Airbnb: Every time a brand logo changes, people get miffed
This past week hotel alternative, Airbnb announced a massive redesign to its website and mobile apps, but the big news was their new modern logo. Many graphic designers say it looks like various female private parts (butts, etc.), but others say it looks like a paper clip. Check out the 15 second video below. Pull your mind out of the gutter and make the call on what you think it is...
Why Airbnb's redesign is all about people, not places http://t.co/iXVdh9QNKT
— WIRED (@WIRED) July 17, 2014
When Starbucks did their logo change a few years back, people were miffed. Yahoo did the same thing and miffed people. Why do people care so much about a logo?
Does a logo change the way a product tastes, works, or performs? That old saying, "a monkey in a suit is still a monkey" seems to apply with brand logo changes.
A new logo is not branding. A new logo is a piece of branding. Airbnb already has an audience and they are redesigning their brand to target their audience more and attract more people. Yes, the logo looks like a lot of things, but it will stick. Airbnb is not a hotel chain and they do not have strong competition. They can do what they want...as long as their people continue to believe in what they do AND that is to create belonging.
A good logo means something. Airbnb's logo is a "Belo" and it stands for belonging, which is what drives Airbnb as a company. They now allow you to make your own Airbnb logo and put it on a coffee mug, your window, website, etc. You can feel like you belong because you can tell your story and welcome other people into your home with the new logo...
Airbnb is building a community of people who feel comfortable staying in stranger's houses or apartments when they travel. They are building tribes and trust. I witnessed it when I did a tour of their San Francisco office last month. When people are uncomfortable with what you are doing, often times it is because you are doing something right.
A brand that builds trust can build big things. If their leaders have the guts and persistence to stick out the criticism, the new logo will last. Airbnb is still Airbnb, but their current customers will trust them more and new customers will want to know them more. The HR Hound gives Airbnb a thumbs up. Haters will always hate. Ignore them.