When it comes to company rebranding, few examples are more iconic and successful than Airbnb. The housing company initially had a relatively simple logo and visual identity, but in 2014, they decided to undertake a complete transformation. Here’s the story of Airbnb’s iconic rebranding and what tactics it used to do it.
The original Airbnb logo identity
Airbnb is an online platform that allows people to rent accommodation or share their homes with other travelers. Founded in 2008, Airbnb has become one of the largest and most popular temporary housing communities in the world.
Before rebranding, the Airbnb logo was the simple white lettering of the name, the swollen, soft letters, surrounded by blue. A lightweight, cute logo, but one that lacked depth and personality. That logo represented the company since 2008, but Airbnb was looking to move from a small startup to a global housing sharing platform, and its logo had to reflect this ambition.
To do so, he decided to actively engage his global community in the rebranding process. The Airbnb team invited community members to share their thoughts on what the platform stood for. In addition, users were also invited to suggest ideas for the new logo. This tactic made them participate in the process, increasing the sense of belonging and connection with the brand. The community has strengthened even more.
Iconic rebranding with the new logo: Bélo
In 2014, six years after the birth of the platform, the new logo arrived. Airbnb’s most daring tactic was the introduction of a new logo called "Bélo". This logo has deep symbolism. In fact, it represents a person, an A for Airbnb, the geotag symbol and a stylized house, all enclosed in a circle. Airbnb explained that the name "Bélo" comes from the words "belong" and "believe", indicating the company’s desire to create connections and trust between travelers and hosts.
The broadening of the message
Airbnb used rebranding to expand its message and mission. He emphasized the concept of "belonging" and the fact that, wherever I went, thanks to Airbnb you felt at home. This message was deeper and more human than the initial transaction-centric approach.
The rebranding of Airbnb was a resounding success. The new "Bélo" logo has become recognizable worldwide, and the message of belonging and trust has resonated with millions of users. Airbnb has grown enormously, from a startup to one of the largest housing sharing platforms in the world.
Airbnb’s rebranding is an extraordinary example of how a company can successfully transform itself through a new visual identity and a deeper message. They engaged their community, created a distinctive logo, and expanded their mission, all of which helped position them as leaders in their industry. This case study demonstrates that a well-planned and accurately executed rebranding can have a lasting impact on a company’s success.
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