I just finished watching Airbnb’s live webcast unveiling their new brand identity. Over 13,000 people across 78 countries watched with me. The creators, Brian, Joe, and Nate (That’s right…we’re on a first name basis), wanted a way to express the meaning of Airbnb and celebrate the global community it has become. They wanted the brand to be identifiable with a symbol, and it needed to be something simple, universal, and something anyone can draw anywhere. Introducing, the Bélo - a universal symbol of Belonging.
The symbol represents 4 core ideas: People, Places, Love, & Airbnb.
To explain how they developed this idea, they shared a series of touching stories, including one of how a man trapped in his home during a period of civil unrest, received several calls from past guests to check on his safety, even before his own mother called. They also developed this touching animation to tell the story behind the symbol.
Read about the rebranding by Wear Design Studio. Very Cool.
If you think about it, Airbnb is nothing short of remarkable. Before its creation, for most people the thought of traveling and staying with strangers in their home was unfathomable. Today, for many travelers, myself included, it’s the only way to go. For hosts, it can be a vulnerable experience to open your home to strangers whether it’s your full time residence or not. But home-by-home, Airbnb has created a culture that erodes the sense of fear and, in the words of Brian, tells “the world to trust again." The Bélo draws on the idea that you can travel anywhere and belong.
Along with their new look, they have unveiled a beautiful new website and mobile app with some great new features. The one I’m most excited about is the "Discover" feature that allows you to explore places to visit, even if you don’t know where you want to go.
The other big feature for travelers is the "Neighborhood" section on each listing. It allows the hosts to visually highlight their favorite neighborhood spots.
Finally, there is the “Create”feature, a way for you to design your own Belo and offer your Airbnb story to share on their community board.
To help celebrate this delightful news release, I thought I’d share some of my favorite places we have stayed using Airbnb. These hosts have been nothing short of kind, helpful, accommodating, and generous. If you ever stay with them, please let them know I say hello.
Ready to become a host? Check out my blog post“20 Things Every Guest Room Needs + Why These Things Matter”.
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