Airbnb Does New Branding The Right Way


We’ve had branding conversations before on the marketing bit.

How you need a story to help shift the minds of your customers.

How branding reflects the DNA of a company.

We’ve talked about how branding is so much more than just a pretty logo.

How, when done right, branding really needs to reflect the values of your company.

Well, Airbnb is the perfect example of how to do it the right way.

Creatively, thoughtfully, with a lot of customer research and a lot of study of various logo designs – from the safe corporate blue logos of IBM and Facebook, to the the Red Cross and even Batman.  They analyzed, pull things apart and put them back together.  It was work – hard work.

Branding - Airbnb re-branding


Most importantly, the new Airbnb symbol started with its customers’ experiences and boiled those down into a crystallized statement about what the core value of the company is:


Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s CEO, says he was able to distill everything the team had learned down to one core principle: “Airbnb is about belonging anywhere. The brand shouldn’t say we’re about community, or our international [reach], or renting homes–it’s about belonging.”

That may sound like a highfalutin takeaway, but Chesky says it’s this central emotion that informed the company’s entire rebranding effort. Of the “thousands” of Airbnb brand logos his teams mocked up, Chesky says he settled on the one that best captured the essence of belonging.

That core concept – belonging – was then translated into a logo, a symbol of belonging that can be carried from its website, to key chains to door decals, etc.

But the real take-away – the real benefit of Airbnb’s effort is that it has changed the company in a really good way.  As Chesky says:

“This new branding changes the whole identity and expression of the company.”

Take a look.

Your Turn

What do you think of Airbnb’s new branding?

Did they hit the mark?

What does your company stand for?  What is its / your core value?

What do you offer your customers that is an pure expression of you?

Take a page from Airbnb.  Work at your branding.

If you can name it, you’re 80%  to the finish line to creating a brand that represents real value.


Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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