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Megan Simpson

Marketing with a CNY flair

Technology in the workplace is a double-edged sword. On one hand, people can work from anywhere, have immediate email access and easily facilitate calls from across the world. One would assume that with more flexibility, stress levels would be reduced and make achieving work-life balance more attainable.

However, a study by advisory company Willis Towers Watsons, found that 60% of employees surveyed in Singapore found themselves having above-average or high levels of stress (Ang, 2018).

According to research commissioned by Robert Half, Singaporean professionals have a stronger desire for work-life balance (25%) compared to receiving financial rewards, as a key incentive to stay in a company (Robert Half, 2018).

Therefore, it has become more vital for people to find ways to escape in order to maintain mental and emotional stability (Kloppers, n.d.). This provides opportunities for brands to step in and provide ways of escapism for consumers. It is important for brands to not demand that shoppers consume more, but instead provide them with the pursuit of happiness.

Thus the challenge lies in finding ways to delight them with experiences that can take them away.

As Chinese New Year comes to an end, making use of the occasion is an effective way to hype the ongoing festivities and get consumers into a more relaxed and lighthearted mood. It is especially interesting in Singapore, as Singaporeans have continuously mixed old and new traditions, and combined influences from other cultures, to celebrate the festival in a uniquely Singaporean way.

In a multinational society like Singapore, the entire city celebrates the cultural traditions of every ethnic group (Polland, n.d.). This includes putting up extravagant decorations along the busy streets of Orchard or the interiors of shopping malls to signify the start of the Lunar New Year. myVillage, located within the cosy neighbourhood of Serangoon Gardens had everything in full swing from the hanging decorations, door stickers and even music to put shoppers in a cheerful mood. What’s special is the intimacy of the setting and how they invite mall-goers to be a part of their community.

myVillage even gives complimentary red packets to their shoppers; with designs featuring traditional Chinese decorative knots that when interwoven, represent good fortune. Just like the symbolic knot, myVillage & the community are the two cords that come together to form stories and bring good luck.

In addition, brands often jump at this chance to give out customised red packets to show their appreciation to their loyal customers. It truly becomes a battle to see which design stands out the most while successfully capturing the hearts of consumers. We always enjoy partnering with leading global investment manager, Schroders Asset Management, to develop a new concept to wow their stakeholders each year.

Despite the surge of cashless red packets, we did not want to lose the sense of the personal touch and joy of giving or receiving a physical red packet. With this in mind, we thought about how to retain this tradition while adding a digital spin to it. As such, recipients could find a digital QR code embedded onto the sleeve that brings them to a digital colouring game once scanned. Clinical psychologist Craig Sawchuk explains that using colouring books helps relieve stress as it loosens muscles and stimulates the brain (Krug, 2016). The colouring aspect ties in to the overall Peranakan concept as well, which features bright and contrasting colours to bring out the festive mood.

Such gestures are also recognised as an extension of the brand, and with each encounter, positive associations can be passed on, which increases their goodwill. Thus, our goal as an agency is to understand and deliver value to both our clients and their customers. In a stressful and fast-paced environment like Singapore, we want to provide a stress-free customer experience and give them a reason to smile.