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  • The New Look of Airbnb
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Airbnb’s New Look

Airbnb has been in the press a lot lately. Hotel lobbyists are fighting against the apartment rental company in protest of cheap apartments for rent in places like New York City that take away from the profits hotels could be making. Plus, the company has tried out some new things that didn’t quite take off (like dinner prepared by a random stranger). So, the company is doing what all companies must do at some point – they’re trying to revamp the Airbnb image beginning with a new logo, new site design, and new way to navigate through Airbnb listings.

The New Emphasis

Airbnb’s marketing department wants guests to feel like you belong in the city that you are about to visit. In fact, the whole site has been redesigned around the concept of “belonging.” If you check out Airbnb now, you will see the following changes have taken place:

1 Stronger emphasis placed on photos
2 A new logo called “Belo” which means “belonging”
3 A way to create your own Airbnb symbol using site tools
4 Listings at the bottom of each rental that show nearby restaurants and other attractions
5 A better overall explanation of each property – clearly labeled and organized

The biggest change, though, is the new logo for the company because it’s not just a logo. Airbnb is trying to create a symbol that stands for the company – much like a hotel chain has a logo that people automatically associate with that particular brand. So, you might say that Airbnb has now branded itself.

The Real Differences

The new Airbnb logo looks like an upside-down heart, but some people are comparing it to other body parts and logos that already exist. I’m also not so sure that the branding of the company is going to work the way that Airbnb wants it to. Will people create their own Airbnb brand by using the new stickers and paint tools available on this site? That might be a reach, in this writer’s opinion. But the emphasis on trying to make the overall experience better for users is a good thing. It’s now simpler to see what an apartment really looks like, and it’s easier to see what the benefits and drawbacks of a property are.

Overall, the new site design is nice, and it’s clear that Airbnb wants their symbol to be a thing with travelers that use the site all over the world. But the company might have to do something about that logo, since a lot of criticism has been piling up over the way it looks, and the fact that it’s almost identical to the “Automation Anywhere” logo. I doubt the logo rip-off was intentional, but it’s not something that’s sitting well with users, and it should have been carefully screened and reviewed prior to the big reveal. If you do use Airbnb, you will see a difference right away. If not, well, welcome to a better way to rent an apartment in a foreign city!

What are your impressions of the new logo?