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Anyone else feel like Adam's has slipped from contender to pretender?

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With the recent release of the new Adam's website and a few products (re-branded pressure washer) I've noticed some major push back on Facebook about the direction of the company. I have to agree. I've been a huge supporter and advocate of this company for several years now, but I'm starting to think they have abandoned the true detailing community for high profit sales. There was a time when Adam did not want to sell items made in China (now it seems everything they sell is), he was also involved in the forums and detailing community, as well as the strict development of quality products. Also it seems since the exit of Dylan, this company has declined quite quickly. I know I'm not alone, but I fear no one on this forum will back me. Thoughts?

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Thread moved to "Product Polls, Feedback, and Company Input".

 

Feedback is appreciated, but everyone keep in mind the forum rules to be respectful in any responses.

 

@ramflava my only suggestion is to consider editing the thread title to something a little less derogatory. While the company has changed over the last few years, I would not agree that they are "pretending" to be anything different than what they currently are.

 

 

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Your opinion has been considered. Still my opinion stands. They may not be pretending to be what they are now, but they are pretending to be what the once were. Your move. I'm expecting this to be deleted or blocked based on poor feedback, but truth is, I'm not the only one who thinks this.

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BTW, where is Adam? He was once a steady contributor to this forum, but now he seems to be MIA. He used to believe in America first, but now Chinese products are just fine and as long as profits are good who cares...right? I'm calling out Adam on this one. Why have you moved this once great company to a shameful competitor to the douchebaggery that is Chemical Guys? Some swag and gimmicks is fun and understandable, but now.....this company is just a sell out.

 

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What’s with all the negative vibes man?

The company is growing, the boss is busy. What did Adam say when you called him to ask these questions? Just curious. 

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Adam is super busy these days and the reason for some of the non American made stuff is to meet all if the customer request.

All companies rebrand look at all the Craftsman tools, Sears doesn't make anything they just put their name on it.

Thanks so much for your concern and taking time out for your feedback.

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13 hours ago, ramflava said:

Your opinion has been considered. Still my opinion stands. They may not be pretending to be what they are now, but they are pretending to be what the once were. Your move. I'm expecting this to be deleted or blocked based on poor feedback, but truth is, I'm not the only one who thinks this.

 

I disagree that the company is pretending to be what it used to be.  The change to include a wider variety of products that are not made in the USA was clearly announced and explained in the video posted above, and the country of origin for each product is listed on the website.

 

In addition, the expansion into additional branded products was based on customer requests.  People wanted more of it, and these products do sell, proving the demand is there.

 

The main point is that selling shirts or other branded equipment has not changed the quality or continuous improvements of the main chemical line.  The past few years have seen a huge evolution in the expansion of types of chemical products offered, which in my opinion, far exceeds the rate at which new and improved products were released during the time period before the staff changes you mentioned.

 

And no, this thread will not get deleted or blocked as long as the forum rules are followed.  As a few forum members posted in another thread, too much of the other feedback on other media channels (FB and IG) is just a drone of company bashing, which is not constructive at all.  Constructive feedback is appreciated, but the main purpose of this forum is education, so customers can learn and contribute with advice, and not be exposed to all the negativity that is so prevelent on the internet.

 

I do think your feedback is constructive, but any posts or threads that are disrespectful to other members or are simply bashing or overly negative will be deleted, simply because most people do not like that kind of negativity, as it detracts from the educational focus of this forum.

 

As the moderators, we have to be careful to strike a balance, but I can tell you from my own experiences on other forums and social media, there is really nothing worse than an unmoderated environment that ends up being overly negative, as it drives away the types of members who simply want to learn and contribute to the knowledge by helping other members.

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People get busy as companies grow. Can’t fault him for not being able to be on the forums all the time, as i’m sure he’d love to be.

 

as far as the products not all being made in america, it happens. For many years Adams Polishes provided American made products. With time, something has to give. Would you rather have only a couple accessories available because they are made in America, or multiple selections at a fair price?

 

i give major kudos for how long they were able to only sell american made products.

 

IMO, i’d rather have a large selection of products to choose from. If they kept everything American made and it was say double the price of non american parts, you wouldn’t buy them.

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While I am an advocate and look for items that are North American Designed, Built by North Americans from North American Parts, it is very difficult to find them.  When you want items of particular specifications, it is even more difficult. This has lead to the outsource of manufacturing, mostly to China and the continued growth of rebranding.

 

I'm sure Adam's could have spec'd an electric pressure washer from an North American company and got it built, but how many would be sold that the price they'd have to charge?  What I do appreciate about the rebranding is that it takes the guess work out of picking out a pressure washer that will work for the tasks I want to do and it is backed by a reputable company who's outstanding customer service is in the US and not outsourced to India.  

 

Research and Development is expensive and it takes steady funding to continue to improve and innovate.  The non-chemical products contribute to the available funding for continued R&D to make our chemicals better and product testing.  Just thinking about Ceramic Boost and the effort that had to go into getting from the 1.0 to the 2.0 version and the time, money and scientific effort that get us a significantly better product, when the first version was not bad at all.

 

That includes when you go the grocery store and see 5 different brands  of canned green beans - that came from one or two manufacturers.  One of the best writeups about rebranding is written by Amazon about AmazonBasics:  https://www.cpcstrategy.com/blog/2019/02/amazon-basics/  

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Posted (edited)

I’ll chime in, Adams support has always been stellar and still is. Adam is a great guy, he has helped me out a lot. The products speaking from a chemicals perspective are still excellent. The Chinese made tools I wont fault, but they are not for me. I like to buy premium tools. Adams spoiled me with Flex Rupes and Cyclo I guess. That’s up to you the buyer and I’m sure there are more people willing to spend half what I will on a polisher than those who don’t see price as an issue. The only other thing I’ve seen is that there isn’t really an Adams Expert on the Forum who measures up to someone we knew who used to OWN IT. The guy moved on to another company and those are huge shoes to fill. It will take what’s happening now, which is several contributing members and folks at Adams to fill that gap. That dude was a lot like Adam to me. Them type folks ain’t growing on trees.

 

As long as they continue to keep the customer number one and provide excellent service I will remain loyal to AP. I don’t see Adam letting that fall by the wayside. It starts at the top.

 

Latly I’ll pose this question, have you been delighted with their products and/or service? I have on NUMEROUS OCCASIONS!!! If you haven’t, maybe you aren’t paying attention. Otherwise I don’t know what to tell you. I’ve not had experiences with any company I’ve traded with like I have with AP.

Edited by Junior

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Posted (edited)

The chemical's Adam's offers are excellent but, what really makes 'em KICK ***? The info they provide showing you how to use their products and the no brainer things like color coding the pads to the polishes... I was lost trying to get into detailing with other products, I bought pads & polish from Amazon & proceeded to waste my Saturday detailing my truck with less than good results... Fast forward a few weeks and a bunch of time on youtube watching Adam's Video's and I had AMAZING results!!

 

Can I blame them for offering China made tools, NO WAY! It's not like they're charging a price that isn't consistent with other Chinese made tools, correct?

 

I can't afford to sink the $$ into an American or German made polisher and the more profits Adam's can make the better, it will go into R&D on Chemicals and however Adam sees fit, god bless capitalism... If you want an American made polisher or pressure washer go buy one.. I still have my cheapo PC polisher and it works fine for me.. I have lots of American made items that I count on and use a lot but, something that gets used 2-3 x a year like a polisher I have to make the concession and buy imported stuff...

 

How that possibly makes a company a poser? I do not know... It makes them capitalistic which is what built and continues to build and keep this country great...

Edited by imcrazy

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As far as I know, all of Adam's chemicals are still made in the USA.  And that hasn't changed.  The clay bar went to Korean (I think. could be wrong) several years back because it was the best clay made, and Adam has always tried to give his customers the best products he can.  Same as micros. The best microfiber towels are made overseas. Yes, you can go to discount stores and buy cheap micros, but I've never found any that compare with what I get from Adam's.  As for polishers, it's next to impossible to find anything mechanical made in this country any more. We all know that.  And Adam's customers have demanded things like Rupes, Flex, pressure washers, undercarriage washers, etc.  Adam listens, and tries to find the BEST products for a reasonable price and yet he still has to make a profit to pay his employees and operating expenses.  The company has grown so large now, and demand has become so huge, that it's most likely a bit of a struggle when there are sales or holidays to get everything exactly right for every customer.  They're human.  And on your package's way to you, there are many hands that touch those packages too. And some of those hands aren't so gentle, and some aren't so honest.  

Best advice to everyone from me personally is to just relax.  Be patient. Nothing in life is perfect, but we're all trying to do the best we can. 

 

 

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I had a very open conversation with Adam himself about 2-3 months ago it was a good conversation where I voiced the same displeasure of Adams.  His final words to me were " Vote with your dollar"

 

 

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Well, there you go. "Vote with your dollar" that says alot.

 

I've always loved Adams Polishes and recommend them to everyone. 90% of my products are Adams. It isn't so much the chemicals I'm upset with (they still rock) it's the gimmicky direction I feel the company has taken which cheapens it's appeal. This company is great and got my business because of what it was and what it stood for. I've seen Adam's explanation about Chinese products and such. I've read numerous posts.

 

I'm simply stating that recent rebranding of some items and the price tag associated with those items are very different than what we would have seen and expected several years ago.

 

I never fault anyone for growing a business and making a ton of money. I applaud that and I'm and advocate of Entrepreneurship and success. However, it's pretty disrespectful to build such a great customer base then tell them to vote with their dollars when they try to give feedback to you.

 

I know I'm not the only one who agrees with my opinion though I see I'm in the minority on the forums. I just figured I'd state what I know many are thinking and hopefully this post thread will enable some to also express their dislike for the direction of the company.

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It seems like we get one of these "Adam's isn't as great as it once was" posts every couple of months and it always stirs things up.

 

Here's a fact: The only constant in life is change.

 

Hey - I miss DvK, too. But he's gone.  He's moved on.  So has Adam's and so has this forum.

 

In the 10 years I've been using Adam's products the line has changed A LOT.   Some of it I use, and a lot of it I ignore.  Doesn't bother me in the slightest if they release a product I'm not interested in.  I just don't buy it.

 

This forum is designed to be a place where Adam's customers can come and ask questions that are answered by other Adam's customers, Adam's employees and - every one in a while - Adam himself. It is not a place for bashing Adam's products or practices or directions. There are plenty of places on the 'net where you can voice your displeasure with anything you like.  You'll have a lot of company.

 

It sucks that you felt disrespected by Adam's "vote with your dollars" comment but try to put yourself in his position. He has thousands of users that love his products and clamber for everything he produces and a handful of people not happy with the "direction" his company has gone.  I'm sure he gave you his opinion in a very respectful way but sometimes you have to just say, "Well - see ya later!"

 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, ramflava said:

Well, there you go. "Vote with your dollar" that says alot.

 

I've always loved Adams Polishes and recommend them to everyone. 90% of my products are Adams. It isn't so much the chemicals I'm upset with (they still rock) it's the gimmicky direction I feel the company has taken which cheapens it's appeal. This company is great and got my business because of what it was and what it stood for. I've seen Adam's explanation about Chinese products and such. I've read numerous posts.

 

I'm simply stating that recent rebranding of some items and the price tag associated with those items are very different than what we would have seen and expected several years ago.

 

I never fault anyone for growing a business and making a ton of money. I applaud that and I'm and advocate of Entrepreneurship and success. However, it's pretty disrespectful to build such a great customer base then tell them to vote with their dollars when they try to give feedback to you.

 

I know I'm not the only one who agrees with my opinion though I see I'm in the minority on the forums. I just figured I'd state what I know many are thinking and hopefully this post thread will enable some to also express their dislike for the direction of the company.

Mike,

 

       I think your opinion matters and I get what you are saying. I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone from Adams reach out to you or respond to this post. I’m not really partial to some of the stuff they are bringing in but I also am not starting out either. I’ve got 6 polishers and pretty much every tool I will ever need. If I was starting all over again, the Swirl Killer would probably be a major consideration. And with the Way Adams supports the customer, why would I buy a PC over the SK? To add to that train of thought, I first had a PC and then was spoiled with the Cyclo and Rupes polishers way before SK ever came out. And I also don’t really get into Adams limited releases or MB. Again because I have everything I need to detail about 30 cars. I think a lot of what they are doing from a marketing and product strategy is appealing to the younger crowd and those new to Adams. But that’s the cool thing, I vote with my dollars and I’m sure they have a ton of new Adams customers who buy stuff that I don’t. They have to evolve if they want to continue to be successful, it may just be weird for those of us who were around in the early days. Growth promotes change.

Edited by Junior

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2 hours ago, ramflava said:

Well, there you go. "Vote with your dollar" that says alot.

 

I've always loved Adams Polishes and recommend them to everyone. 90% of my products are Adams. It isn't so much the chemicals I'm upset with (they still rock) it's the gimmicky direction I feel the company has taken which cheapens it's appeal. This company is great and got my business because of what it was and what it stood for. I've seen Adam's explanation about Chinese products and such. I've read numerous posts.

 

I'm simply stating that recent rebranding of some items and the price tag associated with those items are very different than what we would have seen and expected several years ago.

 

I never fault anyone for growing a business and making a ton of money. I applaud that and I'm and advocate of Entrepreneurship and success. However, it's pretty disrespectful to build such a great customer base then tell them to vote with their dollars when they try to give feedback to you.

 

I know I'm not the only one who agrees with my opinion though I see I'm in the minority on the forums. I just figured I'd state what I know many are thinking and hopefully this post thread will enable some to also express their dislike for the direction of the company.

 

I 100% agree with you.  I'm not a fan of this gimmicky direction they have taken at all.  

 

I've been using Adam's products since 2011, and like you've mentioned, they have changed so much.  I noticed the biggest change in the company after Dylan left and Matt came in.  

 

I'm not going to bash Adam's, but I will say this:  I used to be 100% Adam's and wouldn't even dare consider another brand, but that is no longer the case for me.  I've discovered other brands that remind me of the old Adam's.  So I guess I'm voting with my dollar.  

 

Another thing that used to impress me about Adam's was the customer service.  But I've experienced 2 situations that were not handled in the way that they used to be.  Out of respect, I won't go into the details of that.  

 

But I know for fact that we are not the only ones feeling this way.  I've talked with many different people at car shows that are saying the same things.  We are not alone.  

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6 hours ago, Mbrazelton said:

I had a very open conversation with Adam himself about 2-3 months ago it was a good conversation where I voiced the same displeasure of Adams.  His final words to me were " Vote with your dollar"

 

 

 

What did you expect him to say?  He's right.  If you aren't happy, then move on.   

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On 7/15/2019 at 6:08 AM, ramflava said:

Well, there you go. "Vote with your dollar" that says alot.

 

 

Adam has also posted the "vote with your dollar" advice on this forum, but it was specifically in regards to the expansion into some of the branded merchandise, like shirts, hats, socks, etc. 

 

His comment meant that if these other products do not interest you, then vote with your dollar and not buy them.  This comment was not meant to be applied to the company as a whole, only specific products.

 

Again, all these other products, including the swag products and the expansion into different equipment lines, have not in any way come at the cost of the constant development and refinement of the core chemical products.

 

Other than the "Made in USA" issue on some of the equipment, I just don't understand why offering any of these other products means that the company is no longer meeting its goal of providing the best quality detailing products, with unmatched support in this industry, to make it easier for customers to get the results they want, and to ENJOY the process!

 

 

Another general discussion topic not specifically directed to @ramflava:

 

The entire "re-branded" argument, when it comes to equipment, does not make any sense.  Adam's Polishes, just like the vast majority of detailing product companies, do not manufacture equipment.  Equipment is manufactured by...EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS.   These manufacturers design and build equipment, either as a standard item, or in many cases, to the specifications of the buyer or client.  For example, Adam's tells the manufacturing company what they want for specifications in a particular product, and then prototypes are built and tested, and then the final product is tested, then released.  In other cases, the main component of the product is already part of that manufactures product line, so Adam's might just make a few minor changes.  And since I know it will be brought up, there is also one major and well known EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURER that also sells some detailing chemicals.

 

Simply put, Adam's Polishes manufactures detailing chemicals, and uses equipment manufacturers to build the equipment.  Just like they have textile manufacturers make the towels to their specifications, the brush manufacturers make the brushes, etc.  Yes, some products are off-the-shelf (buckets, some brushes, spray bottles), and some have only maybe color or other cosmetic changes, but they do not manufacture any of it, so why would people expect them to be manufacturing something as complicated as a piece of power equipment.

 

Contrary to what the uninformed masses (that spend too much time trolling FB and IG) might think, just because a specific piece of equipment might appear similar to another, it does not mean that company made it, and Adam's just slapped a sticker on it.  What is more accurate is that the same equipment manufacturer made variations of the different products, so some appearances are the same.  A good example is when the pressure washer was released.  People on IG and this forum were so quick to proclaim that it is just a re-branded Sun Joe, and some said Arksen, and yet more said Realm, and so on.  And none of those were the correct manufacturer.  Kyle stated that Apex makes the Adam's version.  So that likely means that Apex also makes some or all of those other "re-branded" pressure washers that look similar.

 

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Posted (edited)

My 2 cents,

 

The company still has great products but its definitely a different company / brand than it was when i started using their products 8-9 years ago. 

 

IMO the second the outside investors came in, it was all going to change.  Any time you take outside money from investors/private equity or the like, you have a new set of bosses running the company that care about one thing only - growth and return their investment.  They are in it to hit a certain return target and then get out 99.9999% of the time.  Given that a lot of people were buying all the limited stuff/mystery items, lets be honest it sold out really fast very often, its no surprise that a lot more of it got offered - remember growth and revenue.

 

If I had to guess, the company will be sold soon as the revenues have clearly grown and are likely getting near the return the investors had targeted.   Hopefully whoever buys the company maintains the quality.  But realize, given the price they will pay, they will likely continue the current path, they will have to in order to maintain profitability.  I'd find it highly unlikely that a buyer comes in and slashes a lot of the non chemical items unless they no longer make $$$$.  

 

Sorry if this sounds harsh, but its a business.  Yes it has had a community around it, more so in the early days IMO, but in the end the dollar rules.  A business Made in America, the exact thing that attracted so many in the beginning - a bit ironic.  

 

 

Edited by stirthepot

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Last night I sent this thread to HQ for review, and then had a reply email and also a phone conversation about it and other developments this morning.

 

Your feedback is appreciated, and the issues presented in this thread are being heard and discussed by the decision makers in this company.

 

I expect that we will see some changes that will address many of these concerns, along with concerns and other issues from previous feedback threads.

 

A quote from the email from HQ: "Feedback keeps us strong and is healthy."

 

So if you have constructive feedback, then the company wants to hear it.  If you are not comfortable posting it on the forum, then send me a PM and I will compile the comments and send them in for review and discussion.

 

 

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If the company had never changed, people would complain. 

If they went back to the way it was 10 years ago, people would complain. 

If they grow and change, people will complain. 

The detailing industry is changing every day. We can change with it, or not. 

My only complaint is that I still have too much of the old products and I can’t justify upgrading yet. Third world problems, I know. 

I will stick with folks that I know personally even if it costs a bit more. Adams is one of those companies. 

 

Just my two cents :cheers:

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I love Adam's products and will continue to support them, I do not use ALL of Adam's products however. I use what I want to use and have the luxury of doing so. Not every product will be for everybody. Any company that is not changing will be left behind and we see this with so many industries. I for one applaud Adam's for the attempt and execution of attempting to relate to the younger generations and bringing in fresh ideas. I feel Adam's still has an excellent platform for the base car care experience, Car Shampoo, paint correction liquids, and waxes/protectants. The company is so much more than that product wise, but you get the jest of it. Anybody can still wash and detail their car with the same Adam's products we have always known and loved. Not buying a product due to the origin is a whole different topic, but Adam's gives us all the luxury of buying American and by gosh when given the option I am going to continue to do so! I think the major decision is, do you want to wash your ride with an Adam's shirt and socks on or not? I'm not making light of the fact that they are venturing into new markets, but YOU are allowed to do as you like and make the decision to stick to the basics of what you like with Adam's. You do not have to jump ship because they are selling non American made pressure washers, just don't buy into what you don't want. Its your dollar to spend, and its hard earned at that! I think anybody would be hard pressed to find products that compare to Adam's. I have found a few, but again, these are from American made companies. Point being, its your dollar to spend, so do so wisely and buy American made when you can.

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This is all really good discussion and I truly appreciate it. You all make very good points and there is all to consider that I had not previously considered or known about. That being said, the issue I think some people are having about the new pressure washer it that for the price it is being sold by Adam's along with the similarity to other brands that are sold for near 50% of the cost it seems (without knowing specifics) like we're being sold a cheap ("rebranded") pressure washer at twice the price of the other brand.

Maybe it is the unknown differences and the extreme similarities that are making people skeptical about the company's products and intention. Of course a company is always going to try to profit, that is what it is ultimately about. However, when some products appear to be high prices rebrands of cheap knock offs, why wouldn't you expect this sort of push-back?

When it comes to swag, I remember when Adams didn't really sell any and customers (including me) were asking for some swag. Never could I imagine Adams trying to dive into the coffee business, or socks (I believe I saw something like that at one point), or balloons. That just seems silly and seems to water down the company image in my opinion. It's like seeing Clint Eastwood (a very cool actor and person) ditch his strong tough guy image, that seems to still work for him, in order to pander to today's flat bill hat, gauged earring wearing crowd by wearing such things in hopes of appealing to today's younger generation. In all actuality, his normal persona still works and it his true brand. That's what I mean when I say Adams has gone from contender to pretender.

From a customer's perspective what I feel got Adams to be so popular and desirable at first was the Made In USA policy, the chemicals, towels, and basic tools of detailing. Now suddenly Adams is selling random items that seem gimmicky or overpriced rebrands and the answer when someone calls them out is "vote with your dollars." To me that's like being told my opinion doesn't matter. I am but one person and I'm I won't make a dent in the profit, but maybe there are others who haven't spoken up that feel the same way and together voting with our dollars may hurt a little.

The best thing to come out of this conversation is TheWolf's last post about sending this to HQ. Hopefully this grows legs and we can get an honest heartfelt response like we use to from Adam himself. That is another thing we used to see, but doesn't seem to happen anymore. I love to see a company grow and I'm all for people making as much money as possible, but when a company grows so big that it loses its humbleness, I begin to wonder if the customers even truly matter. At least when Adam was a visible and engaged figure of the company I felt like our voices were truly heard.

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