Air BnB: Building Relationships and Brand Community

New 2014 Air Bnb LogoThe feeling one gets when  leaving home and travelling is something that can be emotionally rewarding and memorable for a lifetime.

Maybe no brand is doing a better job of recognizing this and capitalizing on it than Air BnB. Their current “Belong Anywhere” campaign is a great example of taking people’s desire for comfortable travel and personal stories and turning them into valuable advertising and brand building opportunities.

Good branding is a story waiting to be told…

Air BnB is a conduit for building relationships, both between users and the brand, and hosts and their guests. This video does an excellent job of showing that relationship dynamic and the emotional connection that the brand aims to orchestrate.

As a Toronto host and an Air BnB traveler myself, I can relate to the sincerity of the door opening and being warmly greeted & welcomed by a total stranger. Oftentimes hosts will go out of their way and provide travellers with a ‘locals kit’ full of resourceful insights like: city maps, paths to hidden parks, and tips for getting into crowded bars & restaurants.

In Istanbul, our host picked us up from the airport and when I noticed there was coffee but no coffee maker, she dropped everything and gave us a full presentation on how to make an authentic Turkish Coffee. You’d never get that type of care in a hotel!

Air BnB calls themselves a ‘community marketplace’, which is a good descriptor of the brand. At Blade, we believe in building brand communities – and that a community is the centre of a bigger brand ecosystem.

Air BnB is a perfect example of this, they’ve built themselves over time, while staying fresh, relevant and while also keeping the art of storytelling at the core of its brand DNA.

Air BnB Pineapple MagazineThe brand recently rebranded with a fresh new logo and website update that makes browsing for accommodations easier and more fun with large photos that give you a peek right into your future homestay. Air BnB is also launching a print magazine, Pineapple, that will be distributed to 18,000 host homes. Each issue will feature hosts and travelling stories from members of the brand community.

Air BnB started as an online accommodations site for travellers, and has grown to a strong global community.

Accommodations are among the most important things that can make or break anyone’s trip. If you haven’t used Air BnB yet, I would recommend visiting their site and looking into your options for your next vacation.


Michele Manila

Originally from San Francisco, but now one of Toronto's own, Michele is a dedicated and active Account Service professional who knows that the relationships built between agency and client are just as important as the relationships between the client and their brand community.

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