brands i luuurve 2: airbnb
It’s already time for the second in my month long blog series of brands I love and what makes them so amazing. Obviously I’ll be focussing mainly on the visuals as that’s my key area of expertise, but I’ll also be exploring how these brands make use of the other 3 v’s: values, vision and voice.
The second brand on my list of greatest loves is airbnb. No doubt you know airbnb from completely reinventing the way we travel. Offering travellers a home away from home experience, airbnb have strong core values surrounding community and culture, and aren’t afraid to share them. With over 4 million listings in a whopping 191 countries, from gypsy style caravans to luxury Miami beach houses, airbnb really do cater to every kind of holiday maker and traveller. As long as you’re willing to immerse yourself in a more personalised experience than a hotel, that is.
V no 1: Vision
Dealing not just in rooms and homes, but also cultural experiences and classes, community and sharing of cultures are at the core of airbnbs brand vision. Their simple slogan ‘belong anywhere’ demonstrates this vision perfectly. Airbnb aren’t just about well swept floors and perfect hospital cornered beds, they’re about cultural exchange and becoming a part of every place you visit. Travel, to airbnb, is about so much more than winding down by the pool with a watered down Pina Colada. It’s about meeting the real residents of an area, sharing space and stories, and living like a local. Finding somewhere, no matter where you travel, where you can truly belong.
V no 2: Values
From the airbnb website: ‘At the heart of our mission is the idea that people are fundamentally good and every community is a place where you can belong…We’re always working to build a better platform, and it’s the collective efforts of our hosts, guests and global community that make each Airbnb experience possible. We believe in celebrating these stories and sharing the ways they inspire us to rethink what it means to belong’
While airbnb don’t list their brand values clearly on their site or digital presence, I think we can make an educated guess what values they put at the forefront. Community, belonging, stories and culture. I believe these are the 4 pillars of the airbnb brand, which is why you’re encouraged to chat with your hosts and take their local recommendations while staying. Airbnb want to create a global community, in which we can all travel anywhere and be welcomed with open arms.
As of 2018, airbnb have gone from offering just rooms and homes, to a range of experiences. From walking tours to club nights, cooking classes to dance lessons, you can undertake all kinds of activities in all kinds of places, further strengthening the cultural connection between guests and their locations.
V no 3: Voice
Airbnb as a brand are not particularly verbose. They rely more heavily on their amazing listings around the world to do the talking for them, with any website real estate dedicated to words given to guest reviews and listing descriptions. From the little they do have, they have a strong and clear voice. Simple, bold statements like ‘belong anywhere’ really capture the exciting, inclusive vibe of airbnb. They want to encourage you to travel, to experience something new and embrace it with open arms.
‘Airbnb is designed with safety—both online and off—in mind’ Airbnb are clear that safety of their users is a priority, looking to put your mind at ease about new experiences. ‘Highly reviewed by locals and travellers worldwide’ Another snippet which proves their community mindset. Grouping travellers and locals together in this way (which is done often on the site) makes it clear that both are a priority, and it is shared experiences that provide the most value as opposed to experiences at the expense of others.
V no 4: Visuals
airbnb are a modern brand, and their visuals reflect that. The chunky, all lowercase sans-serif font is super clean and modern, calling clearly to airbnb being a digital brand. The icon is unique yet familiar, so simple yet completely synonymous with the travel giants. The cute little diagram below digs into where inspiration for the mark came from.
Airbnb stick to a really basic colour scheme (again, very common with modern digital companies) and only really 3 colours; white, grey and red. Due to airbnb being a listing site, imagery is very important on the website and their marketing, and they rely on the images to be their main source of colour. For printed materials, airbnb stick to large, bold typography and keep imagery limited. This ensure they can keep their logo large and put their messaging at the centre of every campaign.
Airbnb have taken a really common font style and made it entirely their own through clever colour and composition choices. Their visual brand is a really great example of how effective simple, consistent branding can be - super recognisable, still fun, and perfect for putting across their brand message.
Airbnb have crafted a brand around community, culture and shared experiences, and these values are seen in everything they do. Their visuals are simple but perfectly crafted, creating a visual brand that is clear cut on what they’re all about, putting the airbnb community front and centre and making us all long to belong, anywhere.
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