Top 4 unique Chinese New Year marketing ideas for 2023
By now, brands in North America know they have to embrace Lunar and Chinese New Year into their marketing efforts – considering how it remains one of the most important celebrations for Chinese people.
It is a time where many come together to celebrate the start of a new year, enjoy good food, and spend time with friends and family.
During this time of the year — with the 2023 celebration date falling on January 22 — many businesses leverage this opportunity to connect meaningfully with Chinese consumers, whether that’s through collaborations, special greetings, packaging design, or product deals.
As such, it can often become quite saturated – with graphic designs and decor covered in zodiac animals or bright red. So in addition to the typical initiatives that we see year in and year out, what are some other ways to incorporate Chinese New Year in marketing campaigns? Take a look at 4 fresher Chinese New Year marketing ideas that your brand can incorporate for 2023:
1. Chinese New Year-themed gift packages
Exchanging gifts is a significant part of the Chinese New Year celebration, as a way to share good wishes to each other. And brands can curate gift packages for their existing clients.
Chinese New Year gift packages commonly include traditional Chinese holiday foods, tea, cookies, mandarin oranges, chocolates, and red envelopes — all of which can be included alongside specific products from your brand. Add a personalized touch to the gift package with a message or customized gifts based on the client’s preferences.
As each food has its own significant meaning during Chinese New Year, make sure to properly research before deciding what to include. For example, oranges, tangerines, and pomelos are common gifts as they symbolize luck and prosperity.
Whether it’s a smaller or bigger brand, the gifts do not have to be elaborate. It is more of a gesture, and helps strengthen and maintain the brand’s relationship with the client.
2. Special number discounts
In Chinese culture, certain numbers are associated with meanings and symbolism. Commonly, the number 8 is considered a lucky number in Chinese culture, as eight is pronounced ba (八), which sounds similar to fa, as in facai (发财), meaning “well-off” or “becoming rich in a short time”. This is why the number 8 appears quite often during this time of the year.
Brands can offer special number discounts or promotions to drive sales while embedding elements of the holiday. The messaging of the campaign can be centered around wishing fortune and success for the customers.
Clothing brands, in particular, can benefit from using special number discounts. This is because Chinese consumers often purchase new clothing – which represents a fresh start – as a way to ring in the new year.
3. Collaborate with food-related businesses
Another key opportunity is for brands to incorporate food into their marketing efforts. Not only is it a great way for businesses to connect with Chinese consumers and with those who may be interested in learning about Chinese culture, but brands can also collaborate with a food-related establishment (preferably Asian-owned) to build business partnerships.
Indulging in good food is a large component throughout the 16-day celebration. To mark the beginning of the new year, families gather for a reunion dinner on Chinese New Year Eve where a large spread of dishes are typically served. Most reunion dinners include a whole chicken or fish, which symbolizes prosperity and togetherness.
Whether for cultural celebrations or not, there’s nothing like food that brings people together. Explore opportunities to collaborate in providing a special food item as a gift, or a food-related giveaway — while touching on the message of “eating together”.
4. Livestreaming through KOLs
While livestreaming is widely popular in China, brands in North America have yet to fully adopt this marketing tactic. To understand the power of livestreaming in China, a famous Chinese livestreamer, Austin Li, sold a record-breaking number of 15,000 lipsticks in five minutes. Of course, these numbers are quite a reach for most brands.
Regardless, the preference for livestreaming still stands — and brands need to utilize this opportunity, especially for the Chinese audience. Livestreaming can be used to promote the special number discounts mentioned earlier or other key marketing initiatives that reaches the target audience.
There are many Chinese KOLs or influencers in North America as well that can help brands reach the large Chinese population. Brands can work with local influencers to host a livestream to promote a new product, for example.
Marketing authentically on Chinese New Year
There are many ways for businesses to acknowledge the holiday and community in their marketing efforts, and it’s an important one to stay on top of. However, it is also crucial to be respectful of Chinese and Asian culture while staying true to your brand.
As an emerging cultural leader in marketing, Sageus Strategy + Digital can help your brand reach and engage with the Chinese community — and most importantly, develop strong cultural messaging that connects with the right audience.
With more than two decades of combined experiences working alongside global brands and organizations, Sageus Strategy + Digital focuses on getting to know your business, and help you connect with your audience.
Headquartered in Canada, and committed to making a global, cross-cultural, sustainable impact — we’re your one-stop firm for cultivation and growth, in all areas of branding and marketing.
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