AirBnB needs no introduction. As you would know, it is an online marketplace for short-term rentals worldwide. The magic that separates an AirBnB stay from a hotel stay is an adventure enriched by cultural authenticity. There is also a warm cozy home feel that a hotel just doesn’t quite have.
Airbnb has certainly staked their place in the hospitality industry with a solid marketing strategy and a stellar brand strategy everyone should take notes from.
5 Cool Lessons We Can Learn from AirBnB’s Marketing Strategy
Build A Community To Grow With
Building a community is one of the most valuable things you can do for your brand, and it has been a major component in the AirBnB branding strategy. Creating a community to share stories, experiences and information builds trust and forms relationships that attracts loyal customers.
AirBnB clearly puts a lot of effort into maintaining and building onto their community by being on nearly every digital channel. It also leverages user-generated content, allowing AirBnB to present content that keeps the community up-to-date and establishes trust and authority in the brand.
The community also provides the company with valuable direct feedback on customer satisfaction to guide any changes that need to be made. It keeps their loyal customers included in any major company shifts, such as rebranding.
This creates excitement for customers because it gives them something new to look forward to and acknowledges their voice to give them significance. Everyone looks for a place to belong, and AirBnB has become a home away from home for many.
Entice Consumers With High-Quality Photography
A picture is worth one thousand words. AirBnB certainly thinks so. It did not take long for the company to realise that marketing with high-quality photography drastically increased their booking conversion.
The AirBnB marketing strategy spends more on production than promotion because great quality yields more engagement. AirBnB believes this so much that they launched the AirBnB Photography Program for hosts to book professional photography sessions to produce high-quality content for marketing their rentals.
People cannot help but enjoy looking at pretty things. However, a fabulous photograph does so much more for marketing than just drawing attention. A high-quality picture creates an inspiring and exciting vision that customers can see themselves in, and that is what entices them to book their stays with AirBnB.
Give Value to Get Value
The AirBnB marketing strategy revolves around going above and beyond to give their guests an experience that can match, if not exceed, a hotel stay. Guests have access to detailed knowledge of local hidden gems, great places to get a bite, and transportation recommendations. All of this is available while also providing the comfort of staying in a place to call home for a week or two.
By doing all of this, AirBnB is able to share their values of multiculturalism, diversity, and a love for traveling with their customers, which is what keeps them coming back and appreciating the value.
AirBnB branding has also been known to partake in totally unexpected campaigns that remain aligned to the brand’s message. A perfect example of this is their campaign for lucky winners to have a dream-come-true stay at the Lego House in Denmark. This was an amazing way to give value to their fans while driving engagement and justifying plenty of media coverage for the company.
People love a surprise when it gives them what they want; otherwise, it is considered a problem. The best way to avoid problems is by setting great expectations which can be successfully met with a strong understanding of consumer learning. It is imperative for customers to know what to expect and what is expected from them to ensure they have a pleasant experience that meets their expectations.
Communicating expectations and any changes as frequently and as early as possible reduces the chance of disappointing your customers. AirBnB sets expectations with their customers by providing guidelines for hosts to meet an acceptable quality of hospitality and by allowing hosts to upload “House Rules” for guests to abide by on their stay.
Another way the company has set expectations for their fans and community was by priming everyone for their decision to rebrand. They dropped hints of the coming changes so fans would not be blindsided and established a two-way social dialogue to bring fans into the fold.
They also maintained control of the narrative to decrease any misunderstandings the public may have had for the company’s rebranding. AirBnB was careful to not make any promises along the way that would set any expectations higher than they intended to deliver.
Maintain A Student Mentality
The day you stop learning is the day you stop growing, and if your company is not growing you will want to change something. AirBnB has a team of data scientists who test the market and measure their digital and traditional marketing channels to maximise their return on investment.
By adopting a system for experimentation and studying their data and performance metrics, AirBnB is able to expedite the time it takes to learn the needs and wants of their target audience. Basically, your data and performance metrics give you a logical way to determine what the best marketing channel is for you at any given time.
Effective use of these 5 branding tips learned from AirBnB’s impressive success will allow you to create a brand capable of receiving lots of love and support from consumers. Branding is a highly involved process that has one simple goal: adopt a vision people want to support. AirBnB has made such a successful brand by simply believing in their values with a passion and sharing those passionate values with their customers.