5 Prosperous Branding Tips for Chinese New Year 2019

Chinese New Year 2019

By Julia Koh & Syira Junaidi
January 2019
Get your red packets and firecrackers ready! It’s that time of the year again. This Chinese New Year 2019 celebrates the year of the boar. This zodiac symbolises honesty, prosperity, wealth, and luck. At least that was what a feng shui blog told us. In any case, we are liking the odds.

It’s a major holiday not just in the country, but all over the world. It’s also a holiday that carries a lot of meaning; beginning of spring after a long harsh winter, getting back home to the family, and reconnecting back to our culture and tradition for those of us who will become ‘bananas’ again after the holiday.

Many brands take this time of year to push sales and set campaigns to reach various marketing goals. But aside from the usual sales, discounts, and promotions, your business can take this chance to brand beyond selling. Let’s look at 5 ways to brand during the season:

  1. Make It Festive With Your Collateral
    We’re talking about gift bags, greeting cards, red packets, even your digital assets like websites. This is the time of year to paint the town red, quite literally! Splash them up together with your brand logo. If you have a product, consider making a Chinese New Year special edition like what Starbucks did.

    But if you’re a service business, you can create special new year packages, gift cards, or thank you cards with Lunar New Year themes. Themed collaterals will not only get people to take interest in your brand more at this time of year, but also connects with them better through a shared value, which is the festive spirit of Chinese New Year.

    Godiva’s 2019 CNY limited edition chocolates
    Picture credit: valiram.com/godiva

  2. Use Emotions, Strategically
    Poignant storytelling can win hearts especially during significant holidays like Chinese New Year. Previously, CNY-themed stories were told, anticipated even, through television like this 2003’s Petronas advert.

    However, adverts and commercials are no longer bound to TV screens. Brand storytelling can now be told through Facebook videos, Instagram and YouTube where social sharing dominates. The goal is still the same; to stir emotions among viewers and connect them to the brand. A common theme would always be about family, love, and nostalgia. Some brands tell a tear-jerking story, while others are heartwarming and maybe even humorous. It’s important to also know how the advert reflects the values of your brand, and how it plays along with your brand strategy and campaign.

  3. Celebrate With Social Media
    Social media is a great way to humanise your brand and be where your audience is. One common way to brand this Lunar New Year online is to post images and visuals with auspicious greetings. As an example, take a look at what we did on our Facebook page.

    We updated our cover photo with a special Chinese New Year theme. And you can go ahead and decorate your digital assets too. Posts GIFs and videos about the new year, and don’t forget to hashtag your posts with everything Chinese New Year-related.

  4. Say It With Emails
    Email marketing can be an effective branding tool this Lunar New Year. It keeps your clients close and your prospects closer. The trick is to write a heartfelt wish without being too draggy. Your email serves as a brand recall from your audience, so keep it short and sweet.

    This is our email newsletter sent on Chinese New Year to our subscribers.

    Images are also crucial for email marketing. It makes your email newsletter more attractive and it retains better attention than mere paragraphs. You can measure your email performance through the amount of ‘opens’ and ‘clicks’ and observe what type of email works best for your customer segments.

  5. Get Creative & Stand Out!
    Creative Chinese New Year campaigns stand out, get more social shares, stirs conversation, and promotes better brand recognition. Aside from adverts, emails and limited edition novelties, some brands went an extra mile to celebrate the holiday.

    For example, Giant Hypermarket wrote blogs about DIY ideas for Chinese New Year. Their content generates traffic into their website, which increases the chance for people to browse more blogs and product catalogues.

    Picture credit: giant.com.my

    Besides blogging, user-generated content (UGC) might also be a way to campaign your brand during the season. With UGC, your social media branding can reach a large number of shares, and increase brand awareness. Usually, UGC is done in a form of online contests such as giveaways and lucky draws, like this one organised by a luxury hotel. Notice that contestants are required to complete a slogan, tag 5 people, AND share it with their social followers.

    View this post on Instagram

    Chinese New Year is a Chinese festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year – Instagram Contest Winner will be announced on 31st January 2019 and gets to enjoy Complimentary Dinner on our Theme Nights! All you need to do is follow the given set of rules, to participate: 1. Follow our Instagram page @joodpalace_dxb & Like our facebook page @joodpalacehoteldxb 2. Complete the Sentence : Chinese New Year is also known as the ________________ 3. Tag 5 friends (multiple entries accepted) 4. Like, Share, Repost with #CNYatJood . The more you share the post, higher are the chances of you winning. Make sure your account/post is public. #contest #instagram #social #socialmediacontest #giveaway #giveaways #dubaicontest #uaecontest #chinesenewyear #chinesenewyear2019 #jood #joodpalacehotel #dubai #uae #CNYatJood

    A post shared by Jood Palace Hotel, Dubai (@joodpalace_dxb) on

No matter what your brand does this Chinese New Year, it’s best to remember that research and understanding are vital. When it comes to cultural beliefs laden with symbolism and history, respect comes first.

That being said, your brand should still embrace creativity this Chinese New Year. As you create your Chinese New Year branding, you have to make sure your audience can relate to the values and messages behind it and respond to your brand positively.

Getting an agency to help you with your festive branding might just be the trick to find that balance. Though it might be too late to start Chinese New Year 2019 branding this year, you can always try it out next year. Early planning helps for a smooth campaign. It’ll be the year of the rat already before you know it!

Brand360 wishes everyone a Gong Xi Fa Cai!