Chinese New Year 2020 was celebrated on January 25.Also known as the Lunar New Year, this holiday does not have a set date. It falls within one day of the second new moon before the spring equinox moon phase. It’s a part of the Chinese tradition for locals to travel back home and celebrate Lunar New Year. It’s worth noting that this celebration lasts for approximately 40 days. Chunyun is the name of this period of travel in China, and it experiences extremely high traffic during this timeframe. This year’s Chunyun started on January 10 and ended on February 18.
Important Phrases and symbols
Like any auspicious day, some specific phrases and symbols are essential to know. The ones to know for this year are:
Rats: The traditional Chinese calendar has each year associated with one out of twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. This year, it’s the rat that represents the beginning of a new day and is seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. The rat is also the first among the 12 zodiac animals, meaning that theirs is a year of renewal.
White and Blue: These colours are associated with the business domain, but also health and social relationships. They bring peace, induce calmness, and relaxation. It is recommended to wear white every time you feel overwhelmed, angry, or anxious, and blue to facilitate cellular regeneration significantly.
Blessings: In Chinese culture, the new year is seen as the time to remove any ill-fortune and to welcome in new, good luck. People will often bless their family, friends, and neighbours with messages such as “good fortune,” “health,” “longevity,” and “happiness.”
Chinese Consumer Behaviour
The majority of wealthy Chinese consumers living in high-tier cities, like Beijing and Shanghai, have more disposable wages but are increasingly savvy and prudent about their spending. 60% of Chinese consumers aren’t interested in impulsive spending. They are willing to purchase commodities at a hefty price, but only if the said product is of better quality, without caring about social status or “nice-to-have” products.
As China further modernises, festivals and holidays are gradually becoming a time of consumerism, and therefore a perfect opportunity for brands to create localised content and incite the customers’ desire to shop.
- In China, the Spring Festival is the longest and most influential festival of the year, making this the ultimate occasion for people to buy new clothes, host New Year parties, and give each other gifts. It is also a crucial time for major brands to launch festive red/blue/white products, annual packages and limited edition New Year ranges, and hold zodiac-themed Chinese New Year seasonal promotions. ‘Warmth’ and ‘reunion’ are the constant themes of the Chinese New Year. Hence, influential businesses have devised a variety of sharing packages to meet the needs of customer’s giving and sharing of gifts.
- The Chinese New Year, just like most holidays around the globe, is strongly associated with food and could create an opportunity for merchants to emphasise their products as high-quality, healthy and natural. To add to that, 72 per cent of Chinese urban consumers are actively seeking a healthier lifestyle. Experiential offerings linked with a healthy lifestyle can help your brand big time. For instance, a yoga class as a thank you gift for select customers could help boost your product sales
- This annual celebration is surveyed as the most massive migration event on the planet, thus making travel an extremely profitable industry. Taking consumers’ love for online ease into consideration, hassle-free consumer journeys. such as online travel bookings and mobile payments functionalities, are key factors to attract Chinese customers.
- The government’s campaign to boost national pride and the trade war with the US has influenced Chinese consumers to prefer local brands. This shift is observed in categories varying from essentials to smart devices and household appliances, while many shoppers have also developed a taste for Chinese fashion. Brands could leverage this patriotic preference by blending Chinese cultural elements into their products, such as red, yellow and gold colours, among other cultural references.
Successful attempts at localising for the Chinese New Year
In 2019, Louis Vuitton launched the ‘Pink Pig’ accessories, while Tokyo Disney released a new commodity — featuring the great ‘Pumbaa’ as the main character.
- Nongfu Spring launched the ‘Zodiac Bottle’ in 2019, which perfectly communicates the notion of “Bring the golden pig home, stay hydrated, and rise in wealth”.
- Strathberry, Edinburgh’s Leatherwear brand teamed up with KOL Liang Tao to design two “Sweet Pink Fantasy” Chinese New Year limited edition handbags that sold out within one minute on WeChat during Spring Festival celebration 2017.
localization doesn’t just stop at payment options and consumer trends. It’s vital to understand Chinese culture and which items are most and least popular. Since the country is also the world’s most populous, you must be able to handle high volumes of orders in the lead-up to Chinese New Year.
By Ira Mahajan
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