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Is Your Business Ready for Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year conjures visions of lion dances, red lanterns, fireworks and scenes of magical, festivities that both shock and delight the senses.

If you want to target the Chinese through creative marketing tactics, there is no better time than during Chinese New Year (CNY).

CNY is a period where family members spend time with each other, buy gifts for their loved ones and ever- increasingly; spoil themselves.

Disregarding the importance of this event will come as a very unlucky omen for any marketing professional.

Listed below are 5 Chinese New Year marketing tips:

1: Saturate Social Media with Your Brand.

Without a doubt the best way to engage with Chinese clients is to leverage the most popular social media channels your audience is using daily.

Many well-known, big brands have managed to deliver outstanding Chinese New Year social media campaigns time and time again, including Coca-Cola, Apple and Weibo.

These brands have spent time, resources and A LOT of money in planning and executing creative (and respectful) social media campaigns to generate brand awareness.

Whilst your brand is likely not to have the marketing budget of Apple and Coca-Cola, posting relevant content on relevant Chinese OR Western social media channels is crucial.

Whilst on the topic of digital, the prevalence of mobile phone usage in China must not be overlooked.

Especially when 90% of Chinese will use their phones to access these social platforms. 

Which begs the question for all brands looking to access China:

Do you have a strong mobile marketing campaign?

Are WeChat, Weibo, Tik Tok and TenCent on your radar?

2: Think Tourism

Year-on-year, the amount of Chinese who travel internationally to celebrate Chinese New Year has steadily increased. For this reason, local retailers in areas that see high numbers of Chinese tourists should use CNY celebrations to their advantage.

This new thirst for travel is seen predominantly in Chinese millennials who boast a higher income, combined with the newfound ability and desire in exploring abroad.

In order to profit from this tourist group, retailers should think CNY themed festive advertisements, bilingual marketing material and even visual merchandising.

For example:

The Body Shop Australia designed a CNY themed sleeve to decorate mini hand cream packages. The sleeve featured the 2019 CNY zodiac and the traditional red and gold accents. Stores that saw more Chinese customers received more stock.

Tourism operators may choose to invest in CNY themed keepsakes to ensure the festive spirit is kept alive whilst these tourists are away from traditional celebrations at home.

Essentially, companies must understand the importance of CNY and market accordingly.


3: Strengthen Relationships

Already have a loyal Chinese consumer database?

Don’t let this existing relationship prevent you from utilising Chinese New Year as a vehicle to nurture these existing relationships and spread the new year love.

With your existing Chinese customers, you’re already at an advantage.

Strengthen this relationship by creating specific email campaigns wishing your clients a happy new year, OR, ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’.

Research traditional CNY cards, hongbao and absolutely consult with a translator on bilingual marketing. (Do not rely on Google translate as this is extremely inaccurate when it comes to the Chinese interpretation).

Strong relationships between you and your clients means trust = crucial in Chinese business.

4: Dedicate Time

The planning of your Chinese New Year campaign should commence well in advance of the festive month. Campaigns are longer, and often brands use a series of advertisements to tell an evolving story in order to keep consumer engagement alive.

If you’re marketing directly to China, the market will be saturated.

By uploading multiple themed advertisements, whether that be a few photos or a well-thought out and planned campaign, the more your company distributes, the more likely you are to engage Chinese audiences.

Is your Chinese marketing team brainstorming yet?

5: Understand Trends

The festive values of love and family togetherness will always be honored by the Chinese who have an unwavering respect for tradition, however today’s consumer market trends clearly highlight new modern values.

In modern day China, health and wellbeing dominate.

Specifically- Bikram yoga, meditation, health foods, activewear, sports and nutrition. The Chinese millennial demographic will part with thousands of yuan to uphold the perfect health regime.

As there is no sign of this trend slowing down, marketers who can angle their brands to mirror these values and ideas should do so now.

In fact, analysts have stated that the incomes of the working-population will continue to rise, ensuring that their attention (and budget) to sophisticated, high-quality items and experiences which enhance their quality of life will remain strong.

These modern values will always be intertwined with tradition and an excellent Chinese marketing professional will know how to manage both.


Chinese New Year 2020 falls on January 25, which means that it’s time to start thinking about how you can appropriately market your business to the Chinese.

If you need the assistance of Chinese marketing professionals who can help increase your brand visibility in this promising market, do not hesitate to contact Intlang Marketing.


Gloria ZhangComment