Case Study
Find out how Lufthansa Innovation Hub defines and interprets new macro-trends in travel and mobility tech

The short version

The customer: Tino Klaehne, Director of Strategic Innovation and Intelligence, Lufthansa Innovation Hub. Lufthansa Innovation Hub is “reinventing the travel of tomorrow.” Tino and his team are on a mission to lead the way for how strategic intelligence is done in the travel industry.

The challenge: No process for strategic intelligence. Gathering research used to involve sporadically visiting Google and searching by keywords. LIH needed a systematized way to gather, analyze, and prioritize intelligence in one place. 

The solution: Spotting trends faster with an AI engine. LIH integrated Feedly’s AI engine into their tech stack to track macro trends and define trends inside the category of Travel and mobility tech. They use Feedly’s AI concepts to build their own intelligence engine based on their own definitions and categories at the forefront of travel innovation.

The results: An industry-leading process 

  • An industry-leading process that is 3-5X faster than traditional strategic intelligence gathering
  • Regularly-publishes trend reports in the TNMT newsletter with 10,000+ subscribers
  • 5+ former employees have introduced Feedly to their new companies

Start building your strategic intelligence process. Try Feedly for Market Intelligence to track emerging trends, monitor competitors, identify business opportunities, and share insights with your organization.

Spotting trends almost before they happen

Lufthansa Innovation Hub has used Feedly to become thought leaders in their industry. With the help of Feedly’s powerful AI search engine Leo, they have defined a new research category at the intersection of travel and mobility technology, spotting trends and shifts in the industry almost before they happen. Read more about how they did it in this case study:

THE CUSTOMER
Lufthansa Innovation Hub: “reinventing the travel of tomorrow”

With only 40 team members in a company of more than 100,000 people worldwide, the Lufthansa Innovation Hub (LIH) is a small part of the larger Lufthansa Group — but they’ve never let that stop them from having a big impact on reinventing the future of travel. Tino Klaehne, LIH’s Director of Strategic Innovation and Intelligence, explains, “We have a thought leadership strategy. We have our own newsletter and our own platform, TNMT. Our branding is neon green. We make noise.” 

The TNMT newsletter reaches over 10,000 internal and external subscribers, and the entire innovation team is dedicated to setting the standard for cutting-edge, data-driven strategic research.

Our mantra is unconventional data perspectives. Our analysts use all sorts of different data perspectives to track information from thousands of sources. We don’t produce generic desk research–we create high-quality content with a data-driven perspective.”

Tino Klaehne, Director of Strategic Innovation and Intelligence, Lufthansa Innovation Hub

THE CHALLENGE
Building a systematic approach to strategic intelligence

When Tino Klaehne first started working at the Lufthansa Innovation Hub (LIH) in 2017, things looked very different than they do today. The team was still in the early stages of developing their research processes, and their approach was ineffective and time-consuming. 

There was no easy way to store or collect interesting findings in a central location. They needed to develop a more systemic approach to strategic intelligence gathering, so they could scan the horizon and connect the dots more effectively. 

“At the time, our approach to research was really immature. People would Google a few keywords or visit a couple of websites when they had time here and there. Nothing was tracked,” Tino recalls. 

LIH needed an effective way to gather, analyze, and prioritize intelligence from millions of different sources into a single feed. They also needed a system to get alerted when key topics came up, without drowning in the noise of irrelevant data. “We wanted to really professionalize our approach. And we needed to find the right tools for the job.” 

We wanted to really professionalize our approach. And we needed to find the right tools for the job.”

Tino Klaehne, Director of Strategic Innovation and Intelligence, Lufthansa Innovation Hub

THE SOLUTION
Using Feedly’s AI Engine to research and define the future of their market: Travel and Mobility Tech

LIH was able to go one step further than just professionalizing their intelligence-gathering: They have defined their arena at the intersection of travel, mobility, and tech (TNMT).

TNMT brings together traditionally-siloed interests that cover the entire ecosystem of products and services around the travel experience, from accommodation to space travel. 

By adopting Feedly’s AI engine, Leo to discover and research new market opportunities, LIH gathers and synthesizes intelligence that covers this entire category. They can shape, test, and validate hypotheses that will define the future of travel. 

“It’s strategically powerful to be able to define our own category and be the leaders in what we’re doing. And that’s where Feedly comes in. It allows us to create our own definitions and categories, beyond standard industry definitions. We can build everything around this TNMT concept and see what we find there.” 

“Blurred Travel” and other future trends

When Tino and his team identify a new “fuzzy concept” or broader trend that they want to research and define, they set up a new Feedly Board on the topic and add relevant articles from other boards. From there, one of their analysts will define which keywords to track. They will build a Web Alert and gradually refine it, adding concepts and muting terms to filter out the noise. 

A Leo Web Alert that Tino and his team have created to track the “fuzzy concept” of Blurred Travel, combining existing Leo Concepts like “Bleisure travel”, “Remote work”, and the “Travel & Hospitality Industry”.

For example, LIH has coined the concept of “Blurred Travel,” a shift they’re seeing as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, where business and leisure travel are increasingly merging. “It’s really hard to search for a term if you’re the one coining it,” Tino says. “To validate our hypotheses, we try to put different concepts together and look at what is coming through Feedly to see what is happening out there.”

An excerpt about Blurred Travel from a recent issue of LIH’s TNMT newsletter.

Tracking innovation via venture capital investments 

LIH also uses Web Alerts in Feedly to track venture capital investments in travel and mobility tech in order to predict how the industry will evolve. “Venture capital investments are one of our key metrics to determine innovation patterns,” Tino explains. “We want to know where smart people are putting a lot of money, and to understand why it’s happening. It’s a really good proxy indicator for us.” LIH publishes the only regular report with in-depth research on this topic. 

“Venture capital investments are one of our key metrics to determine innovation patterns. We want to know where smart people are putting a lot of money, and to understand why it’s happening. It’s a really good proxy indicator for us”

They also track over 3,000 startups to keep an eye out for investment and partnership opportunities with startups in related industries, like sustainable fuel, air taxis, and the creator economy.

LIH tracks funding events in the travel industry, because they tend to be an indicator of innovation patterns. Here, they’ve set up a Web Alert in Feedly so Leo will surface articles around these concepts. 

Integrating Feedly into their processes and tech stack

Part of what makes Feedly so effective for LIH is the way the team has been able to deeply integrate Feedly into their processes and the rest of their tech stack. 

Tino and the LIH team use Leo Concepts, a collection of machine learning models that continuously read millions of articles to analyze and tag key concepts in real-time. For example, they employ the Partnerships and Funding Leo Concept to keep a close eye on partnerships that other airlines are forming with startups. This gives them a clearer sense of the direction their industry is heading and what other companies are prioritizing. 

LIH also uses Feedly as the jumping off point for kickstart new projects: Employees combine Leo Concepts in Web Alerts, which track and find relevant content continuously. Through the Web Alerts they’ve set up, the team finds useful content and regularly adds it to Boards. 

When a new project starts, employees search those Boards to see what’s been gathered on the topic and what information is already out there, curated by their team in Feedly. They’ll then create a new Board and connect it to the Slack channel for that project to keep all relevant research in one place. 

Company onboarding at LIH even includes a Feedly tutorial. That’s how deeply we want Feedly to be embedded in our processes says Tino.

THE RESULTS
Faster, more insightful research that looks toward the future

Over the years, LIH’s reputation has grown. Their Travel & Mobility Tech newsletter, TNMT, now has over 10,000 subscribers, including both internal stakeholders and thousands of readers outside the company who rely on LIH’s analysis and research. Without Feedly, Tino estimates that intelligence gathering would take at least 3-5x longer, and wouldn’t be nearly as effective.

A recent issue of the TNMT newsletter, highlighting LIH’s research and analysis around investments into air-taxi startups.

Tino’s team is currently starting to build workflows that will make it easier for more teams to set up Feedly and other research tools to gather their own data independently. “We believe this has the potential to become a strategic intelligence layer for the entire Lufthansa Group, built around Feedly and a few other key tools,” Tino says. 

Feedly at the heart of their toolbox

LIH’s confidence in Feedly continues to grow, and they anticipate it continuing far into the future. They recently signed a three-year contract with Feedly so LIH can continue to build their future-focused processes with Feedly as their AI engine.

Even after analysts leave LIH, they continue to choose Feedly, Tino says. Feedly is such an integral part of the strategic intelligence tech stack that at least five former LIH employees have brought Feedly with them to new jobs. 

“Feedly is the core of our toolbox. We appreciate the close collaboration we have, and we really like the improvements and new features they are releasing. We feel like we’re progressing at the same time, together.” 

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