The new Lufthansa brand: Two things the airline did well, when launching #LufthansaBlue

Launching new liveries can often get polarized reactions. The Lufthansa brand signalled an evolution last week as it launched #LufthansaBlue. It sparked raging debates between those who liked the new blue design and others who cherished the timeless blue-yellow logo on the tail.

While much has been written (and ranted) about the livery, we know there will always be two sides to the coin. So instead of debating whether Lufthansa was right in choosing the blue over yellow, we’d like to highlight two things the airline did well in the roll-out of the new brand. Something every other airline can learn from. I shared these perspectives in my daily Live Show episode #225.

A website dedicated to the new Lufthansa brand

To generate excitement and amplify the new brand, Lufthansa is using the hashtag #ExploreTheNew. It has also created an Explore the New website, with imagery and a social wall where fans are encouraged to post pictures using the hashtag.

The website itself includes a scrolling gallery of images and videos, including the story of the Lufthansa brand and a time-lapse film of an LH aircraft being repainted.

Whether you are a fan of the new brand or not, the website does a good job of conveying the ‘premium’ message with high-quality imagery and videos. When we looked at it, we thought it was kind of micro-site Mercedes Benz would produce when unveiling a new luxury car. Another observation was that the style of the videos was reminiscent of the iPhone 7 launch.

As an exercise in story-telling it is excellent, and if you are going to make a major corporate announcement, this is the way to bring it to life.

A video explaining why the Lufthansa brand needed to evolve

In addition to the website, Lufthansa has released a video explaining what’s behind the new design and why the airline brand needed to evolve. It features Alexander Schlaubitz, the VP of Marketing at Lufthansa, sharing the details in a town hall setting with Lufthansa employees. There are English and German versions of the video. It is professionally filmed and edited. Because of the town hall setting, the video comes across as warm and personal, rather than cold corporate schpeel.

For an airline as large as Lufthansa, it often becomes hard to communicate with all the employees spread across the world. This video helps communicate the “why”. Too often, brands focus on communicating the “what” and the “how”. But like Simon Sinek says in his famous video, it’s the “why” that matters. That’s what this video explains well.

Thinking beyond the debate

While the debate on the livery will continue to divide Lufthansa fans, what matters more is how Lufthansa chose to launch and unveil its new brand. The event featuring the company’s CEO, the subsequent tour of airports, the website, and the video and photography are a textbook example of how it should be done.

Quoting from the latest edition of our marketing benchmark report,

It all very much shouts ‘premium.’ It tells a story. Manages to convey excitement without seeming flashy.

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam is a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is the Founder and CEO of SimpliFlying, one of the world’s largest aviation marketing firms working with over 85 aviation clients in the last ten years. Nigam is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior executives globally, from Chile to China. Nigam’s impassioned and honest perspectives on airline marketing have found their way to over 100 leading media outlets, including the BBC, CNBC, Reuters and Bloomberg, and into leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. He writes a dedicated monthly column in Flight’s Airline Business, challenging the typical assumptions about airline marketing. His new book on airline marketing, SOAR, is an Amazon bestseller that’s shaking up the industry and inspiring other industries to learn from the best airlines. Born in India, raised in Singapore, he now lives with his wife and two young daughters in Toronto.
Shashank Nigam
Shashank Nigam

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