Cast­ing light on wealth-mak­ing

Liu Jinghua-led Zippo coasts on wind­proof lighters’ suc­cess to di­ver­sify into per­fumes, ap­parel, ac­ces­sories

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Business - By ZHONG NAN zhong­nan@chi­

watches and pens in other mar­kets.

“We’ve re­ceived a large num­ber of or­ders for per­son­al­ized or tai­lor-made prod­ucts, even though they need to be shipped from our US plants, in­di­cat­ing the de­mand in the China mar­ket is di­ver­si­fy­ing as dis­pos­able in­comes rise,” Liu said. “We cer­tainly see China as a must-have and not a nice-to-have mar­ket.”

Based in Brad­ford, Penn­syl­va­nia, Zippo has man­u­fac­tured more than 550 mil­lion lighters since 1932.

It cur­rently serves more than 160 coun­tries and re­gions in the world. Be­sides China, ma­jor over­seas mar­kets in­clude Ja­pan, the United King­dom, Ger­many, France, Italy, In­dia and South Asia. It first be­gan mar­ket­ing in China in 1995.

He Jing­tong, a pro­fes­sor of mar­ket­ing man­age­ment at Nankai Univer­sity in Tian­jin, said, “Many for­eign com­pa­nies such as Zippo, US-based mo­tor­cy­cle man­u­fac­turer Har­ley-David­son and the Bel­gium-based An­heuser-Busch In­Bev SA/NV are pro­fi­cient in launch­ing pro­mo­tional cam­paigns through mu­sic, art and other cul­ture-re­lated themes. They have worked well in the US and Europe.

“As China pro­gresses on the path to an ad­vanced econ­omy, such pro­mo­tional cam­paigns will be a prac­ti­cal mar­ket­ing tool for global con­sump­tion goods man­u­fac­tur­ers to use in China for the long-term.

“Once peo­ple get to know a global brand and get to un­der­stand the prod­ucts, they usu­ally find them very ac­cept­able.”

He may have well added consumer ac­cep­tance could make some sales agents, such as Zippo’s, wealthy, very wealthy.

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