In the world of travel, there has been no speedier up-and-comer than Airbnb. In their entire seven years of partially unofficial existence, they've grown into a multi-billion dollar company, leaving travelers everywhere unable to avoid the suggestion, "Oh, you should check Airbnb. I know they'll have a great place you could stay." And these people are right. The site has the visual appeal of a boutique hotel's with the simplicity of Google.
People are intrigued by the idea of 'living like a local'– knowing a local's favorite restaurant, bars, hangouts, and being able to return to a homey environment at the end of their day. In a way, it's very intimate. You're often renting someone's actual home, their real living space, and as we all know the importance of our homes, you're essentially immersing yourself in someone else's life. You're belonging. And this is why their new tagline is "Belong Anywhere."
Airbnb launched a brand new redesign yesterday, and decided to jump in riiiight in the spot where community meets individual. Their introduction to the new branding puts it nicely:
"For so long, people thought Airbnb was about renting houses. But really, we’re about home. You see, a house is just a space, but a home is where you belong. And what makes this global community so special is that for the very first time, you can belong anywhere.
That is the idea at the core of our company: belonging."
Meet the Bélo.
It stands for four things: people, places, love, and Airbnb, and it was created specifically for the company. Metaphorically, it's a very versatile symbol. It can stand for the continuous nature of community as one large entangled connection. It can reflect a person being introduced and newly involved in an existing network, or it can represent a physical location in the middle of a neighborhood.
It's simple, easy to reproduce, and Airbnb has truly incorporated it's customer community by providing a way to make your own Bélo. Airbnb isn't a detached company, strictly defining its branding guidelines. It is the community, and the community is it. Without people, Airbnb couldn't exist.
The site also got a bit of a facelift, with a lot of the existing structure staying the same. The new homepage really lets the experiences do the talking, with a video header background, and phenomenal photographs of Airbnb locations below.
Seems like it's become less of a site for executing accommodation reservations and more of a place to find a crumb of inspiration to visit a place. That's what it's all about, right? Someone on Airbnb says, "Come live my life. Here's what it looks like." and we get excited and say "Okay, we'll be there. See you soon!" It's this really fascinating little community.
We're loving the new redesign, but what do you think?
More information (and the photos above) on Airbnb's blog.