Lufthansa’s Branding Transformation for Growth

  • Travel & Hospitality
cargo load on plane

The Challenge

Traditional airline caterers were facing disruptions from all sides, threatening their relevancy among consumers. In order to adapt to the shifting market norms and customer expectations, Lufthansa had to reposition its airline catering subsidiary, LSK Sky Chefs.

The Opportunity

This partnership sparked an opportunity for LSK Sky Chefs to develop a brand identity and value proposition that will act as a catalyst for its growth. Vivaldi successfully positioned LSK Sky Chefs to capitalize on potential new business opportunities.

The Outcome

This successful collaboration allowed LSK Sky Chefs to optimally position itself for exponential growth in the future. Our work acted as a roadmap for LSK Sky Chefs to offer a seamless experience to its customers and strengthen its position in the airline catering market.

Weathering the Winds of Change

The airline industry’s financial crisis in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center prompted many airlines to cancel their complimentary meal services as part of sweeping cost cuts. Due to this significant change in demand, traditional airline caterers had to shift from an efficiency-driven business towards more service-driven solutions, such as “buy-on-board” and “in-flight café,” demanding new capabilities from their providers. Lufthansa approached Vivaldi for their brand management consulting skills to reposition its airline catering subsidiary, LSK Sky Chefs.

“When we worked closely with Vivaldi a few years ago, I was amazed at how quickly they understood the complex and global inflight business and arrived at a brand identity that is valid and powerful also for our solution businesses. Beyond the results, I very much appreciated the fruitful and collaborative team play with them.”
— Josefine Corsten, SVP Corporate Communications & Marketing, LSG Sky Chefs

Building a First-Class Brand

Vivaldi Partners conducted a comprehensive strategic brand analysis, examining LSG Sky Chefs’ brand position along four key dimensions: industry/market, customers (airlines), and consumers (business and leisure travelers), and competitors. Before analyzing competitors in more depth, we first conducted executive interviews across global operations with airlines to understand the importance of attributes when choosing an in-flight provider. Based on the identified insights, we derived strategic positioning dimensions, which span the market’s opportunity space for LSG Sky Chefs. In order to identify the most distinctive positioning, we have taken the competitive landscape into account in order to reveal “white spots” in the market. Our Brand Identity System (BIS) guided us through the strategic process to align the LSG Sky Chefs brand to the market challenges at hand and to define the brand’s new identity. In addition, we promoted the regional adaptation of the new brand. To assure a high internal acceptance rate of the new brand, we led workshops with teams consisting of marketing and sales employees to jointly develop brand message architectures with relevance to the specific regions and business units. Lastly, we formulated a compelling value proposition around functional, emotional, and self-expressive benefits that were validated through a number of appropriate proof points.

A Smooth Lift Off for the Newly Positioned Leader of In-Flight Services

Our work resulted in LSG Sky Chefs’ current brand strategy, which was rolled out worldwide. Beyond the strategy development, Vivaldi Partners guided LSG Sky Chefs through the internal and external rollout of the new brand. The activation of the new brand also included the translation of the new identity into a compelling visual identity. The success of this strategy became apparent through the swiftly internal acceptance and increasing customer satisfaction.