Coach Recently Debuted Collaboration With Artist Zhang Lan
Continuing its Year of the Dragon collaboration with artist Zhang Lan, Coach recently launched a special e-card feature on its official Chinese-language website, designed to let people share Chinese New Year greetings with friends. The latest in a string of limited-edition collections created by brands in preparation for the traditional Chinese holiday, the “Coach Greeting Red Pocket” (Coach祝福红包) — lets users personalize e-cards with their own messages or use one of 12 pre-made templates, wishing friends well in business, health and relationships.
After personalizing their Coach e-cards, users can post them to their Sina Weibo pages or send to friends via email. Users can also browse publicly posted messages on the Coach site and share on Weibo. As is becoming par for the course with Sina Weibo-focused digital marketing efforts — which tend to offer some kind of incentive — the top five users who share the most wishes on their Weibo pages will be chosen to win Coach coupons worth some 700 yuan (US$111).
To promote its e-cards, Coach has taken to its own Weibo, starting a “Greeting Red Pocket” hashtag. As of today, Coach’s announcement has been retweeted 632 times and attracted 74 comments. As one Weibo user, nicknamed “qiuqiong1985” wrote in her Chinese New Year wish, “I hope my baby, Xinxin, can grow happily in the new year; I wish my parents a healthy and productive new year; I hope my husband can work hard and get promoted in the new year; finally, I hope all of my loved ones can realize their dreams in 2012.”
In encouraging users to promote the brand via public messages which, in a Western context, may seem highly personal, Coach follows the wildly successful examples of other luxury brands, such as BMW, which launched a Weibo “essay” contest last year, and Cartier, which featured celebrities sharing childhood stories and asked users to share their own. Cartier’s Weibo initiative ultimately proved one of the most popular of 2011, with the brand’s Weibo followers increasing exponentially over the course of the campaign.
By giving users free access to “branded” — albeit virtual — products, Coach also follows in the footsteps of luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Burberry, both of which successfully linked up with Jiepang (often referred to as “China’s Foursquare”) last year to reward users with virtual badges.
Coach has had a busy month in the run-up to Chinese New Year. In addition to its partnership with Zhang Lan on the e-card campaign and “Year of the Dragon” edition passport case, travel wallet and travel organizer and tote, the brand recently launched a pilot Tmall “flagship” as part of its 70th anniversary celebration, running through January 15. With these localized campaigns, it’s clear that the company’s much-ballyhooed China focus is no mere lip service.