by Internet Retailer
The Year of the Pig is coming up fast, and top U.S. and foreign luxury brands and retailers are preparing for Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb. 5 this year.
Chinese New Year is a time when Chinese consumers visit their close friends and family. It’s also the perfect opportunity for U.S. and foreign brands to launch innovative, social marketing campaigns that can go viral.American and international retail companies are paying close attention to the Chinese market of 1.4 billion consumers because of their increasing affluence, desire for foreign products, and sophisticated use of cross-border e-commerce in what’s rapidly becoming the biggest retail market in the world.
Luxury brands like Coach, Gucci and Longchamp are using marketing campaigns to effectively engage Chinese consumers and boost cross-border ecommerce sales while celebrating the Year of the Pig.
Coach’s flash sales sell pig-themed clutches
This year Coach has unveiled pig-themed bags and accessories, using a flash sales mini-program on WeChat to highlight its new line. WeChat is the most popular social media platform in China, and it integrates social sharing and e-commerce into a single app. Flash sales mini-programs are easy to access and contain only a few SKUs, making it easier for online shoppers to make impulse purchases and share the campaign with friends.
Source: Coach WeChat Mini-Program
Like many other brands, Coach is using its WeChat mini-program as a single-function venue to highlight its most exclusive new products as strategic differentiators. Its new pig line is representative of its dedication to the China market in time for the upcoming Year of the Pig.
Gucci launch retro-style pig designs inspired by Disney
Gucci is taking the Year of the Pig in stride, launching a series of pig-design clothes, bags, and accessories. The collection includes a Three Little Pigs-themed wallet priced at nearly $1,500 to commemorate the new year. The design is a retro play on Disney’s classic Three Little Pigs characters.
Gucci customized its WeChat mini-program specifically for the occasion. Animated pigs greet shoppers on the front page, and serious-looking models also stand around with pigs.
Source: Gucci WeChat Mini-Program
Gucci’s approach this year effectively engaged online shoppers. While many Chinese consumers may not necessarily recognize Disney’s Three Little Pigs reference, the retro designs are an interesting and unique play on the Year of the Pig theme. Chinese customers have also been amused by the pictures of models and pigs everywhere.
Longchamp partners with an influencer to launch pig-styled handbags
Source: Longchamp official website
French luxury brand Longchamp is taking the Year of the Pig in stride, partnering with its long-time influencer Mr. Bags to launch a new collection of pig-adorned handbags. The collection consists of black, pink, and transparent bags.
Longchamp’s WeChat mini-program store highlights the new limited-edition collection. Mr. Bags also held an offline promotional event with fans to create buzz, in collaboration with Longchamp. By partnering with Mr. Bags, Longchamp has chosen a respected voice in the handbag world whom customers trust. Mr. Bags regularly launches co-branded, exclusive collections reserved for his most loyal fans.
Launching a collection specifically for Chinese New Year featuring the pig theme conveys Longchamp’s dedication to its Chinese customers. Working with top influencers, (called key opinion leaders or KOLs in China), and hosting offline events with fans is a great way to increase brand engagement and buzz.
Pandora lets customers customize their own jewelry with pig ornaments
This year jewelry brand Pandora’s WeChat mini-program encourages its fans to customize their own bracelets with Chinese New Year-themed accessories. Customers can add pigs, dragons, and other trinkets to celebrate the new year. Afterwards, they can order their products and have them shipped to their door. With WeChat Pay included, it’s a seamless, closed-loop transaction.
Source: Pandora WeChat Mini-Program
Allowing customers to customize their products makes them feel more engaged with the brand. Doing it on WeChat makes it easier to share with friends and family, adding a social element to it. Adding a Chinese New Year theme was a creative way to do this, and Pandora nailed it this year.
Key Tips for U.S. and Foreign Retail Companies
1. Red and gold are key colors for Chinese New Year, as they represent prosperity and joy.One color to avoid in marketing campaigns is white, which represents death. In fact, during Chinese funerals the participants generally wear white costumes.
2. Bundle products as gift sets for Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is the one time of year where people go back to their hometowns to meet old friends and family members. It is fairly common for people to arrive with gifts for their loved ones. Providing gifting options for customers is a good strategy that retailers such as Sephora have done well.
3. Use cute cartoon art to appeal to Chinese consumers. In the West, people prefer ads adorned with real-life models. In China, it is much more common to use anime-like cartoons to promote advertisements. Cutesy pig designs on products and advertising campaigns will help you connect with Chinese customers.