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The Sheep or Red Envelope, Where Should Your Marketing Focus Be This Chinese New Year? - Wei-UK Consulting

The Sheep or Red Envelope, Where Should Your Marketing Focus Be This Chinese New Year?

The Sheep or Red Envelope, Where Should Your Marketing Focus Be This Chinese New Year?

Ram Images

The next Chinese New Year will be celebrated on Thursday 19th February 2015 and will be the Year of the Sheep/Ram/Goat. Bain estimates two thirds of Chinese consumer spending is done outside of China and with this New Year falling between Valentines Day and during London Fashion Week, the celebrations provide a fresh marketing opportunity for UK brands aiming to grow their market share of the local and global Chinese consumer.

Savvy retailers have long been scheduling Chinese New Year into their annual marketing plans, a task which is particularly relevant for UK retailers where the Chinese community is the fastest growing ethnic group with 9.9% annual growth between 2001 and 2007. A creative marketing strategy which incorporates Chinese New Year and other festivals such as Golden Week, can help UK brands establish, build and grow relationships with Chinese consumers visiting and living in the UK. Such planning shows both brand cultural understanding and willingness to engage in culturally relevant marketing, meeting the consumer on their own terms. Two key themes to base marketing initiatives on this year will be the Sheep/Ram/Goat icon, and the traditional Red Envelope (Hongboa).

Goat Icon

The Sheep/Ram/Goat Icon

Commemorative Chinese New Year products and collections have become popular in recent years, with brands from Burberry, Hermes and Ralph Lauren capitalising on their brand heritage in the 2014 Year of the Horse. The Year of The Sheep/Ram/Goat has been more difficult to follow, however a number of brands have been promoting their limited edition pieces, including:


Chopard Urishi Year of the Goat Watch

Chopard ‘Urushi Year of the Goat watch,’


Pandora Chinese Zodiac Sheep Pendant Charm

Pandora ‘Year of the Ram pendant,’



Vacheron Constantine, Metiers d’Art ‘The legend of the Chinese Zodiac’ Goat edition


Destination brands such as Covent Garden have gone for a modern multifaceted  approach, choosing to celebrate the New Year by engaging consumers in a online to offline marketing campaign which encompasses digital channels such as Weibo and WeChat in association with in-store actives, where the sheep will play a part . Chinese New Year icons lend themselves to a number of branding opportunities, both in terms of limited edition collections and offline campaigns, a little creative thinking and some forward planning can go a long way.

Red EnvRed Envelopes (Hongbao)

Red envelopes are handed out to younger generations by their parents, grandparents, relatives, and even close neighbors and friends during Chinese New Year. At some companies, workers may also receive a year-end cash bonus tucked inside a red envelope. Red Envelopes are a great brand marketing tool, with many retailers utilising them in marketing campaigns. Last year many designer brands such as Hugo Boss and Gucci created luxury red envelopes for Chinese New Year,  an initiative that made great strides from a marketing perspective,


Vogue China Editor Angelica Cheung's Sina Weibo luxury brands red envelope for Chinese New Year 2014

Vogue China Editor Angelica Changs Sina Weibo Image

This year brands such as Aspinal of London will be taking their marketing campaign to the next level by enclosing promotional offers and exclusive discounts in red envelopes redeemable at a later date. Such marketing approaches engage the consumer and provide a trackable ROI for the brand.

So what are consumers most likely to spend their red envelope money on this year ? The IPOS 2015 Luxury Forecast shows that personal consumption will be up in 2015, based on data, the urban wealthy middle class and above intend to allocate a whopping 44% of planned luxury shopping on themselves, 21% on gifts for their spouse and 23% on family (parents, grandparents, , as siblings are rare), 5% on friends, and 7% on business partners. With this in mind we have outlined 3 key products brands should merchandise this Chinese New Year. Red is one of the luckiest colours in Chinese tradition, meaning success, loyalty and happiness, so it’s a good idea to keep merchandising red where possible.

  1. Red Clothing   
  2. Red Underwear
  3. Red Accessories and Gifts

WEI-UK are planning and executing a number of exciting Chinese New Year campaigns for our brands this month, if you are interested in planning ahead for Chinese New Year 2016 or forward planning for Golden Week 2015, please contact Domenica Di Lieto Commercial Manager on d.dilieto@wei-ukconsulting.com or e on 020 3642 3899


  • kitty

    this doesn’t help me! please tell my why and what happens during this event