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News, views and trends...from the worlds of Branding and Naming.


25 Jul 2014

Over 6 million guests used Airbnb in 2013, and 2 million of them were American. Travelers and hosts hail from over 175 countries, and Airbnb added 250,000 properties in 2013.

This week the company launched a new logo design and icon. The “bélo,” as it’s called internally, looks like an upper-case “A” that has the familiar symbol for location on a map inside. The icon was created in partnership with a U.K.-based Design Studio, and Airbnb hopes that it will better represent its ambitions as a global hospitality brand.

The new logo became a viral sensation with lots of chuckles about similarities to inappropriate body parts.

For the record, I personally like the new design and the re-designed web site is superb.

Yet, amidst all the brouhaha about the new design, no one has complained about the name.

It’s a clunky 4 syllable idea that communicates something that just plainly isn’t true. Think about it “air b & b – bed and breakfast”. Surely there’s very few if any of the current 550,000 Airbnb listings that even offer breakfast.

The name ‘Airbnb’ conjures up an image of some sort of converted Boeing 737 New Hampshire bed and breakfast complete with chintzy furnishings run by a  ‘lovely couple in their 50s’ (we’ll call them Harold and Maude).  Maude wears a flowered apron and Harold a tasteful green cardigan.  Both talk too much at breakfast while you’re trying to get your caffeine buzz off the bad Maxwell House coffee and catch up on Mashable headlines on your iPad.

Airbnb is such a good idea and a bastion of the sharing economy, it’s going to continue to find success despite its name.

POSTED BY: want | IN: Blog
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