Brand Marketing Brand Opportunities Chinese Holidays

How To Make Lunar New Year The Best Opportunities For Your Brand

For Chinese marketing strategies, Lunar New Year is the most important festival of the year. Like Christmas in the Western cultures, Lunar New Year is an important holiday celebrated by people in Asian countries such as China, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Click here to view our latest video for more interesting facts about Lunar New Year. Having a successful Chinese New Year Marketing strategy can make your brand stay top-of-mind when they have the highest purchase motivation.

According to the 2021 Canadian Census, more than 1.7 million Chinese Canadians currently live in Canada. Although they are currently living in Canada, their daily life, language, and social circle are inseparable from the Chinese market and Chinese culture. Therefore, it cannot be ignored to grasp them as the key consumer groups of the Lunar New Year.

In this extremely competitive time of the year, how to capture your Chinese customers and transform your budget returns is the key to success. In order to seize this key festival, many brands even start preparing marketing strategies a few months before the festival. So how can you effectively market your brand at this pivotal time of the year and use this holiday season as a great opportunity for your brand?

5 Marketing Strategies for Marketers in Lunar New Year

Here are five Lunar New Year marketing strategies everyone must know! As the Lunar New Year approaches, you must seize the opportunity to accurately target this market opportunity for your coming year!

1. Finding unique angles to integrate Chinese culture into branding

It is important to integrate the brand into Chinese culture. In the traditional generation, brands like to use traditional Chinese concepts of the Spring Festival, such as reunion, going home, family and other traditional cultural themes as heart-warming advertising themes. 

But in recent years, China’s Generation Z has lost interest in the overused traditional Lunar New Year tactics. On the contrary, young Chinese are more interested in brands with interactive New Year activities. In recent years, interesting, innovative, and even weird marketing campaigns are more likely to resonate with young people than previous marketing strategies centered on emotion or traditional culture. 

Therefore, brands need to target themselves with the right audience in order to tell the right story. Just like western festival marketing: Use Stories. Packaging the promotion items into the holidays is an effective way to make your campaign stand out. Marketers should pay more attention to and keep up with the pace of China’s national policies on culture, spirit, nation, emotion, and mentality, and take a big-picture observation, so as to understand the target market and facilitate the cultivation of emotional connections between consumers and brands.

2. China’s Generation Z are changing the Lunar New Year marketing: Little Red Book (xiaohongshu) Case Study

Ensuring that brands resonate with Generation Z is the key to success in contemporary China. Because Generation Z has high purchasing power, and their tastes can influence other generations. Therefore, in addition to grasping the core values of this generation, it is also possible to pay attention to the popular social media they used, such as Little Red Book, to attract the younger consumers in this generation.

Little Red Book is an emerging social media for the younger generation in China as well as Chinese in North America. The main users are under 30 years old. The platform mainly uses notes and groups commenting as their presentation methods. 

Then how should you seize the hearts of these Generation Z consumers? According to the research from Little Red Book, consumers are more interested in activities related to store exploration, new products releases, or product introductions, which are a good entry point for consumers to come into contact with your brand.

In the 2023 Lunar New Year social campaign for Finlandia, a natural health food store in Vancouver, a short video with the theme of exploring the store and New Year gift promotions was used to introduce a variety of their health care products. The short video was posed on both Little Red Book and WeChat Video Channel. These touch points provide Chinese consumers with a better sense of immersion, and also give them a new idea of considering Finlandia’s products as a good Lunar New Year gifts option.

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3. Avoid Stereotypes & View in Local Perspective

The best global marketing campaigns start with a local vision. In the past, many brands only combined the most traditional symbols of Chinese culture with their own brands as a fusion, such as red or gold brands, lanterns and exaggerated symbols. But this stereotype doesn’t necessarily attraction to the Chinese consumers.

Western brands should show the uniqueness of their brand through re-impressive narrative techniques, respect Chinese culture, and stand from the Chinese point of view, so as to establish a real relationship with the audience.

 The Pradas Spring Festival promotional campaign in 2019 was a negative example on Chinese social media. It was accused of bombarding the audience with too many traditional symbols. Apart from being considered too superficial, it did not resonate with Chinese audiences.

On the other hand, there is the 2020 Nike Lunar New Year campaign that uses creativity and cultural mix to make the brand stand out. Nike used giving red envelopes as their campaign theme, with a funny story of a young girl and her older aunt. 

 As the girl was growing up, she tried to refuse the red envelope from her aunt every year. But her aunt insisted and kept chasing her. She had her Nike sneakers on every time to help her run away. When the girl finally became an adult and had her turn to give red envelops to relatives at a family gathering, the aunt showed up well prepared with her own pair of Nike sneakers. The chase and run turned around but still lives on. 

Chinese of all ages can relate to the story especially the part about the need to refuse the generosity of relatives and friends on their gifting out of politeness according to the traditional Chinese Cultural. And the humorous plot resonates with Chinese Generation Z. 

4. Invest in digital marketing campaigns: WeChat Ads Case Study

More than half of the world’s population currently has access to the Internet. So please don’t neglect the use of online platforms for sales and marketing activities. Otherwise you will fall behind from your competitors and slowly lose your customers.

In the Chinese market, WeChat advertising is definitely a very good tactic to create good brand awareness for you. The number of active users on WeChat is more than 1.299 billion. With such a large number of users, it is easy to cover multiple user groups, no matter what region, age, gender, mobile phone support, marital status, education and so on. 

During the Lunar New Year this year, Sephora Canada also used WeChat advertorials to promote their Chinese New Year feature products to the Chinese customers. Using this Year of the Rabbit as the theme, they introduced a series of beauty products and special collections as gifting ideas for Chinese consumers in Canada.

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5. Start Early with your Lunar New Year Campaign Planning

The Lunar New Year event is definitely a large-scale event that should have a long-term strategic plan. Because you have to remember that Lunar New Year is not just a day or two, but a long sales period. Like many important dates in the West, it is very important to start marketing activities before the Spring Festival. It would be too late to start the sales campaign just during the holiday season. Because the data space has been sunk, and people are busy planning Lunar New Year activities, while ignoring your marketing content and consumption.

So in coming 2024, you must have a deep insight into the behaviors and interests in your hands, be willing to innovate, pay attention to exciting content, and integrate into all aspects of Chinese culture! In this way, it will be easier for you to grasp the Spring Festival activities in the coming year and be the first to get there!

Coming Soon:
Latest Trend of Little Red Book 2023

Next month, we will discuss more in-depth about the business opportunities on Little Red Book and the digital trends in 2023. Stay tuned!