by Colleen Morgan
Source: ©The Moodie Davitt Report
19 July 2017
Zippo Manufacturing, which makes the Zippo lighter, is looking to extend its global footprint in travel retail with new eyewear collections and additions to its accessories range. Zippo introduced its Zippo Eyewear range of sunglasses and readers to travel retailers at this year’s IAADFS Duty Free Show of the Americas in Orlando.
Zippo Manufacturing Senior Vice President Global Sales Richard Finlow commented: “Zippo is forward-thinking and travel retail is a major part of our long-term strategy as we expand our product offerings and continue to grow Zippo as a lifestyle brand.” Finlow said 2016 was, in terms of sales, “one of the best years yet”. He added that the Chinese market was ‘exploding’ and sales in Europe were the best in the history of Zippo Europe.
Sneak peek: Zippo unveiled its new eyewear range earlier this year
“While the USA will always serve as our home base and the foundation for our brand, we are focusing more attention on Asia and Europe due, in large part, to the significant growth opportunities they present,” said Finlow. According to Finlow, the brand’s strong performance in Europe was pushed by three factors. “The younger generation is seeing Zippo as a cool brand. Our collections have proven a great success, and have become part of the overall Zippo experience, and, thirdly, and possibly more importantly, Zippo owns a very well recognised brand. Zippo means something to people and it seems everyone has a Zippo story.”
Zippo aims to make reading glasses " trendier and happier"
Finlow said the brand was intent on expanding its product offerings but determined to maintain its US roots. “With our new products, we are creating items that people can bring wherever their adventures might take them. “Our windproof lighters are still made in our Bradford, Pennsylvania factory. There we are continuing to focus on the future with a new Innovation Lab to be the centre of product development. “But, we have also set up wholly-owned subsidiaries in China, UK, France and Germany. With these changes, Zippo now controls more than 85% of its international distribution, allowing us to control our global footprint.” In the USA, Zippo is expanding its Zippo Outdoor line to include a range of fire starters but it is the brand’s new Zippo Eyewear that marks the brand’s new direction. “We conducted two benchmark studies, one determining the worldwide awareness of the brand, and the other to gauge what areas Zippo’s lifestyle products would best fit in, which led us into the eyewear space,” Finlow said. “Our consumers are telling us that they are comfortable and can see our brand performing, playing, in other areas. Our answer to this consumer openness is diversification.”
Zippo Eyewear will be available in travel retail in 2018, with some designs exclusive to the channel. Prices for the readers will start from US$15 and US$25 for the sunglasses.
Finlow described response to the new lines as "tremendous"
"We're setting out to change the stereotype that people have regarding readers"
The company has used selected reatailers in Italy as a pilot market. "The sunglasses are literally flying off the shelves so I think we are on to a winner here. Italians are fashionable; if you can market there something that is fashion-related you have a good chance of success."
Zippo sunglasses feature polarised lenses in a variety of classic frame styles paired with quality lenses in a variety of colours. Each pair is presented in protective case.
Zippo reading glasses feature 'on-trend' frames in men's, women's and unisex styles, and high quality lenses in a variety of diopter strenghts.
"Reading glasses have traditionally been associated with older generations, "Finlow noted. " However, with the increased usage of computers and mobile devices, we've seen growing reports about younger generations requiring reading glasses due to eyestrain. We aim to make the reading glasses trendier and happier.
We're setting out to change the stereotype that people have regarding readers. our goal is to have our consumers feel confident putting them on and wearing them in public, and to be able to choose a pair that represents their personality - much like our wide range of lighter designs."
New items in the Zippo branded leathergoods include tobacco pouches, card holders and wallers which are also being market tested in Europe.
Richard Finlow: "We are setting out to change the stereotype that peope have regarding readers"
Zippo, maker of the world-famous windproof lighter, celebrates its 85th anniversary in 2017. Over the years, the brand has amassed a legion of fans, given consumers new ways to enjoy Zippo, and cemented itself within popular culture.
Committed to quality and boundary pushing design since 1932, the company is proud to have produced over 550 million windproof lighters and 300,000 lighter designs. With presence in over 200 countries, the brand enjoys a truly global following.
In recent years, a strong diversification strategy and successful product launches have seen Zippo evolve into a true lifestyle brand. In addition to windproof lighters, Zippo Manufacturing Company has expanded into outdoor equipment, accessories, eyewear, apparel and fragrance.
One of the most recognized brands in the world, the Zippo windproof lighter has a unique and instantly recognizable design and signature ‘Click’ sound. The Zippo brand has established itself as a symbol of American style, seen in the hands of influential people from the worlds of fashion, art, music and film.
To celebrate the milestone and the company’s illustrious history, Zippo has created two commemorative lighters; a high polish chrome finish lighter with a laser engrave/auto engrave imprint and a limited edition Armor® high polish chrome finish lighter featuring a 360-MultiCut engraving process with epoxy inlay and lustre buff.
Watch a behind the scenes video at the design process of this limited edition collectible.
LONDON, UK, 22nd February 2017 - Iconic American brand Zippo has launched a captivating video showcasing the genius of Canadian artist, Steven Spazuk. Known as the Fire Artist, Steven realised the fascinating ‘fumage’ technique, which casts aside traditional tools such as paintbrushes in favour of painting with fire. In the newly released video, Steven uses flame to create an original artwork and reveals how he expertly harnesses the power of fire.
The never-before-seen footage features Steven “attacking the paper” with the flame of a Zippo windproof lighter and other fire tools and then retouching his designs by etching patterns with natural bird feathers and blades. Filmed in his studio in Montreal, Steven divulges how his unique artistic approach originated and his inspiration.
Flame Art Coming Soon Video
Steven Spazuk Flame Art Video
Meet the Fire Artist
Steven’s art style, which originally came to him in a dream, is steeped in improvisation and spontaneity and is something he has worked on perfecting for the last 14 years. His long-held affinity for his own Zippo windproof lighter, dating back to his days as a college art student is identified as a source of artistic creativity and inspiration. Speaking of the campaign, Steven said:
“The flame is something that truly inspires my art; once I found my way of working with fire I knew it would become my voice and I should be committed to that craft. A Zippo lighter has always been a part of my toolbox, and I also love how it can be a piece of art in itself. To me, it’s both a muse and a tool so Zippo is a stimulating brand to work alongside.”
With its distinctive style and classic construction, the Zippo windproof lighter has served as a canvas for endless artistic creations. For 85 years Zippo has brought unmatched levels of artistic talent to the smallest of canvases – from the early years of etching and hand-painted details to today’s cutting-edge 360-degree MultiCut engraving. With over 300,000 designs created since 1932, Zippo continues to push the boundaries of design. By partnering with Steven Spazuk, Zippo is proud to continue showcasing art in all its forms.
Alongside the video artwork, Steven has brought his unique artistic talent to a new limited edtion Zippo windproof lighter, featuring his art, which is available now to pre-order from the Zippo website
The innovative design positions the lighter as the “spark” of creativity from which Steven’s art arises. Much like a genie bottle, Steven imagines figures being born from the flame of the Zippo lighter itself, producing intricate, swirling clouds of charcoal shading that metamorphose into a soaring swallow.
David Warfel, VP Global Marketing at Zippo said: “At Zippo, we pride ourselves on continuing to push the boundaries of design, and so collaborating with Steven made perfect sense. We admire his inventive approach using the flame of our famous windproof lighter! With 85 years of history, Zippo has an influential and dedicated fan base. During this time Zippo has transcended its functional benefits to become a cultural icon and we love finding new ways for our customers to appreciate the brand.
May 28, 2015 - The inaugural BASSfest held last year was a hit with anglers and fans, and the unique competition returns next month with Zippo as the new title sponsor.
The Zippo BASSfest at Kentucky Lake presented by A.R.E. Truck Caps will be June 3-7 in Paris, Tennessee. The B.A.S.S. partnership allows Zippo to align its outdoor brands with the popular Bassmaster Elite Series event as the title sponsor.
“Zippo is extremely proud to sponsor BASSfest on beautiful Kentucky Lake,” said Chris Funk, Zippo marketing product manager - outdoor. “BASSfest’s combination of fishing, family and festival is the perfect opportunity to bring Zippo’s line of outdoor products to people who love being outdoors. Renowned for our lighters, Zippo is taking our 83-year legacy of the flame to the great outdoors. Be sure to check out our new Zippo All-Terrain Grill and sample some delicious food while you are there,” he added.
Last season's BASSfest at Chickamauga Lake was a first for the Bassmaster Elite Series. The five-day tournament evolved as an extended opportunity for fans to gather during a weeklong, summertime event. The combination of competition and festival proved a big hit.
“BASSfest is quickly becoming one of the most popular and exciting events of the year in Bassmaster competition, and we are pleased that Zippo has decided to take advantage of that fact by becoming its title sponsor,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “This decision also reinforces the fact that bass fishing fans are avid outdoors people who enjoy camping and cooking outdoors, in addition to fishing.”
This year’s BASSfest follows up with an enhanced fan experience and higher stakes for the pro anglers.
Invited to compete are the Top 10 points leaders from each of the three divisions in the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series presented by Allstate. Also under the new format, Bassmaster Elite Series anglers will earn Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year points based on their finishes in the tournament.
Two popular aspects of the original format remain. On Friday, fans have the opportunity to interact with the pros during Bassmaster University, special seminars on a variety of fishing topics. Also on Friday, the Second Chance Tournament returns at nearby Lake Barkley. Each angler below 50th place on Thursday has the chance to advance to the finals on Saturday and Sunday and earn at least $10,000, if they finish in the Top 10 of the second chance round.
Find out more about BASSfest at bassmaster.com.
April 22, 2015 – One of the Zippo/Case Museum’s most historically significant pieces– a lighter that was hand engraved on a landing craft en route to the D-Day invasion – is currently on loan, along with several other WWII-era artifacts from the Zippo and Case archives, to the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh for a special exhibit opening Saturday, April 25.
The Zippo/Case Museum pieces will be featured in the upcoming “We Can Do It!WWII” exhibit, which explores how Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania affected the home front and battlefield during WWII.
“We’re honored to be able to share so many of our important historical pieces with the Heinz History Center,” said Pat Grandy, Zippo Corporate Media and Communications Manager. “Zippo and Case’s reputation for dependable products was cemented by our performance during WWII. We have so many letters, images and artifacts from WWII in the Zippo/Case Museum, it was hard to choose only a few, but we feel they make an important contribution to the exhibit.”
Under a special agreement, the Zippo/Case Museum loaned the Smithsonian-affiliated Heinz History Center several key pieces from the corporate archives. Along with the special lighter, known as the Walter Nadler lighter, the museum also sent images and advertisements from the time period, and a recreation of the V-42 Stiletto, which W.R. Case and Sons Cutlery Co. developed from the museum’s original V-42 Stiletto and is producing in limited quantities.
The Walter Nadler lighter story is explored in detail, along with Zippo’s founding during the Great Depression and the company’s incredible success and growth during WWII, in the current issue of Western Pennsylvania History magazine. The article was written by Tim Ziaukas, Professor of Public Relations at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, who utilized never-before-shared interviews with Zippo owners Sarah Dorn and George Duke, the daughter and grandson of Zippo founder George G. Blaisdell.
“The story of Zippo Manufacturing Company is not only one of Pennsylvania’s great tales, it’s one of America’s,” Ziaukas said. “I’m happy to have been able to get a version of this important Bradford story on the record.”
The Spring 2015 articles will be available to read for free on the Heinz History Center’s website.
April 22, 2015 - Zippo Encore officially announces a partnership with the “Summer’s Last Stand” U.S. tour featuring Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum rock band Slipknot.
At each stop on the upcoming summer jaunt, Zippo Encore’s pop-up retail shop will feature custom Zippo lighters, including several that have been designed personally by members of the band as part of the Zippo Encore Artist Custom Series Program. Fans will also have opportunities to win various prizes, including autographed merchandise, and create their own original lighter designs.
Prior to the start of the tour, members of Slipknot will convene for a design session where the collectible lighter set will come to life. The Slipknot lighters will be available for purchase at Zippo’s pop-up shop and merchandise tables at each of the concerts, as well as online and on www.Slipknot1.com. Fans will be given behind-the-scenes access into the design process – in addition to exclusive concert footage and band interviews – by way of videos uploaded to Zippo Encore’s social media channels.
“Who can think of a concert – especially a heavy metal or hard rock concert – without picturing Zippo lighters in the air, showing appreciation for the music that’s being played?,” said Corey Taylor, Lead Singer, Slipknot. “We’re excited to partner with Zippo and put our creative caps on to ultimately create something special for our fans, something that they’ll appreciate and haven’t seen before.
Leading up to “Summer’s Last Stand,” the Zippo Encore Facebook page will host ticket giveaways for several of Slipknot’s concert dates, providing a few lucky fans with pit and backstage access. Members of the band are scheduled to visit Zippo’s headquarters in Bradford, Pa., to tour the factory, see how their custom Zippo lighters are made and learn more about the company’s storied history.
“In teaming up with Slipknot, we have a unique opportunity to pair rock royalty with one of America’s most iconic and recognizable brands,” said Brent Tyler, Global Brand Manager, Zippo. “This partnership will be unlike anything Zippo Encore has done previously, and we’re looking forward to giving our fans something truly special to get excited about this summer.”
.5: The Gray Chapter, Slipknot’s fifth studio album for Roadrunner Records and first since 2008’s RIAA platinum certified chart-topper, All Hope Is Gone, made a stunning chart debut upon its October 2014 arrival, entering the SoundScan/Billboard 200 chart at #1 with sales in excess of 131,000 albums – the highest debut for a hard rock record last year. Furthermore, the album made an explosive chart impact around the globe, with #1 debuts in Japan, Australia, Canada, Russia, and Switzerland, alongside top 5 debuts in the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Austria, New Zealand, Mexico, Denmark, and Finland.
Zippo Encore will once again be providing music lovers with unique experiences and behind-the-scenes access at some of the top music tours and festivals throughout 2015. For more information about Zippo Encore’s full program lineup, and for chances to win tickets and upgrades all summer long, visit Zippo Encore's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
February 4, 2015 – The Zippo Collectible of the Year program returns in 2015 with ‘Full Circle,’ a stunning design personally selected by Zippo owner George Duke. The iconic Zippo Windproof lighter has been a hugely popular collectible. This latest edition is sure to resonate with Zippo fans across the globe.
Zippo owner, George Duke, handpicked the Full Circle design, created by his son Grant, fourth-generation member of the Zippo family. The commemorative lighter celebrates Zippo’s history and is a must-have for collectors. Only 12,000 Full Circle lighters have been created and will be available at Zippo retailers in spring 2015.
The Full Circle lighter is the latest addition to The Collectible of the Year series, which started in 1992 and continued for a decade before returning in 2013 with the Windy lighter, one of the most popular issued by Zippo. The intricate design is deep carved on an Armor Spectrum lighter and is an infinite repetition of a never ending spiral that ebbs and flows in highs and lows of tactile engraving. The Armor case is 1.5 times thicker than a standard Zippo windproof lighter case, allowing for deeper and more intricate engraving.
August 18, 2014 – The inaugural Campfire Outdoor Adventure and Music Festival presented by Zippo, held Labor Day weekend in Lakewood, Pennsylvania, is an event you won't want to pass up.
In addition to a full weekend of music, a range of other activities are also scheduled. These include rock climbing, lake and obstacle courses, team sports, a Golf mixer, late night Silent Disco, and daily VIP Happy Hour pool parties with live DJs.
Luxury transportation is available to and from the weekend event for those traveling from New York City, Philadelphia, and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Travel tickets range from $35 to $60 and are available up until August 22nd.
Pennsylvania residents have the exclusive ability to purchase one-day passes for just $55. If you're interested, email Campfire Festival and they will provide you with a super secret link to purchase your pass.
June 20, 2014 – This year, W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company, an American manufacturer of premium quality knives, proudly celebrates 125 years of award-winning hand-craftsmanship, small-town heritage and time-honored tradition. The company’s rich history began in 1889 when four Case Brothers began fashioning knives and selling them along a wagon trail in Upstate New York.
“Zippo acquired W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company in 1993 and we are very proud of what we have been able to achieve in the last 20 years by bringing these two iconic brands together,” said Greg Booth, CEO, Zippo/W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company.
To further this commitment, Case Cutlery’s parent company, Zippo Manufacturing Company, is investing nearly $10 million dollars toward renovating their Bradford, Pennsylvania factory. The renovations, which are currently underway and expected to finish by the end of 2015, include a complete remodeling of the Case factory that was originally constructed in 1975, including new equipment and floor configurations that will allow better efficiency, productivity and quality without affecting the hand-craftsmanship that has always gone into every Case knife.
“With Case, our current focus is on improving efficiency, which we hope to achieve with this new investment, and drive future innovation and new product development,” Booth added.
Case’s products range from the classic patterns like the Case Trapper, Stockman, Peanut and Tiny Toothpick that are meant for everyday use to collectibles, mint sets and commemorative items that adorn living room walls and "man caves" all across America.
July 18, 2013 – Zippo Manufacturing Company will take full control of its product distribution in Europe according to an announcement made by Zippo and Polyconcept. Zippo will take over Polyconcept’s stake in Austria, Benelux, France, and Germany. As part of the agreement, Zippo GMBH and Zippo SA, will now be known as Zippo France and Zippo Germany.
Greg Booth, Zippo President and CEO said, “Over the past 20 years Polyconcept and Zippo have worked well together to distribute Zippo products in Europe. As the companies have evolved, we realised that this change will contribute to an enhanced service to our customers. We hold Polyconcept in the highest regards and are grateful for the opportunity to have worked together and for their contribution to Zippo’s success story in Europe.”
“Many important changes have taken place over the past few years; all of which have demonstrated Zippo’s commitment to growth, market leadership, and our vision of the future,” said Booth.
June 4, 2013 - Zippo was named one of the top ‘Americana’ brands in a survey of 4,500 consumers by New York-based branding researching firm Brand Keys. Zippo weighed in at number seven on the list, boasting a 93 percent score (out of 100) on a scale representing consumers' emotional engagement expectations.
Zippo has been an American icon since WWII when the company ceased production of lighters for consumer markets and dedicated all manufacturing to the U.S. military. The company has produced countless American themed lighters, the single most popular image reproduced on the windproof lighter being the Statue of Liberty. Additionally, the people of Zippo contribute to its patriotic history – including its founder, George G. Blaisdell, the many employees, as well as the customers and collectors who have played a part in the company’s 80-year history.
“Everyone has a Zippo story. It's an attitude, a lifestyle -- it's an American icon, like a July 4th backyard barbeque,” said Greg Booth, Zippo President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re honored to be on this list and I know Zippo founder George G. Blaisdell would say the same. Mr. Blaisdell was a very proud American and many times he said that he was privileged to pay his Federal taxes because he felt that the United States was such a great country.”
Zippo embodies American pride not only in its design and manufacturing, but also through partnerships with companies and brands that share its patriotic values. More than half of the brands on the Brand Keys list have been featured on a Zippo lighter, including Jeep which came in at number one. In fact, in 2011, West Coast Customs produced a custom Zippo Jeep. In addition, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, ranked 13 on the list, is currently Zippo’s number one licensed brand.