Zippo Manufacturing Company, globally recognized producer of the iconic Zippo Windproof Lighter, announced today its plans for significant expansion of its operations in India.
Following the 2020 opening of its first ever wholly-owned subsidiary in India, Zippo Lighters India PVT LTD, the company is now working with a new distribution partner, Bhawar, to expand reach and improve efficiencies in the market.
On the branding and marketing side, Ogilvy has been named Zippo’s Agency of Record in India for full-funnel marketing efforts in support of the brand’s aggressive expansion plans. The future roadmap includes expanding in-market staff and working more closely with key retail partners in both the ecommerce and brick-and-mortar channels to double its business in India within the next year.
Calling out business potential for India, Lucas Johnson, Associate Vice President Zippo Global Marketing, highlights, “On a percentage basis, India has Zippo’s highest expectations for near and mid-term growth. There are some other markets globally that have great growth potential for Zippo, such as China, Indonesia, and Brazil, but our expectations for rate of growth in India are highest and we are excited to reintroduce the brand to Indian consumers.”
There is a heavy thrust on key ecommerce players and major retailers for Zippo in India that include Amazon.in, Myntra, and Tata Cliq Luxury, while the brand continues to expand its own ecommerce shop at zippo.in. Zippo is also selling offline at a variety of destination retailers, gift shops, and other including, CCD, Reliance JIO Mart, Beer Café, Spencers, and William Penn. With a specific product range being offered in our market, the Zippo pocket lighter collection also has in stock limited edition collectibles and flagship products priced between INR 2149 to 9499.
Further, Johnson shared that the brand aims to identify and tailor-fit communication for its unique target audience in India, in line with the brand’s strategy for globally consistent, locally relevant messaging and product design options. Across all markets, Zippo attracts a diverse group of individuals to their growing product line – both men and women who value a quality product they can have confidence in and one that gives them confidence while reflecting their own individual personality. Johnson adds, “These consumers are looking for a reliable tool to light something, or a fashionable talisman to carry with them as a special accessory.”
Addressing the challenge of counterfeit and lookalike lighters in the market, educating consumers about authentic Zippo windproof lighters and how to tell the difference between the true iconic Zippo product, and the “wannabes”, is among the first and foremost actions by the brand. On the business side, Zippo is working with ecommerce retailers to identify fake and infringing product and delist them from their sites. Like the brand does in other markets, Lucas outlines measures to tackle the issue in India: “We are working with our own contract staff as well as third-party investigators to find the sources of counterfeit products and, working with local authorities, shut down their operations and enforce the most stringent penalties by law. We will also be working to educate retailers on the issue of counterfeit products and help them understand that we take the issue very seriously and will take action as appropriate against all that infringe our legal marks.”
As the COVID pandemic continues to impact businesses the world over, Zippo, too, is adapting to changes. There’s been a shift in driving the sales and marketing efforts to focus on more digitally based offerings, including robust virtual customer visits as well as upgrading and harmonizing the brand’s owned ecommerce platforms and experiences. Additionally, efforts are being targeted at ecommerce channels of distribution and finding new ways to interact with the consumers, all of which will continue to pay dividends for Zippo long after the pandemic ends.