Airbnb has become a household name mainly through its PR and marketing practices.
Its core service, online reservations for short-term rentals, isn’t unique. Others, such as VBO.com, HomeAway and even Craigslist, post short-term rentals. Instead, Airbnb become top of mind through PR.
Here are six key elements of Airbnb’s success:
1. A foundation story. The story of a company’s foundation provides a key PR message. Struggling to pay their rent, roommates Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia rented out their San Francisco apartment to designers visiting for a business conference. The roommates then created a simple website, airbedandbreakfast.com, and offered airbeds and a homemade breakfast for $80 a night. After their first three guests, they really realized their possibilities. The foundation story of how they turned a mattress into a multibillion-dollar business provides an example other entrepreneurs can use to reach their own target audience.
Lesson: An interesting foundation story woven into PR and promotions accents distinctiveness, builds credibility and sticks in the memory.