DESIGNSTUDIO, London / AIRBNB / 2015
To fully understand the Airbnb community and brand, we conducted an in-depth immersion process that involved four agency members visiting 13 cities, across four continents. They stayed with 18 hosts and recording every aspect of their stay. We also interviewed more than 120 employees and placed half of our project team at Airbnb’s San Francisco HQ For 3 months.
Our creative strategy was deeply informed by the insights found in the immersion. In particular, we found that when people come into contact with Airbnb they typically have a strong, emotional sense of purpose and affection for the community they’re a part of, yet this spirit wasn’t being communicated through the brand.
We looked to address this by working with the Airbnb team to develop a new proposition for all internal and external audiences; “Belong Anywhere.” This proposition informed every aspect of the new global brand identity.
The identity was spearheaded by the Beló logo, a symbol aiming to transcend language and cultural barriers to be understood globally. The long-term goal was for the marque to become a universal symbol of belonging and to further this we worked with Airbnb to launch and implement the new brand across all corporate, consumer and community communication channels. This included the global customer website, community website and mobile app.
The rebrand saw a reaction on an unprecedented scale, rarely seen by a business rebranding. The community platform create.airbnb.com was instantly adopted by the community to localise and personalise the Beló community symbol and share stories. The marque has since become a memé, had Youtube parodies and thousands of Beló symbols have been created and posted on social media as Airbnb’s community embraces the rebrand.
• 157,250 community symbols had been created by 131,180 users as of as of March 2015.
• While Airbnb have not official launched any stats, the valuation of the brand is speculated now to be worth 13bn – an increase of 3bn post rebranding. Source, Wall Street Journal
• Trended on twitter for 8 hours.
Testimonials from Airbnb:
“You guys got so deep into the work – you literally unlocked and inspired us about what was possible.”
- Brian Chesky, CEO and Co-Founder at Airbnb
They impressed us along the way with the consistent attention to detail. They produced inspiring, insightful and thorough work in a short period of time. It’s rare to find a team so diligent and so creative”
- Andrew Schapiro – Head of Brand Creative, Airbnb