Alexander Schlaubitz and his Lufthansa team enjoy a highly exposed status in the German marketing world.
Any development or change the airline undertakes becomes national news. Journalists even call to examine the thought process of logo color selection. But despite the pressures around him, the Lufthansa vice president of marketing and University of Missouri–St. Louis alumnus navigates his varied responsibilities with excitement and humility.
“Lufthansa is one of the most significant German brands, so I’m massively grateful for the role,” Schlaubitz says from the back of a cab following a flight from Vienna. “It’s an incredibly visible brand, and it’s a very emotional brand. If anything comes up – positive or negative – it becomes front-page news. With the job comes a great responsibility.”
Having lived in Germany during his teenage years, Schlaubitz has a deep connection to the brand as well.
He spent the first decade of his life in Venezuela and then immigrated with his mother to her home country of Germany. By 18, Schlaubitz moved to his third continent to be closer to his father and study marketing and philosophy at UMSL.
With a strong business sense and curiosity about the fundamental motivations of others, Schlaubitz’s multidisciplinary education proved an important factor in his career trajectory.
“My time in the philosophy department was probably one of the most impactful because I discovered how to critically think through things, how to deconstruct problems and come up with logical solutions,” Schlaubitz says. “In my job, I try to vigorously comprehend what people’s needs are and take a deep look at ways in which we can add value to their lives. That’s where psychology and philosophy come in to help.”
Since transitioning from Facebook five years ago, Schlaubitz has led Lufthansa’s global content production, business marketing, media advertising, digital innovation and brand strategy.
In February, his team revealed its first rebranding project in 30 years, which included a modern take on Lufthansa’s 100-year-old crane logo. The undertaking paid off as the company earned more creative awards in the last year than in its entire history.
“Being allowed to participate in the shaping of such an important asset is pretty fascinating,” Schlaubitz says. “I have a heightened sense of curiosity, so it’s a brilliant time to try to figure out what motivates people. Technology is changing. Cultures are changing. There is nothing that is standing still, so it’s a fantastic intellectual challenge to try to stay ahead.”