so much that he took a trip to one of the company’s plants that had developed a batch of defected products and required all 2,000 employees to wear headbands that read, “Quality First”. Through this philosophy, Samsung has been able to efficiently produce quality products at a cheaper price compared to industry standards, which in turn allows them to charge a higher price that consumers are willing to spend. The end result, an incredible first quarter of 2013 for Samsung and a devastating blow to Apple. Will Apple recover from this disappointing 2013 start? Possibly with the iPhone-5S. Or will Samsung continue jabbing away at heavyweight champ?