Windproof lighter maker Zippo Manufacturing Company on Tuesday said it is ramping up expansion in India, where it has the highest expectations for growth among big global markets.
Having officially set up its subsidiary Zippo Lighters India last year, the company said it is working with a new distribution partner, Bhawar, to expand the reach and improve efficiencies in the market, besides focussing on key e-commerce players and major retailers, including Amazon, Myntra, and Tata Cliq Luxury.
"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 the rate of growth in India are highest and we are excited to reintroduce the brand to Indian consumers," Zippo Global Marketing Associate Vice President Lucas Johnson said in a statement.
The future roadmap for India includes expanding in-market staff and working more closely with key retail partners in the e-commerce and brick-and-mortar channels to double its business in India within the next year, the company said.
It, however, did not disclose the current business levels as well as the targeted network reach.
Zippo said it has named Ogilvy as its ''agency of record'' in India for ''full-funnel marketing efforts'' in support of the brand's aggressive expansion plans.
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact businesses the world over, Zippo said it too is adapting to changes and there has been a shift in driving the sales and marketing efforts to focus on more digitally-based offerings.
These include virtual customer visits as well as upgrading and harmonising the brand's owned e-commerce platforms and experiences.
"Additionally, efforts are being targeted at e-commerce 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," the company said.
While the brand continues to expand its e-commerce shop at zippo.in, the company said it is also selling offline at a variety of destination retailers, gift shops, and others, including CCD, Reliance JIO Mart, Beer Cafe, Spencers, and William Penn.
To address the issue of counterfeits, Johnson said, "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".
He further said, "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".
Zippo said it is also working with e-commerce retailers to identify fake and infringing products and delist them from their sites.