Prepare now for Double Seventh Day: how to market for China’s Valentine’s Day

Double Seventh Day, also known as the Qixi Festival, is China’s answer to Valentine’s Day and it’s a traditional festival that falls this year on the 4th of August. With over 2,000 years of history, Double Seventh marks love and romance all across China, and couples everywhere give flowers, go out for meals and share romantic gifts, such as chocolate, jewellery, clothing, home goods and handbags.

Double Seventh Day matters to brands because it’s a huge driver of sales, particularly in the luxury goods market. According to the Gartner Group, the festival now drives even greater sales than Singles Day and it’s growing in significance. Taobao and Tmall both reported Qixi sales boosts of 120% in 2021 compared to 2020. Research suggests that luxury imported handbags and jewellery are particularly important and high-end cosmetics have become particularly popular in lower-tier cities. Other interesting categories that have seen a rise in Qixi sales include imported steaks and red wines.

Qixi Festival opportunities for Western brands

Double Seventh Day gives Western brands a great opportunity to build connections with Chinese customers, grow their brand awareness and drive conversions, whilst sharing some love and joy at a key time in the Chinese calendar. After all, Chinese customers appreciate Western brands that show cultural awareness and respect towards their key festivals.

Case studies for Qixi festival marketing

It’s important to plan Qixi festival marketing carefully as even big brands can get it wrong sometimes.

Prada won hearts and minds with its ‘Modern Tale’ campaign which retold the Qixi legend in a modern way, whilst paying homage to the traditional story. The brand used the occasion to launch an exclusive line of women’s and men’s items, which they incorporated into the character’s journeys. Prada’s campaign worked well by upholding the traditions and sentiments of the traditional holiday, whilst bringing a fresh feel and digital storytelling to engage young and on-trend customers.

Similarly, Gucci released a limited-edition range with a fresh print of interlocking ‘G’ apples. It drew on the idea of the Garden of Eden’s forbidden fruit and the phrase ‘apple of my eye’. the limited edition range included shoes, accessories, small leather goods and handbags which Gucci sold in its boutiques, via its website and through WeChat mini-programs, boosted by a #GucciQixi selfie competition that garnered more than 400 million Weibo impressions. This is a great example of how brands can get it right by having the right local knowledge, planning carefully and integrating marketing activities to maximise results.

How Western brands can get it right

The good news is that your brand can enjoy success for Double Seventh Day if it plans ahead and makes use of expert help. Here are some steps for success:

1. Release a line of limited-edition products – but carefully

Chinese customers like special Qixi products that are well and thoughtfully designed, with quality and luxury details. Show that you understand local Chinese culture and respect the ancient traditions of this beautiful romantic festival. Don’t attempt to broaden the appeal of Qixi by introducing marketing campaigns directed towards friends (as Dolce & Gabbana tried to with its female Qixi avatars). This is a festival to respect and celebrate, not an opportunity to try to change tradition in a bid to sell more. It’s also important to emphasise brand hallmarks of quality, exclusivity, authenticity and luxury as these are all attributes that matter to customers buying romantic gifts for their partners.

2. Engage with KOLs

Brands vie for attention at this time so the right choice of KOL can help you cut through the marketing noise and reach your target customers. A Chinese marketing agency can help you to find the right KOLs for your campaign and organise the necessary promotion or sponsorship activities that you need.

3. Incentivise user-generated content

Competitions or discount codes can help to encourage user-generated content. For example, you could ask followers to tag five friends to get a chance to win a prize. This can build awareness and push impressions. If you resource your social media well with native Chinese language speakers, this also provides an opportunity to answer questions, comment, and generally engage to drive referral traffic to your landing page.

4. Create a Qixi landing page

The Qixi festival is a great chance to add some beautiful themes and graphics to your website, either on the homepage or perhaps on a special campaign landing page if you are running a competition or special promotion for the festival, such as a limited edition product line. Check that your landing pages are optimised for mobile, locally hosted and operate smoothly and quickly to minimise the bounce rate.

5. Use WeChat mini-programs

Whether you want to create a beautifully designed store or mini-program with attractive Double Seventh Day graphics for Chinese Valentine’s Day or create a fun digital game with great sharing potential, WeChat offers a great opportunity to target your customers with localised, top-quality content that your target audience will love, share and engage with to make a purchase. Again, a Chinese marketing agency can help you to create the graphics, stores, digital assets and other digital elements that you need to create a successful campaign that yields real results.

Get in touch

Market Me China is here to help your brand get the most from Chinese Valentine’s Day! Our team of digital professionals have native Chinese language skills and are highly adept at creating impactful, engaging digital marketing campaigns that deliver the desired level of ROI for our clients. Whether your business operates in luxury goods, e-commerce, travel or another industry altogether, we can help you maximise your marketing opportunities and delight your customers for the Qixi Festival. Please contact us to find out more and to discuss your needs.