Airbnb: A Blueprint for (Re)launching a Brand

If your company is in the process of creating a new brand, contemplating a rebranding or just in need of a new website design, look to Airbnb as an outline for your project. On July 16, 2014, Airbnb aired a live product announcement that highlighted the company’s rebranding and redesign of their website and app. Before we go into their strategy, let me give you a little background on Airbnb.

What is Airbnb?

Airbnb was founded in 2008 in San Francisco, California. The company was created to provide accommodations for travelers around the world in an innovative way. “Social Travelers” can book a shared room, private room or an entire house from a host in 34,000+ cities worldwide.

Unlike staying in a hotel room during travels, Airbnb offers a unique lodging experience dependent on each individual host. With the growing population of users, the company found the need for a rebrand. Here are four content strategy tips from their rebranding.

1. Create something people can identify with

Airbnb Belos
Airbnb logo

Imagine walking around a large city and, on every corner, there’s a personal welcome sign. Well, there’s a good chance you will experience this situation with Airbnb’s new marketing strategy. Part of this strategy was the creation of a new logo called a Bélo. The Bélo is intended to act as a symbol for homes that are a part of the Airbnb community. This new logo gives the brand an identity.

The logo also extends the possibility for its consumers to feature the Bélo in their own way. The logo can be printed and purchased on various items like coffee mugs. Now, everyone can create their own personalized Airbnb logo, which makes the brand something that individuals can identify with.

2. Emphasize user experience

The entire redesign of the website is meant to better reflect the experiences of the Airbnb users. The homepage has a “Discover” section where travelers can click on cities and find out what’s there. Within each accommodation listing, the host can feature places nearby that they like or suggestions for travelers. The new website has a place to share your story and read “stories from the community.” Airbnb is letting its users become part of the marketing strategy by being brand advocates. By emphasizing and enabling the user to share their experience, Airbnb opens up new outlets for content that will resonate with its audience.

3. Easy-to-navigate design layout

Airbnb’s new website is very easy to navigate! Instead of using traditional tabs and multiple landing pages, Airbnb uses the vertical space of the website which allows the user to scroll down to find new sections. This makes it easy to navigate without clicking on a several links to be redirected. Most importantly, the website is responsive and the screen will convert to whatever device is used.

Airbnb website

4. Be visually appealing

Airbnb’s new website layout is designed to captivate their audience with visuals. Rather than a static beach picture, the main banner on the website is a moving photo. The top banner is not really a video or a picture, but rather a combination of both. The cinematic photography, paired with subtle motion, draws the user into the site. When the user scrolls down, the video on the page automatically maximizes to full screen, which demands the viewer’s full attention without distraction. In total, the layout uses high quality photography and video with sleek looking fonts and colors for the ultimate visual appeal.

I encourage you to look through their website and discover what elements they use that may be compatible with your own website! I would love to hear your thoughts about the new brand; does it entice you to become a social traveler?

And if you want to learn more about content marketing for the travel and tourism industry, check out these articles

Elizabeth MuckensturmDigital Marketing Director at Sands Resorts

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