India is a very important market for us: Michael Knapp, Lufthansa

Michael Knapp, Director B2C Marketing Asia Pacific, Lufthansa, talks about why the brand has not picked a celebrity face and how it has established itself with marketing by telling real stories

e4m by Shreshtha Verma
Updated: Oct 3, 2019 8:39 AM



German airline Lufthansa has been investing hugely in the Indian market and is spending a lot to collaborate with start-ups in India.

In a chat with exchange4media, Michael Knapp, Director B2C Marketing Asia Pacific, Lufthansa, talked about how start-ups are playing a big role in the growth of India.

“India is a very important market for us. That’s why we are heavily spending to market Lufthansa in India,” said Knapp.

When asked why Lufthansa was investing in the start-up ecosystem of India, Knapp said, Lufthansa has been part of the start-up scene for a decade now although it has become a buzzword only now.

“Most start-up owners are young, they're full of energy and we believe in the potential of the young generation of India,” he added.

He also highlighted how India was an innovation-driven country. "The good idea is, here in India, it's all about technology innovations and we want to be part of that growing technology. So we give them the platform, we enable them to come together with investors, coaches and guides,” Knapp said.

“We are majorly investing in India because we want to be part of the growth of the Indian society,” emphasized Knapp.

According to Knapp, investing in the start-up ecosystem of India is not just helping them in the growth of the business but they are also getting additional benefits. “Investing and collaborating with start-ups not only helps our business to grow but also makes Lufthansa vibrant and popular among the new consumer groups," he said.

On the advertising front, it helps us spread our campaigns and messages to an even larger audience, he added.

Talking about the future plans of Lufthansa, Knapp said he believes that the Indian economy is growing and there is a lot of potential in aviation as well as the overall industry.

“As a marketing representative of Lufthansa, I feel the Indian economy is growing. I see India as a country with a lot of potentials. Hence there's a lot of investment,” he said.

Knapp highlighted that the biggest reason for investing in India is the growth of infrastructure in Tier II and Tier III cities.

According to Knapp, Indian consumer behaviour has been changing and the people in tier cities are evolving significantly.

“When it comes to the travel industry, the buying power of Tier II and Tier III cities is changing. Unlike before, people are becoming capable of spending more on things like travelling. Hence, we are playing a big part in the market,” he said.

“Well, we are still growing in India. We are working and investing in full form. Even from the marketing perspective, we are doing wonderful. We are still investing as much money as we invested before. We're still committed to India and its market,” Knapp said and that for the brand marketing is all about telling real stories.

"At Lufthansa, we believe in connections and storytelling. We believe that people get more influenced with real-life experiences and so we are doing the same for years. We never had a celebrity face to make our place in the market. We are already well established with the conventional marketing style of telling real stories,” emphasised Knapp.

Asked if the brand is planning to hire an ambassador or a celebrity face to promote Lufthansa in the future, Knapp said it was a clear ‘no’.

Taking the conversation ahead, he also shared that the core value of Lufthansa was authenticity and they would continue to advertise with it only.

When it comes to their marketing mix, Lufthansa believes in a 360-degree campaign. With AI or machine learning, technology has been playing a dominant role in the aviation sector.

When asked about how Lufthansa uses technologies to give a seamless experience to the consumers, Knapp said they use technology massively in their business. From their campaigns to an actual journey of consumers, AI and machine learning play a crucial role, he said.
As he signed off, Knapp shared that along with France, Italy, the US and China, India was one of the five biggest markets for Lufthansa.

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