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Airbnb Just Schooled You on Brand AuthenticityJuly - 2014

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Some might argue that “being authentic” is Marketing 101 or the strategy du jour – but the truth is most brands talk about being authentic, but don’t walk that talk.

There was much chatter about Airbnb’s recent rebrand centered on logo design. I’ll leave that up to Marcom types to debate. Instead, let’s focus on big picture marketing – the brand experience.

Just this week Airbnb showed what Comcast couldn’t – that customer experience speaks more about your brand than any logo or ad campaign.

Daniel Nardicio posted the following Airbnb listing for a “cute cabana on Fire Island for four” and it seemed perfectly innocent…until you saw the photo (NSFW).

Now Airbnb could have handled this any number of ways, but as evident by its response the brand demonstrated authenticity, personality and communicated in a conversational tone. Simple right? Absolutely, but too often brands don’t make this core to their experience (training, operations, sales, products, marketing, etc.).

Thanks Airbnb for showing us how to be authentic.

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