To Get Airbnb's Strategy Right, the Brand Had to Acknowledge What Was Wrong

Global head of marketing Hiroki Asai explains what led the homeshare giant back to its roots

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When a traveler rents a room from a host who’s not only present, but prepares the occasional meal and offers tips and guidance in an unfamiliar location, an Airbnb functions more like a bed and breakfast.

When an absentee owner rents their space through a property manager and limits contact to a lengthy cloud-based list of chores and fees, Airbnb guests are left to vent their frustrations into the air.

As more professional hosts entered Airbnb’s mix and prices rose closer to those of competing hotels, researchers discovered that travelers grew less tolerant of Airbnb’s idiosyncrasies.

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