“Listen to your heart, not just your head!”

Lutz Minich is entrepreneur, owner and founder of DFM Brand Builders. As an expert in the design and development of strong brands, he gives us an insight into his take on digitalization, tells us what inspires him and ends the talk with nothing less than veracity.

1) In your opinion, where is digitalization needed most in the restaurant and hotel industries?

There is so much to say about this, that you can write a book! The way I see it – and this is my very personal opinion – for the most part, gastronomy is a sensual experience. I want to smell, feel, taste, hear, speak, enjoy and that means: the less (visible) technology, the more receptive the senses. But: since we also consider the greater duration of the restaurant visit and the increasing individualization of the guest, it is possible – with a bit of creativity – to bundle a nice little package. As far as the topic process optimization behind the scenes is concerned, the digital spectrum should by all means be state-of-the-art. The bottom line: there are certainly good reasons to integrate technology as well as good reasons to do without technology. The one does not rule out the other. The winner is the one with the right feeling – that’s the way it has always been.

2) Have any innovations inspired you recently?

I don’t think that there is any great benefit in individual accomplishments. The issue here is the total package: when the buzzword “multimedia” popped up in the late nineties, I often asked myself what multimedia actually means. Today I finally understand: my children are networked with their friends and communicate in a very natural way in a multimedia environment – and I have no other choice but to also join this environment. We make videos, take pictures, inform ourselves, stream “live” or telephone for hours simply by accessing the Web. It doesn’t matter whether I communicate globally with my family, employees or friends. And if I want to, I can even see them while we talk.

The world has become very small. I can travel anywhere in no time and inform myself about what to expect at my travel destination and how my food will taste during my flight there. So much has happened over the past 15 years. I am absolutely thrilled to be able to – consciously – already live in the future today.

3) What can you contribute as a mentor? What kind of expertise do you bring to the table?

I am a long-term brand builder, who has been developing international top brands for more than 22 years and am happy to pass this experience on to young entrepreneurs and their startups. It thereby has less to do with the industry, but is increasingly about the continually recurring requirements on the development level: the decisive factors here are optimization of brand perception versus trade (B2B), consumer/guest (B2C) or inwardly directed toward the employees.

4) What tips do you have for the startups?

Believe in yourself. Give it all you’ve got and don’t give up. Have fun, work hard and pick yourself up if you fall down. Don’t let others influence you too much. Listen to your heart and not just your head!

The thing that differentiates you from all the others is your true (professional) personality!

That is what you MUST cultivate (if need be, in a process that takes years). And then, nothing can go wrong because you are authentic and ultimately that is exactly what everyone is looking for: sincerity.

Lutz Minich works as a Designer and Creative Consultant for prestigious agencies, publishing houses and business consultancies since the early 90s. In 2002 he founded DFM Brand Builders. The company’s objective is to consolidate and improve the competitiveness of largely international brands. DFM BRAND BUILDERS already established itself as a dedicated partner for creative brand building in Europe within just a few years.

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