We're working on making ourselves more relevant in India: Alexander Schlaubitz, Lufthansa Group

From focus on embracing local cultural nuances to operating its most high end fleet in India, Lufthansa has been making heavy investments in the marketplace to woo local travellers

e4m by Ruhail Amin
Updated: Feb 20, 2018 9:00 AM

India has emerged as one of the biggest markets for Europe’s biggest Airline—Lufthansa. In the last four years, Lufthansa has made significant investments to take on the local and other international players. In an interview with exchange4media, Alexander Schlaubitz, Vice President, Marketing, Lufthansa Group, spoke about the significance of the Indian market and the strategy that the group has adopted to leverage the opportunities in the local market.
How have all your marketing initiatives impacted the perception of Lufthansa in India?
I would say we are lucky that we started out from a very high place in terms of brand perception in India. Lufthansa has always been an incredibly successful and well liked brand in India. We have been able to even surpass that and I would like to say that the impact is not reflecting in the perception alone but also in the sales figures too. 
Could you tell us about the strategy that you are adopting for the Indian market?
Since we have been here for such a long time we feel that we have already established ourselves. Now we are working on making ourselves all the more relevant. So we are trying to immerse ourselves deeply into understanding the specific needs of Indian customers and the cultural nuances that we can touch upon. This is not just as a marketing proposition but an overall proposition that we have embraced. This includes the product, the staff and making sure that everybody who comes out from this market knows that –‘we are more Indian than you think’. This is something that has worked fantastically well in our favour and has been aided by the TV campaigns that we have been doing.
What would you call the biggest highlights of your journey in India so far?
From a marketing perspective we are fortunate that we have a very long-standing and incredibly successful marketing franchise which is called -Runway to Success. We have kept expanding on that and it has helped us deepen our relationship locally. We make sure that people comprehend how invested we truly are in the Indian marketplace. This programme has been fantastically successful for us and we are very proud of the engagement that we have been able to create through it.
Moreover, we are also going to introduce, in full form, to the marketplace a campaign platform that is called #LifeChangingPlaces. It is a platform that has proven to be incredibly successful in other markets already. We are excited to build something for the Indian marketplace on that particular platform. These are some of the big highlights of our journey in India so far and we are looking to do more.

How are you differentiating yourself from other global brands to stay ahead of competition?
I believe it is about having a product well designed for the needs of the customer and we are constantly working on it. With the evolution of travellers in India, we have to keep pace with that and we have to keep finding ways in which we can hit deep nerves and find good, relevant ways to touch the hearts and the minds at the same time. So it is not a different challenge from what it would be like in any other marketplace. We were just lucky enough to have an operation here that is strong and established. Also all other things being equal, we are more creative than the other guys. And most importantly we have the best equipment here and we are operating our most modern fleet in this market.

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