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The Marketing Genius Behind Lufthansa Miles And More’s Status Stars

Lufthansa Airbus A340-300 D-AIGS

While many travellers are familiar with the inner workings of Lufthansa’s Miles and More™ program, many do not know much about the additional Status Stars™ tiers they can earn and the marketing genius behind an airline’s goal to build more loyalty.

Lufthansa Status Stars

The Status Stars program was introduced in late 2013 with the purpose to celebrate elite members who have been with the Miles and More program for a number of years in addition to the frequent flyer status they can earn with the airline.

 

How Do Status Stars Program Work?

There is nothing a Miles and Miles member need to do to start earning Status Stars. Lufthansa Miles and More’s systems will start tracking activities since a member achieve a new status level starting from Frequent Travellers to Senator and HON Circle (Find out how you can earn your way to top tier here). Status Star points are earned every day a member holds a particular status using the following  simple scheme (for example, a Frequent Traveller will earn one points, Senators two points and HON Circle members three points).

Once the member reaches 5,000 points, he or she will be awarded one Status Star, from 10,000 points two stars, from 15,000 points three stars and so on. The member can receive a maximum of 5 stars in total. The Status Stars will be displayed in the member’s personal online status lounge immediately after they have been awarded.

If, as a status card holder, you qualify for an additional star during your status term, this will be shown on your Miles & More service card when it is next renewed. Even if Frequent Travellers, Senators or HON Circle Members change their status, the stars will remain visible on their Miles & More service card. The blue Miles & More service card has no stars.  However, Status Stars will show up again should the member achieves status again at any time during the qualification cycle.

 

Benefits

Besides the new Miles and More frequent flyer card, members will also receive luggage tags with the Status Stars clearly shown. They also get a lot of bragging rights as their status are shown in internal systems and manifests on board.

 

HON Circle Status Star Luggage Tag
HON Circle Status Star Luggage Tag

 

While there are no other official published benefits (i.e. free upgrades) for members with a number of Status Stars, some have reported receiving exclusive unique VIP experience offers like the ones below:

 

Lufthansa Status Stars Promotion

Lufthansa Status Stars Promotion
Status Stars Promotions       Source: Lufthansa

Marketing Genius

While the IT system changes required may be as simple as adding a field to a member’s account to track the number of status days and convert them into points, there are many marketing implications to the introduction of the three year old program:

  1. Like earning interests in a bank’s savings account, many frequent flyers like to see their Status Star points grow even if they may not yield significant published benefits. To do so, they would have to fly at least 35,000 status miles or 30 segments to earn the Frequent Travellers status. This brings additional revenue to Lufthansa Group that may not otherwise be generated.
  2. Bragging rights have intrinsic values that cannot be quantified and is a free marketing tool for Lufthansa. On the popular frequent flyer bulletin board Flyertalk, there are 58 pages (as at October 2017) dedicated to the discussion of Status Stars. Many posts in this thread is on how the stars are earned and shown.
  3. Lufthansa and its affiliated airlines can use the Status Star program as an additional tool to segment and market unique experiences for a subset of members based on flying habits, money spent on travel and other merchandises. Personalization has been one of the few buzz words of the travel industry for 2017.  The Status Stars program can easily be grown into a more personalized experience for members.  For example, Lufthansa Group can monitor how long members have not earn status or flown with the airline and provide them with a dedicated reasonable offer to regain status based on prior spending habits. This will maximize the probability of engagement.
  4. Loyalty has its privileges – While there are not any key published benefits, high Status Stars holders receives limited VIP offers (purchase with miles) that are unique and may not be available through normal retail channels. These experiences create another layer of loyalty that makes flying Lufthansa more worthwhile compared to other airlines. The Lufthansa Group of airlines handle millions of passengers annually and are the ideal medium for companies targeting different segments of the traveling public.

 

Lufthansa Group of Airlines (Wholly Owned)Lufthansa Group of Airlines (Wholly Owned)

Airlines (Partially Owned)
Lufthansa Group of Airlines (Partially Owned)

Barrier of entry – The slightly mysterious nature of the program is a marketing tool onto itself. Intrigue will drive engagement and free promotion through word of mouth. It also creates a barrier of entry for other airlines wanting to replicate such a program.

 

About Larry Leung and Experience The Skies

Larry Leung is the Director of Research and Strategy at Experience The Skies. He is a certified avgeek, a public speaker and a dessert and design enthusiast. Contact him through LinkedIn or Twitter.

Experience The Skies is a consulting company based in Toronto, Canada that specializes in the travel industry with focus on the assessment, competitive analysis and development of loyalty programs, technologies, marketing, ancillary revenue solutions. Follow Experience The Skies on TwitterFacebookFlipboard, and Instagram.

 

 

 

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