This is especially important because Lunar New Year is a broad term for a holiday that is celebrated in different ways in different cultures. For example, a common misconception is that Lunar New Year is only a Chinese holiday – when it is actually celebrated in Indonesia, Singapore, the Korean Peninsula and other countries. And each market can search for different things, both in terms of products and their location.
In Vietnam, for example, “consumers are eager to shop online and find products from overseas, heavily influenced by word of mouth,” says Peter Huynh, founder of Intelligence4Start, a Melbourne-based agency that helps international brands enter the Vietnamese market. . In China, many consumers often buy luxury goods; Luxury sales in the first quarter are expected to rise at a blistering pace, partly due to purchases during the Month.
“It’s very important to understand what, why and how people celebrate,” says Ranjana Singh, president of Vietnam and Indonesia at WPP, a global marketing and communications company. “We see many examples of brands that just tick the box. For example, a superficial presentation of extended families, but it doesn’t stand out.”
While emerging brands may be tempted to enter the market during the Lunar New Year spending spree, Huynh cautions that the timing may not be ideal, especially for new entrants in the Asian market.
The competition is fierce, he says, and not all products align with Lunar New Year customs – so the product-market may not match, which can be glaringly obvious when you see so many Asia-focused campaigns. “If you’re new to the market, you shouldn’t take the risk of coming to Asia during the Lunar New Year. You can wait until the low season to stand out and grab consumers’ attention.”
Expanding into Asian markets, especially during the Lunar New Year, requires careful consideration – and it’s not for those who don’t want to face challenges head-on.