Lufthansa’s Rebranding to Premium Identity

This month Lufthansa did something it had not done in the last 30 years: It announced a complete corporate rebranding – represented by a visible change of colours, materials and the famous tailfin colours (First image above shows the new colours).

The announcement coincides with the airline celebrating 100 years since the invention of it’s brand logo – the abstract crane – and it’s celebrated rating as a 5-star airline, something that insiders tell me the airline was struggling to achieve for a while now.

Established in 1955, Lufthansa is one of the leading airlines in Europe and the world. Based in Germany, with HQ in Frankfurt Airport, Lufthansa flies to more than 200 destinations in over 70 countries with an impressive fleet of close to 350 planes and is the largest European operator of the Airbus A380. And until very recently, this fleet sported a familiar and comforting “egg yolk” yellow on its rudder.

I must say that I grew up with this egg yolk and the airline and spent many childhood flights on short and long-haul flights, when my father reached senator status in the 1980s. This was the highest tier status back then and meant that I had my own Senator status card well until the year 2000. I could use up all the collected miles and spontaneously book flights to any place in the world – from Seattle to Cairo – with absolute trust towards the airline. Afterall, I was sent on longhaul flights by myself from the age of 9 and never had one bad experience.


This week, however, Lufthansa introduced a new logo, identity, and livery designed in-house in collaboration with Munich-based Martin et Karczinski

The visuals of the Lufthansa brand will be changed completely over the next 7 to 8 years to reflect their “premium” character. For faithful PAX (that’s passengers in aviation terminology) or SLF (that’s self-loading-freight in derogatory aviation jargon) this is a move not easily digested. Personally, the “premium” feeling has been there for me all along, but perhaps I am not the typical target customer to understand the new corporate identity? Lets look at some brand psychology to see if it all makes sense:


Why change the corporate identity?

Marieke de Mooij (2011) explains that “like the self, identity in individualistic cultures is supposed to be unique and consistent, as opposed to a collectivist’s identity, which can change according to varying social positions and situations.”

Thus the “corporate identity” is defined by a Western identity concept. It is concerned with the impressions, the image and personality which a company projects. (Interestingly, there is no adequate understanding of individualistic identity in collectivist cultures and languages, such as China and Japan.)

Ideally brands have clearly defined images created by advertising, packaging and other positioning elements, and theory believes that these images are congruent with consumers’ self images.

If you have a look below, you can see two mood boards of the Lufthansa as it was known in the last 30 years and its new visual identity. Has the self image of the Lufthansa customer changed over the decades and will it morph in the near future?


Old corporate identity mood board with lots of the egg-yolk-yellow in many customer-facing interfaces.

Above, the new corporate identity with lots of dark blue and only accents of yellow, such as the in-flight chocolate or crew uniform.


 Are premium travelers expressing themselves through choosing a premium branded airline?

“The concept of brand personality refers to the human-like attributes associated with brands. For example, Apple is cool, Hermes is elegant, and the Volkswagen Golf is understated.

Much like in humans, brands develop their personality with time, as they mature.
In some cases, this results from deliberate attempts to translate the vision of designers and marketers into a product that can help consumers express key emotions. Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas (2015).

What’s in a colour and shape?

How people describe colour greatly depends on the linguistic terms of a culture’s language. Adult polyglots show different associations with the same colours.

“In marketing and branding, colours can have powerful effects.” 

“Colors can alter the meanings of the objects or situations with which they are associated and color preferences can predict consumers’ behaviour. Color is an integral element of marketing communications. (…) It helps to differentiate from the competition, evokes strong product associations and category images. Color communicates corporate position.”

Marieke de Mooij (2011) Consumer Behavior and Culture. Sage

“Five experiments document that the mere circularity and angularity of a brand logo is powerful enough to affect perceptions of the attributes of a product or company,”
the researchers write in the Journal of Consumer Research.


A 2013 study published in Psychological Science shows that logos and branding can have a profound influence on decision-making. Authors Marios Philiastides (University of Nottingham) and Roger Ratcliff (The Ohio State University) found that visible logos and branding on clothing items carried significant value – ultimately biasing decision-making processes in favor of preferred brands.

“It is not sufficient for companies to try to attract consumers with price promotions, good customer support, or product-specific technical requirements (e.g., updates),” they concluded. “Instead, companies should place special emphasis on brand design and awareness and strive to promote strong affective associations with their brand among customers to develop and maintain a competitive advantage.”


So there we are: Lufthansa has clearly a specific understanding how their customer thinks and acts, what he or she finds attractive and what will bind that person to the brand over many decades. Martin et Karczinski have apparently spent an awful lot of time working out the new identity, as you can see here.

But it is not all that positive within the German media space:

Aviation writer Enrique Perrella described the new brand identity it as “bland and pointless”, while industrial designer Clemens Weisshaar told Dezeen it was a “design belly flop.“ Weisshaar also compared the new livery to that of a “dodgy insurance company” or “a failed bank”.

I wonder if I will grow to like it as much as I did the egg-yolk-colours and will report on the effect in the near future. However, it might also be the case of what happened to Japan Airlines: During some tumultuous business years, the airline changed its logo several times, only to revert back to a beloved retro-branding (the “tsuru” or Japanese crane) a few years ago. The retro-feel of the tail fin was still a symbol to PAX young and old and really worked well. So, Lufthansa, what will it be?

I invite you to comment on the Lufthansa rebrandig and share your thoughts!

My travel moments on an LH flight to London.



London’s eternity: In books, buildings and bespoke shoes

London is an eternal city, it is full of historical significance and amidst change and movement, there are places of complete standstill, older than any of the passers-by.

© The Print Collector—Heritage-Images/Imagestate

The Old Curiosity Shop, 13-14 Portsmouth Street WC2A

In Holborn, near the wonderful London School of Economics, not far from King’s College and the Thames river, is a very old and historical part of town where presently, there is a lot of construction going on.

Image source here.

But amidst all the updates, refurbishments and additions to Central London, there are historical sights which have not changed for centuries.

You might think that I am speaking of great and famous buildings which there are plenty here in London, but I am referring to the tiniest and most humble structures with arguably some of the greatest significance in terms of history and continuity of this beautiful city.


The Old Curiosity Shop as it stands in November 2017 – it’s 5th Century here. How many people has it seen walk past on this very corner?

The place I have photographed here is no other then THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP made immortal by Charles Dickens’ novel. I love the backdrop of intense construction and the 16th Century shop in  a bubble of eternal tranquility. Whereas in other cities of the world the memories of the past would have had to crumble under the pressure of the heavy wallets of property investors, London preserves and protects many heritage sites. Thank goodness.

Of course, it is not where Nell Trent and her grandfather actually lived, for this was fiction, nor was it called “The Old Curiosity Shop” when the novel was published in the mid-19th Century, but received its name later – probably due to the immense popularity of the book.

But the present day resident is still a remarkable protagonist, if you like. The Japanese designer shoemaker Kimura Daita-san has set up an atelier where he makes incredible bespoke shoes, a rather English tradition you could argue.


I quote Chrissy Grübel from her fantastic post

“Kimura has been in residence since 1992, crafting truly unique designs for both men and women. What will you find? Shiny leather oxfords, cool “hog-toed” boots, colorful unisex sneakers—classic shapes with modern details that can live in anyone’s wardrobe. I am personally begging for the Eley Kishimoto laceups: “Please, sir. I want some more.” Yes, I know this quote is from a different Dickens novel, but I’m a blogger not a scholar.

The shop may only exist in a magical lil’ nook of what I think is the most magical city on earth, but luckily for those who don’t share my urban obsession, you can shop online! There is justice in the world!”

You can see the full collection of shoes here and below is a movie made by Kimura-san:



Alpha Books, 1 Portsmouth St, London WC2A 2ES (corner of Sheffield St.)

And then, opposite The Curiosity Shop is another gem: Alpha Books. This shop provides the university students, lecturers (like me) and bibliophiles with rare, used, out-of print or specialty books at very decent prices. It is, not to say the least, quite a “Dickensian” sort of place. When I went in, an grumpy man hidden behind a partition and half-way into an antique stairway leading to the basement. I could not see the man at first, but only hear him grumbling and ranting.

I asked: “Exuse me?”

He shouted: “Yes, excuse me! We are busy, you have to wait!”

And when he had carried a box out to the door I asked: “Yesterday, you had a book on structuralism outside…”

“Yes! By Piaget,” he finished my sentence and then went on to fetch it out the many random piles of books on the floor.

Incredible, I thought, because not only did he know exactly which book it was, he also found it within the seeming chaos in a split second! And it is an out-of-print 1971 edition! Of an author who only certain people even have heard of!

If I was filming a scene of a movie, this would be it. Only at that point, I was in the movie. A shop devoid of any signs of modernity, inside or out. It could have been the 1980s, the 1950s, or earlier.

Alpha books and its owner are a cultural heritage of London.


A view from inside the bookshop, looking at one of the London School of Economics’ buildings.

Whilst in the shop, and scanning it’s book tables just outside I fell in love with at least 5 more and will be stopping there again. Alpha books is a rarity for connoisseurs, of knowledge, history and authenticity, when bookstores are disappearing and gentrification is making little old curiosity shops extinct. The owner can be grumpy if he likes, I don’t mind – this place is not to be missed.

With love from London,



Gourmand smells and tastes at Ladurée and Harrods perfume hall – unicorn trend?

Tapping into the unicorn trend?

Unicorn Frappucino

Today’s post is on yummie rainbow things, because I am always drawn to interesting and gourmand smells and tastes. On some days, I absolutely have to indulge in tasting and smelling amazing things, so recently I went to Ladurée in Harrods London, followed by a sniffing escapade in the Harrods Perfume Hall.

Writing this I wonder, if I have been zapped by the growing unicorn trend or if I have always been a veteran unicorn when it comes to certain things. In Japan the “Kawaii” trend has been present for many many years so pink, cute and girly things are an old fad of mine! But with the ongoing unicorn trend in the West, your guess is as good as mine!


The original Ladurée in Paris

Ladurée is one of my go-to places when in Paris. The Paris branch is a granny’s paradise, a heaven of antiques in a splendid building on the Champs Elysees (there are a few more in Paris but this is my fave one. Thick cushions, lunch, tea and dessert….give me good book or send me there with a friend and I will be one happy Olga.

Ladurée Tea Room in Paris

But whilst I am spending time in London, its a delight that in this city they also have a branch – styled slightly different, with more marble and modernity.

Ladurée is famous for its rainbow-cloured MACARONS

If you have seen the recent trends of rainbow coloured, unicorn-themed gimmicks, candy and accessories, well, Ladurée had it all first, I say. They are the masters of all shades of pastel colours, sweet macarons (the FAMOUS macarons) and cakes.  If you want to have a macaron with you at all times, you can purchase it as a keychain, too as the company has branched out into a broad scope of merchandise in the last years, from fragrant candles to bags to key chains and more.

Ladurée macaron keychain

My healthy snack of that day was a coffee and a chocolate eclair which was so chocolaty that I won’t need any chocs for a week at least. The service was impeccable, and so was my treat. (Yes, I need to put on weight, so fat and cream is my health regimen!)

Update: Ladurée is also connecting itself to fashion in 2018. The patisserie has done a collaboration with bridal designer Vera Wang entitled Vera Wang Pour Ladurée! “Her Ladurée line includes coconut crème chantilly macarons, coconut and mango wedding cakes, coconut and mango mini cakes, and a cake made out of coconut crème chantilly macarons.´ Wang tells Vogue” and  will be featured in the Madison Avenue and Soho locations through January 26.

So how does one fuse the idea of wedding and haute maraconerie (I don’t actually know if this term exists…)?

Here are some snapshots which were featured in Vogue.

Harrods Perfume Hall

After Ladurée, I explored the Harrods Perfume Hall where you can find best-seller fragrances, but more importantly, they stock all the niche perfumes. This place is often packed and hard to maneuver through during peak hours, however it is a one-stop-shop for many beautiful olfactory creations that are not widely available, including the private lines by jewelers and fashion brands which have become quite a trend lately.

For example, and completely in tune with sweet desserts, there was a bottle of this year’s new fragrance by Amouage in a rosé flacon, entitled “Blossom Love!” Yes I am quite obsessed with it now…

The unicorns are out to get us…

You see what I mean about the unicorns? Everything is pink and girly and pastel-coloured at the moment.

“Van der Poel says that her team originally projected the unicorn trend for 2012 and 2013 following the sudden popularity of pastel-colored French macarons in the food world and a spate of fairy tale-themed films in theaters. She labels the trend a “combination regression-escapism” moment, especially for Millennials who grew up in the late 1980s and early 1990s during the original incarnation of the “My Little Pony” cartoon.” explains the San Francisco Chronicle.

It may be well true….


Hoshinoya Hotel Tokyo – a brand new old-style Ryokan

The Hoshinoya opened in 2016

Today’s post is once again influenced by my love for Japan, Tokyo and the amazing buildings that you can find there.

Riddle me this: You do construction work in a multi-million people city and find a natural hot spring. What do you do with it?

Answer: You do some more construction work and put a multi-million-yen building on top of it, call it a traditional-yet-modern Japanese Inn and connect the hot-spring up to the 17th floor.

This is very close to what really happened in downtown Tokyo very recently. The result is the magnificent Hoshinoya Hotel right smack in the middle of Tokyo’s business district Otemachi – a 5-star treat with a real Japanese flair.

The Telegraph describes the interiors:

“A clever addition to Tokyo’s hotel scene, the city’s first luxury ryokan fuses contemporary design and traditional craftsmanship with high-tech touches. The tower is encased in a black metal grid repeating a traditional Japanese kimono motif.

Inside, there is a dramatic double-height genkan entrance with a seasonal flower display, indigo walls, sliding paper screens, expanses of aromatic Japanese wood and modern-style cotton jersey kimono outfits for guests.

The 84 guestrooms are split into groups of six on 14 floors – with each floor resembling a self-contained ryokan inn, with its own Ochanoma lounge. Here, at a communal wooden table or on low sofas, staff serve o nigiri rice balls, coffee, tea or seasonal sakes.”


Hoshinoya is good at hospitality and excellent service, because that is what Japan is good at. In the style of a tradition al Ryokan (Guesthouse or Inn) the staff takes care of the guest and makes sure that he or she longs for nothing. This concept is known as “omotenashi” in Japanese and it is truly lived to its fullest potential.

Omotenashi - long-for-nothing at the Hoshinoya.
Omotenashi – long-for-nothing at the Hoshinoya.


What does it cost to whatch your dreams on a fluffy futon, after soaking in the Onsen, enjoying a dinner delight of the most delicious traditional Japanese cuisine and staff bringing you tea and slippers before bed time? It will be in the region of $590 to $1000, depending on season and room options. But remember: When you are there, you must take off your shoes at the entrance and show your best manners.

Sliding washi screens and tatami mats with soft futon beds make up the standard room at the Hoshinoya Hotel.
Sliding washi screens and tatami mats with soft futon beds make up the standard room at the Hoshinoya Hotel.


Venturing into luxury fashion’s sensory branding: From BOSS candles to edible Birkin Bags



Venturing into luxury fashion’s sensory branding: From BOSS candles to edible Birkin Bags

When teaching fashion branding, I often like to look into futuristic topics, picking up on the latest trends. So recently, my class and I ventured into the world of sensory branding of the luxury fashion world.


Imge source here.

For those of you who are new to the term, it basically “is a type of marketing that appeals to all the senses in relation to the brand. It uses the senses to relate with customers on an emotional level. Brands can forge emotional associations in the customers’ minds by appealing to their senses. A multi-sensory brand experience generates certain beliefs, feelings, thoughts and opinions to create a brand image in the consumer’s mind.” (Wikipedia)

Specifically in fashion, the POS (point-of-sale) such as the flagship store is the most suitable place where all senses can be triggered. Students went out to the shopping district in Munich and examined flagship stores such as Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss or Max Mara and others on Visual, Tactile, Auditory, Olfactory, Gustative elements.

Overview Men´s Floor Louis Vuitton Maison München Residenzpost Opening 23.04.2103 Foto: Louis Vuitton
Overview Men´s Floor
Louis Vuitton Maison München Residenzpost; Foto: Louis Vuitton
Facade Louis Vuitton Maison München Residenzpost Opening 23.04.2103 Foto: Louis Vuitton Louis Vuitton Mesh Design Foto: (c) Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton Maison München Residenzpost; Foto: Louis Vuitton

They came back with very interesting observations: The luxury stores have a thoroughly and very specifically designed interior, which caters to the visual and tactile sense by using luxurious materials and subtle colours (as well as lighting). Furthermore, the background music is soft and elegant, because this makes one linger longer in the store (as compared to loud and fast music which also shortens the time a customer spends in store).


Image source here.

When it came to the olfactory sense or simply put smell, my students became highly interested in the topic. How is smell integrated in the flagship stores? There is actually an entire industry catering to boutiques of all sorts, supplying fragrances for the so-called “ambient scent branding” which makes us feel relaxed and enchanted when we enter the premises. The big names of today’s scent manufacturers are Givaudan, Firmenich and IFF as well as Symrise. But this is actually nothing new: Singapore Airlines was one of the first companies to use a signature scent inside their cabins way back in the 80s. And in 2015, Hugo Boss has a signature ambient fragrance which they also let you take home in the form of a scented candle.

Scented Candle Tambodi Wood by BOSS
Scented Candle Tambodi Wood by BOSS; Image source here.

The last sense left to cover is taste. It is not something that immediately makes sense when thinking of luxury fashion. However, marketers have not been ignoring it and came up with a clever idea: The flagship stores now boast a cafe, restaurant or bar.

For example, Armani has the Armani Caffé in Munich and Burberry has followed the trend closely by opening a Café at its Regent Street flagship store this past summer. If you happen to be in Shanghai, there is the 1921Gucci is a fully-branded restaurant at the top of its store and in Tokyo the Maison Hermes Le Cafe will serve a coffee with miniature chocolate Birkin bags.

Thomas's - Burberry Café London
Thomas’s – Burberry Café London
Gucci chocolate
Gucci chocolate – Image soure here.
Hermes Birkin Bag chocolate
Hermes Birkin Bag chocolate – Image source here.

So what is next? – one wonders. How can fashion tempt us by reaching us on all physical and emotional senses? Have you eveer explored the topic of sensory branding? What do you ebvision for the future?

Originally posted on Worn Through:

Spa CHANEL au Ritz Paris


Image source here.

Here’s fantastic news, as first seen on my fellow-blogger’s page “I love green Inspiration”:

Chanel will be taking up it’s long history with the Ritz in Paris by creating a day-spa full of Chanel beauty products. What a lovely idea!


Image source here.

“The Chanel/Ritz partnership makes sense for many reasons. Coco Chanel herself was a fan of the Place Vendôme hotel and lived there for more than three decades in what is now called the Coco Chanel Suite. In fact, the famous Chanel No. 5 perfume is in a bottle reportedly inspired by the architecture and design of the Ritz. And although Chanel has been selling beauty products, from sunscreen to lipstick, for many years, this will be their first attempt at having an entire spa stocked with their branded products and treatments.

Le Weekend De Chanel
Le Weekend De Chanel

Image source here.

So far, the French luxury brand is keeping mum about any specific offerings or prices, but we can already hear spa-goers from around the world frantically looking for good flight deals to Paris. Meanwhile, the Ritz’s website will reportedly begin taking new reservations as early as next month.” Source here.

And here is some history, icluding the roots of Ritz in Switzerland:

Source by I love green Inspiration: Spa CHANEL au Ritz Paris