This Chinese New Year 2023 falls on January 22. Myth has it that once upon a time, a monster called “Nian” would come out at the end of the year to eat children, and people used firecrackers and red lanterns to expel the monster. This has slowly evolved into the current way of celebrating Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year, the most important festival of the year in China, is also the festival with the highest concentration of consumer demand. People will prepare for the New Year a month or two in advance. They make many purchases in preparation for the Chinese New Year, so merchants must pay attention to marketing during the Chinese New Year. However, how can merchants take advantage of the Chinese New Year to promote their sales?
Chinese New Year Celebration
First, it is crucial to get a clear idea that most New Year spending comes before the New Year, not on the day of the New Year. To take advantage of the Chinese New Year, it is essential to understand how the Chinese celebrate it.
Chinese people focus on family relationships and give gifts to the elders in the family, such as health products and clothing with good meaning. Also, New Year represents the new; people often buy new cell phones, clothes and shoes and might also buy luxury items to reward their hard work and gain good luck for the new year. This is also the peak period for major purchases. Some people replace furniture and electrical appliances to welcome the New Year.
According to the People's Bank of China statistics for seven days in February 2022, the volume of non-cash payment transactions during the seven-day Chinese New Year holiday was 20.84 billion, amounting to 14.9 trillion yuan. Chinese people visit their family and friends during the New Year, enjoy joint meals, and wish their friends a "Happy New Year".
People express their wishes by preparing red envelopes or gifts for family and friends in advance, especially for the elderly and children. This is why many items for the elderly and children are sold well before the New Year.
In addition to preparing a lot of food and snacks for the New Year, cigarettes and alcohol are also popular items.
How are companies launching New Year's marketing in China?
In China, merchants are implementing a series of promotions to target New Year's consumption. Both small merchants and large brands use Chinese New Year elements in their promotions.
For example, Adidas launched a series of clothing and advertisements before the Chinese New Year. These ads had a significant impact in China.
To cater to 2023 as the Year of the Rabbit, Louis Vuitton launched scarves and hats with rabbit elements, echoing the red colour of the New Year, which also caused a buzz online.
Every year, Coca-Cola launches a Chinese New Year "reunion" campaign, which uses the heart-warming scene of a family dinner to bring consumers closer to Coca-Cola and make them feel like they need to drink Coca-Cola at the New Year's dinner.
KFC launched a New Year's package last year that combined grilled chicken with Chinese traditional eight-treasure rice inside to bring customers closer, allowing them to book the package in advance through a WeChat mini program and to receive special offers.
Olay has launched a New Year's combination set with red as the primary colour. This is a great way to attract consumers during the Chinese New Year.
The takeaway for European merchants
People celebrate the Chinese New Year by buying gifts such as clothes, bags, electronics, cosmetics, etc., for themselves and their friends. With the rise of overseas shopping, more and more Chinese people are choosing to buy foreign brands as New Year gifts. It’s common to see people buying gifts such as luxury items in Europe and then bringing or sending them to their families in China. Some also directly shop online, thanks to the booming cross-border e-commerce and the use of mini-programs. There's also an opportunity for local businesses, like restaurants, movie theatres, etc., as Chinese people get together with family and friends to have meals and find different entertainment options to celebrate the New Year.
The borders are open, now is the time to prepare your campaigns
Many overseas Chinese will celebrate the New Year abroad, making this Festival period significant for overseas markets. In addition, China has just reopened its borders this month, which means that there will be a gradual influx of Chinese tourists to Europe. Brands should take advantage of this major celebration to create a closer relationship with Chinese consumers, increase brand affinity and boost sales.
Mix elements from the Chinese New Year visuals with your brand imagery
Chinese Zodiac: Year of the Rabbit / Colour: red / Chinese elements: Chinese knots, couplets, good luck stickers, New Year's Eve pictures, red lanterns
-The year 2023 is the year of the rabbit. You can combine your brand with a rabbit image and other New Year elements in your online store, physical advertising, or decorations in your shop. This will create a New Year atmosphere, attract the attention of overseas Chinese and resonate with their homesickness.
In Madrid, the "Year of the Tiger" poster was posted during the Chinese New Year in 2022, and it was a big hit among WeChat Moments.
- New Year combination packaging, such as restaurants can launch the New Year package menu, and beauty stores can launch a set with the Chinese New Year elements. The combination with the promotion will be very effective.
- Give small gifts in red bags or red envelopes to increase brand affinity and customer loyalty.
- Advertise on Chinese social media, such as WeChat and XIAOHONGSHU.
- Set up WeChat Pay/Alipay- the most popular e-wallets merchant account- to receive payments and make payment smoother for Chinese consumers, thus enhancing the whole shopping experience.
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