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Zippo Makes the Man
By: Cindy Wendland
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The half-page ad in the Sunday newspaper introduced the Zippo stainless steel wallet, pen, and watch. Doesn’t Zippo make lighters? Makestheman.com did not mention anything about lighters, although the Zippo logo does have the fire symbol dotting the “I.” This must be the same company?!

The Zippo.com website provided the answers. Zippos is transitioning into a lifestyle brand and as a result is offering more than just lighters. The clean lines of the products in the ad are attractive. The stainless steel wallet may be a little uncomfortable for those who put their wallet in their back pocket, however!

According to Zippo News, Zippo has been named as a top Americana brand and a top Patriotic brand. The top licensed brand on their lighters is Harley-Davidson. What is most interesting is that Zippo estimates there are four million Zippo collectors in the U.S. alone and they claim to have a 98% awareness rate. Reviews on the wallet backed up the image of a trusted quality product. Surprisingly, many of the reviews on the wallet were positive, as long as only a few credit cards were needed. Otherwise space just didn’t allow for more than four and an ID.

Since smoking is not available in most public venues, Zippo researched what other products their customers would accept. It turns out the products needed to feel like Zippo and be rugged and durable. That makes sense for watches; a little less for pens and wallets.

The social media engagement on the new Zippo products is a little lacking. The newspaper ad is reaching older consumers, so understandably just the website was listed. But nowhere on the website did it provide a Facebook or Twitter link for the younger male market. Zippo is a strong brand and has an incredible following for its declining core product line. Time will tell if Zippo will expand the social media plan for their new products to fill the revenue gap.

   

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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