Dual leaders: with Designreisen, Marion and Robert Aliabadi are one of Europe’s most successful luxury providers. The pair understood and managed their company as a brand from an early stage.

Marion and Robert Aliabadi, Owners, Designreisen
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Marion Aliabadi was born in Munich and lived on Curaçao for a few years before founding Designreisen together with Robert Aliabadi in 2001. Since then, they have been offering unique, hand-picked and tailored travel experiences.

What do you remember about your initial contact?

Marion Aliabadi: Peter Martin held us spellbound. I got the impression that he knows what he’s talking about – that he is unsurpassable in terms of coming up with ideas.

Robert Aliabadi: Daniel Karczinski is the same: he has a depth that is expressed calmly and clearly. His strategic approach has benefited us greatly.

 
Would you advise other company founders, CEOs or marketing managers to focus on brands?

Robert Aliabadi: Every business sector is currently feeling the pressure of the digital transformation. The price and scope of service are what count online. Branding is often neglected. That is the wrong way – especially in the luxury sector. There’s still the opportunity to stand out. Even major investment makes complete sense.

Marion Aliabadi: We started with branding at an early stage, which is our strength today. The best hotels in the world come to us. They know that we have the customers and that we have the environment. I fundamentally believe that an image that communicates the core of a company is hugely important to success.

 
Would you say that Martin et Karczinski played a part in Designreisen’s success?

Marion Aliabadi: Yes, immensely so! Thanks to Martin et Karczinski, we have established ourselves as a brand. They transformed our vision into a design. They are better at doing that than any other agency – across all media and channels.

Robert Aliabadi: Martin et Karczinski’s design means we stand out visually and across our entire concept. It’s one of the big reasons we are a point of reference today: we set the example in brand development for many travel companies, even large ones.

 
Where do you see the future of communication in the travel industry? Will it all become digital?

Robert Aliabadi: Quite the opposite. Communication formats like our travel books will endure in the long term; people love books. In the field of print, you have to tell stories – and in this way load the medium and the brand with desirability.

Marion Aliabadi: I believe personal communication is very important in the luxury sector in particular: conversation, feeling, touching, laughing, interaction with our employees. These are all important elements of the Designreisen brand experience. But you have to find digital and analogue communication channels that fit and complement the brand. Professional advice is absolutely necessary in this respect!