Airbnb - A community-driven superbrand

We're all about putting the consumer centre stage in your marketing, but in this blog series we put the spotlight on brands showcasing a collaborative spirit. This month: Airbnb - a brand very much at home with people power.

airbnb host greeing guests

Airbnb is one of the most popular travel websites on the internet, offering an alternative to standard hotel rooms by enabling real people to let their homes to holidaymakers. We’re convinced a big part of its popularity is due to its people-centred brand strategy.

“Being human, humanity, human values, human experiences – that’s the common factor of Airbnb,” says Jonathan Mildenhall, CMO at Airbnb. He highlights that all their campaigns are developed with the people as a starting point. And it’s as real as it gets – every Airbnb ad you see features genuine hosts in genuine homes.

Airbnb and word of mouth

Some people might be hesitant about staying in a stranger’s home for their vacation. But there’s one key to picking an Airbnb property for your trip: word of mouth. Honest peer-to-peer recommendations brought to the uncertain vacationer in the form of customer comments.

Checking out the customer comments for each home featured on the site is a way to get an idea of what the home, host and area is like. And Airbnb guarantees that the comments are authentic as you can only leave a review if you’ve actually fulfilled a reservation.

Airbnb and user generated content

It’s a well-known fact that holidaymakers snap a lot of photos, and Airbnb gets a ton of pics, film, recommendations and opinions from both its users and hosts. And the brand is not late to use this, and do it well. In the latest version of their app, Airbnb includes guidebooks with tips on the best restaurants, bars and attractions around – all knowledge from Airbnb hosts in the local area.

It’s a win-win situation! The brand gets amazing content from happy consumers, and their users benefit from credible recommendations from travellers just like them.

Airbnb and the community

With the new guidebook feature being the first step into the realm of content curation, Mildenhall says he wants the Airbnb community to shape the narrative and tell their own experiences of the platform. He plans on using the consumer-generated content as video, social media, Snapchat and even putting it out into the world through paid media. “Curating the very best content from our community is one of my top priorities.”

As firm believers in people power, we are sure that a big part of Airbnb’s popularity comes from the fact that it uses real people and real homes. And Mildenhall seems to be on the same page regarding the power consumers can put behind a brand.

"I want it to be a community-driven superbrand,” he says.

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