Airbnb, which facilitates brief home rentals in 190 countries, has unveiled a new logo and site redesign this afternoon as the brand wants to achieve more of a global appeal.
To some, the logo/trademark looks like a playful, upside-down heart, which the San Francisco-based digital company dubbed "Belo"—operating under the premise that travelers enjoy bed-and-breakfast-styled accommodations over a hotel because they make people feel as if they belong in a local sense. It will appear in a variety of colors, and Airbnb users are invited to personalize the mark with creativity of their own.
Update: But by late Wednesday, bloggers had begun to state that they believed the logo looks like a vagina (or even a stolen vagina), while other publications refuted such a claim. (You got to love the Internet.) Adweek reached out to the brand's team about the social media development but has yet to get a reaction.
At any rate, the website remake includes a new "Airbnb create" section that aims to make the user experience more personality driven, allowing homeowners larger and more customized photo units, new typefaces and color schemes for their pages. Airbnb.com now clearly emphasizes the idea of the so-called aspirational consumer.
And CMO Jonathan Mildenhall, who joined the digital player in May after it poached him from beverages giant Coca-Cola, said the mark/logo design, in particular, is meant to underscore tech creativity.
"If you look at iconic nature of Nike Swoosh and Starbucks' [trademark] and Coca-Cola and the ribbon, they have beautiful symobology that talks to [their] story," Mildenhall said. "Airbnb's old brand didn’t go beyond the word 'Airbnb,' so we needed to look at ideology of belonging."
Below are images demonstrating the brand's makeover.