Airbnb recently rebranded, and while the logo has gotten the most attention (criticism), I think what is more interesting is their new marketing effort called Create Airbnb, where they encourage their customers to tell the stories behind the homes they share on Airbnb. I found this interesting for a few reasons.The human is mightier than the transaction
Keeping with the “bed & breakfast” brand, it emphasizes that you’re sharing a home with a human, not booking a hotel through a faceless transaction. As Airbnb moves closer to going head to head with the hotel industry, it becomes more important to emphasize why you would choose an Airbnb apartment over a hotel.
By getting to know the humans behind the place you’re staying, you can live like a local, and act like you’re in the know.It created champions out of their customers
By giving Airbnb hosts tools to promote themselves and aligning their interests, Airbnb has created a way for them to advertise for Airbnb essentially for free.
When Foursquare first launched, one of their greatest assets was their army of Superusers, who would add and edit venue data for free, in exchange for prestige and status.It created a new type of “content marketing”
The best content is the natural output of a vibrant community, of people who actually care about the cause. By providing their community with tools to express themselves, Airbnb creates content that they couldn’t have created themselves. The Create Airbnb campaign becomes a vessel for personality.
My friend Libby said it well on Twitter that “odds are your users are more compelling than you are.”