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Lufthansa’s new look is a model example of thoughtful and intelligent modernisation of a long-established brand. The new look exudes the feeling and respect for the brand and its history, and you get a sense that design methods have been correctly used.

Everything seems familiar, but the new look seems to be simultaneously much clearer, fresher, more elegant and more dynamic. Especially in the case of a successful, evolutionary step, it is worth taking a close look to understand which changes have had which effects. First off is Lufthansa’s most striking symbol – the crane. The brand icon also still seems the same at first glance. However, on taking a closer look, you can see that it is leaner and thereby more dynamic. The character and style have however remained unchanged.

The biggest change that customers will see is perhaps the change in the use of Lufthansa’s corporate colours. The most striking feature is on the aircraft itself: the yellow circle on the blue tail fin is missing.

Colour creates semantic references. Yellow stands for warmth and emotion; blue stands for trust and quality. It is therefore not surprising if people will miss the yellow, i.e. the symbol for emotion, on the aircraft and that a highly controversial discussion of the new corporate design, and in particular the paintwork on the aircraft, is likely to ensue. Looking at the image as a whole, it is obvious that the colour palette has in essence remained the same, but that blue is now clearly the main colour. Yellow is used in places on the signage where trust and closeness should be created.
For digital use, simplifying the colours within the corporate system is certainly the right step.

The new typography is more modern and has gained in character without losing the required objectivity, clarity and seriousness. It is an alignment with the spirit of the times without following it opportunistically.

On the whole, Lufthansa’s new look as a brand provides new impetus and brings a new self-confidence to the fore. It is perhaps a little more distant than before, but this may also be a new facet of the new identity of a German brand on the road to globalisation.

“Iconic brands” are always regarded as the original. They are in the position to claim something for themselves, be it a colour, shape, or logo. The stronger and more unique the brand characteristic codes are, the better the chances are to assert oneself in strong global competition. Coke has at its disposal a unique bottle shape, distinctive lettering and a colour – therefore, everyone who chooses Coke should enjoy this brand experience.

The Coke-colour-sense is not silver, not green, not black. It is simply red. To fail to unequivocally reserve the colour now would be foolish and risky. Competition in the beverage area has significantly increased in recent years.

There is a large risk of losing ground in brand communication by means of sub-brands and thus completely different colour codes. Therefore, it is fitting to place everything on a clear brand image and to promote one brand and one image.

Marketing funds can be bundled and instead of communication for many individual variants, the brand essence can be centrally supported. Communication is becoming ever greater and, in the case of the so-called Love Brands, is now shifting away from product communication towards image communication. Given this, what colour should the brand have? Red? The discussions in the individual marketing departments can be vividly imagined.

A brand needs a unique colour. Nivea followed the same principle several years ago with its brand management. The brand name was placed in a blue circle: the manifestation of the blue container and thus the visual brand essence. And if this is feasible for a product line of hundreds of individual cosmetic items, then it should be child’s play for a brand with few sub-ranges.

Coke’s move is neither particularly brave nor provocative; it is the logical move of value-oriented brand management. Thus, it lays the right foundation for the future, because the more digital brand communication becomes, a clear and, in this case, single-coloured brand image is required.

First published in German by Werben & Verkaufen