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How Luxury Beauty Brands Are Preparing for Chinese New Year

The Lunar New Year is the biggest and most important holiday in the Chinese calendar – and we saw upscale brands have flocked to celebrate the year of the ox through ox-themed collections.

by Queenie Yao

As the global economy amid the long-lasting impact from Covid-19, international brands now seize opportunities to sell to the biggest retail market in the world: China. The Chinese New Year also referred to as the Lunar New Year, is coming up on February 12. It is the biggest and most important holiday in the Chinese calendar – and we saw upscale brands have flocked to celebrate the year of the ox through ox-themed collections.  

What does Lunar New Year mean to brands under Covid 19?

China saw domestic economy growth at 2.3% in 2020, according to government statistics released on January 18. China's efforts and success in controlling the outbreak have given consumers confidence as well, who are the most optimistic in Asia and beyond, McKinsey's consumer survey indicated. Consumption, as the significant growth engine and a barometer to the economy, has been expected to fuel its economic recovery. Chinese Lunar New Year, is anticipated to be a major retail feast for all the brands.

However, China is undergoing pressure with scattered domestic outbreaks and imported cases at the same time. In the weeks ahead of the Spring Festival, the Chinese government encourages people to celebrate the country's most important traditional holiday in the place where they work and live to support epidemic-control work. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce urged the public to go online to satisfy their shopping and gifting demands. This means that no more busy travelers – customers will spend more online and locally.

Covid-19 has profoundly affected how businesses and consumers behave; for instance, Chinese consumers' shopping habits have adjusted quickly to the new norm. In specific, consumers are spending more time to research brands and products before making a purchase. Or with some trading down for value, McKinsey's Chinese consumer survey by last November revealed. Under the new norm, brands are investing heavily in presenting brand values to stand out of the market. The complex market and escalating competition drive brands to debut cross-cultural campaigns to connect with local consumers.

Filorga Partnered with China Intangible Cultural Heritage Project This Year

First-of-its-kind, Filorga has released a limited edition launch to celebrate Lunar New Year. Filorga's hero products Meso-Mask, which is available in gorgeous red and splendid Jintan Paper-Carving patterns. Paper carving is an ancient folk, while Jintan city of Jiangsu Province is one of the earliest regions where paper-carving is popular in China. Filorga invited Mr. Yang Zhaoqun, the representative inheritor of Jintan Paper-cutting, integrating lanterns, Chinese knots, and auspicious clouds and other traditional Chinese New Year elements to the limited outer package. Taking the Year of the Ox as the spotlight, Yang designed a journey of a "French ox" traveling from France to China to express Filorga's New Year greeting to Chinese customers.

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The limited-edition packaging displays landmarks from France and China, such as the Eiffel Tower, Beijing's Temple of Heaven, and the City God Temple of Shanghai. It also combines traditional Chinese New Year elements such as lanterns, Chinese knots, and auspicious clouds.

Filorga also launched a Greeting Cards Collection campaign via a WeChat mini-program. When customers enter the WeChat mini-program for the first time, they have three chances to draw greeting cards. And customers can share and invite their friends to get more chances. Those who collect a total of five different greeting cards could get a limited-edition Filorga Meso-Mask for free (only 100 Meso-Masks available.)

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Analysis: Filorga's cooperation with China's Intangible Cultural Heritage Project indicates/ reveals the brand's attempt to localize their marketing campaign to cater to Chinese customers through traditional Chinese culture.The campaign launched on the WeChat mini-program is a great way to increase brand engagement among Chinese customers. WeChat mini-program has been taken the storm in China over the past year. Filorga's Greeting Cards collection campaign successfully leverages the strengths of social sharing. 

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Lancôme: All Eyes on Live-streaming

Lancôme has enshrined Lunar capsule collection to celebrate the Year of the Ox, the limited-edition gift box including a rose-themed Advanced Génifique Face Serum, limited-edition Advanced Génifique eye light pearl, and eye-cream.

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Lancome's Limited Gift Box for Chinese New Year 2021

This year, live-streaming plays a vital role in Lancome's CNY promotion. Lancome offers exclusive gifts for live-stream campaigns, especial during the run-up to the New Year. It debuted the live-stream campaign calendar from January 20th -24th, Lancôme delivering diverse promotions range from Buy 1 and get 1 for free to extra gifts with purchase.

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Lancome's live-streaming calendar on WeChat mini-program

Lancome encouraged its customers to invite their friends to watch the live-streaming. Designed to garner more traffic to its live-stream sessions, the French beauty brand is launching a ranked referral challenge. This competition is ranked by the number of new viewers that customers invited to the particular live-stream event.

The Top 3 users will receive a 30ml bottle of perfume, while the No.4-5 can get a liquid foundation worth RMB 490. This campaign has attracted numerous customers to engage as the screenshot is below shown. As of January 20, the customer who ranks first has already invited roughly 1000 people to join Lancome's live-streaming that day.

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Analysis: Lancome made a smart move by leveraging customers' community in WeChat and convert the traffic to its live-streaming. Its WeChat mini-program is one of the best practices for developing a social referral marketing within the WeChat ecosystem.

Estee Lauder Kicked off a Series of Missions to Maintain Customers

Estee Lauder gets into the ox actions while celebrating the auspicious Red prism in its hero product lines. The superior collection includes skincare and make-up products such as the Red Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick and Red Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Multi-Recovery Complex. Consumers will also receive limited-edition gifts with purchases. Estee Lauder global ambassador Yang Mi participated in shooting an exclusive Chinese New Year video. The wildly popular singer is among the most influential product endorsers in Asia, which boasts over 100 million followers on China's social media platform Weibo.

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To add that, Estee Lauder launched a series of Missions on its WeChat mini-program to enhance customer engagement during the Chinese New Year holidays.

- Mission 1: Subscribe to Estee Lauder's live-streaming to get a different sample and gift in any purchase of a full-size product.

- Mission 2: Following Estee Lauder WeChat official account, customers can get three free eye cream samples only to pay for postage.

- Mission 3: Share and invite friends to get more chances for a lucky draw and win a limited-edition Advanced Night Repair.

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Analysis: Working with top celebrities is an effective way to reach a colossal fan group. Estee Lauder shot an exclusive CNY video with Yang Mi, driving the traffic to its WeChat platform.

Key Takeaways

1. This year, consumers will stay at home to celebrate the Chinese New Year. No more busy travelers and more transaction will happen online.

2. Gift-giving is a significant tradition during Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is an ample opportunity for beauty brands to figure out a chic way to brand their products for the Lunar New Year. The Chinese Zodiac is a repeating 12-year cycle of animal signs based on the traditional lunar calendar. This year will be represented by the ox, an ox-themed design bridges an intimate connection between brands and Chinese consumers. To help brands connect with Chinese customers.

3. Live-streaming is the indispensable marketing engine during Chinese New Year. As more customers will avoid going shopping outside for safety consideration, a live-streaming campaign is critical for brands to connect with customers and promote their products during this year's CNY festival. Chinese people will have time to select and purchase gifts for their loved ones online rather than outside.

4. WeChat can be a great way to facilitate social interactions during Chinese New Year. Brands such as Filorga are developing innovative ways for customers to share gift cards on WeChat. It's smart for brands to create interactive WeChat mini-programs to boost consumer engagement and social sharing. Lancome's WeChat mini-program is an effective way to increase social sharing and convert into traffic.

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