As some of you may have seen the seemingly controversial yet canny home hosting enterprise that is taking over the world of property rentals, they have recently rebranded themselves causing quite the influx of mixed emotions across the web. The first page of Google search results alone is quite entertaining. Airbnb came out of the wings strutting their new logo last week along with a compelling brand video that tells their story as a company. The rebranding of Airbnb is something they haven’t done since the first door was opened in 2007 and as we all have seen, it has not come without its hiccups … or has it?
Twitter user put it best when he/she said … “My $$$ business idea – focus groups of 12 year old boys. If they giggle at your logo/branding then don’t use it.”
The new logo, seen above, has had notably questionable acceptance, as many see it as none other than something out of a middle school boy’s notebook. Sexual connotations aside, to pin failure or success on this rebrand is a little premature. Remember Starbucks 2011 logo simplification and Microsoft’s streamline approach across its many products. Success. Or the 2012 London Olympics radical, unclear, and downright confusing logo, and also the boring, homemade Gap logo that was released at Christmas in 2010 but was reverted back to the original logo in an astonishing 6 days. Fails.
But, if we’ve learned anything from our marketing predecessors, getting the public talking isn’t always a bad thing. And that’s the point of this post. Take Free People, the high end clothing manufacturer. A recent launch of a line of dance-wear was accompanied with a campaign video featuring what was said to be a “professional dancer” but who was blatantly untrained and undeserving of that title, says the professional dance industry. Instant social media uproar and consumer criticism was everywhere, from news feeds to blog posts, but there’s the catch. People were talking about it… everywhere.
A seemingly “failed” branding attempt got everyone talking and the news of Free People was heard loud and clear. Time will tell if Airbnb’s rebranding was an avid success or a comical fail, but give them a little credit for getting the bloggers, tweeters, and social media butterflies buzzing. Because isn’t that what we want as marketers and advertisers—to be noticed? Whether you giggled at the logo yourself or you appreciated the brand story behind it, you took notice of the change.
Airbnb & Marketers, alike – 1. Naysayers- 0.