Your company’s brand is what your customers see, feel and are attracted to (or not). Whether they are able to vividly express themselves, or struggle to, after seeing your brand it will give them a sudden feeling that will either make them gravitate to you or retract.
Today, Airbnb launched their new brand (read the full Fast Company article here) and I absolutely love it! I’ve read the article and watched the video five times…in one day! I’ve been bullish on Airbnb for years now and have stayed with them several times so I’m not an inexperienced promoter. Nor do I hold stock (I wish I did).
Customer experience and branding go hand in hand. Similar to how an employee will make you feel warm and fuzzy (or not) your brand will do the same thing. For me, Airbnb’s new brand has a purpose far greater than driving revenue. As Brian Chesky (Co-founder & CEO) describes,
“The brand shouldn’t say we’re about community, or our international [reach], or renting homes–it’s about belonging.”
Branding isn’t only about what font you use or what hue of green your branding expert suggests; it’s about bridging the gap between what your company represents, stands for and its meaning.
Customers are attracted to brands with a mission of taking care of people. After reading this article, I’m far more bullish on Airbnb than I am on Uber. This is solely because I feel that Airbnb’s purpose is to genuinely take care of people more so than Uber’s. Don’t get me wrong, Uber’s focus on logistics and innovation will put them in a position to succeed but I question whether their CEO (Travis Kalanick) obsesses over the people who help grow the business (drivers and users).
If a company has a mission that is more than self serving agendas then the revenue and market share will follow. Airbnb’s new brand exemplifies where their priorities stand; the challenge is now executing on that vision. Their new appearance will allow them to enter new markets that the founders of Airbnb hold close to their chest which will ultimately increase market value. It’s a win, win.
Whether you are a small business or fortune 500 company, take a look at your brand, share it with friends and family and ask them, “how does this make you feel?”
What brands make you feel something?
Here are some other exerts from the Fast Company post:
- “This new branding changes the whole identity and expression of the company.”
- On the logo: “It’s a symbol anyone can create, whether drawn on a mirror or etched in the sand”…”Every single person can have their own impression of the brand.”
- “Most brands would send you a cease-and-desist letter if you tried to recreate their brand”…”We wanted to do the opposite.”