Airbnb gets glossy with new print magazine
Airbnb, the popular online website and community for renting lodging, made a bit of an unlikely move and announced in a press release on November 17th that it was going to steer it’s brand in a new direction: that of print media.
Their new quarterly print magazine will be called Pineapple (fun fact: aptly named because pineapples were a traditional symbol of hospitality in colonial New England). According to the press release, ‘Pineapple will cover a wide variety of topics-such as culture, art, food and style-from a local’s perspective with neighborhood guides, insider tips, and unique, personal stories.’
Business Insider jokingly calls it a ‘glossy coffee table production’, and others wonder about the necessity of the high quality and advertisement-free endeavor. But a big, glossy magazine full of personal stories and travel recommendations might be exactly what travelers want to see when checking into their temporary home: a connection between their original online experience and the end result. Airbnb’s head of brand creative, Andrew Schapiro, said,
A couple of years ago we mapped out the user journey of the experience of Airbnb hosts, guests and travellers…the realization is the majority of experience [after booking online] is offline in people’s homes or neighbourhoods around the world. So it was a natural transition to tell stories in a printed format.”
If you’re curious, here’s what it’s going to look like:
As with many unexpected moves, there have been mixed reactions after the announcement of the publication. FastCompnay reminded readers,
Whereas Lyft is known for its pink mustaches and even hotel chains like Days Inn have nationally recognizable logos, it’s worth noting that Airbnb has never had such a consistent offline presence. When you arrive at Airbnb, your interaction with the brand itself essentially ends with the app; there’s no Airbnb flag outside the door welcoming you when you check in like there is at, say, a Hilton. That’s finally changing.
“Airbnb’s new magazine isn’t the company’s first effort to bring its brand into the offline world…the company also announced [this summer] a partnership with Zazzle to create Airbnb-branded merchandise…the magazine is another step toward getting consumers to see the Airbnb experience as a lifestyle”
The New York Times quoted travel analyst Henry Harteveldt saying the he believed the magazine effort was misguided. “Investing in sound advertising and customer and host communications, as well as improving its digital channels’ usefulness, ‘are all far more important.'”
A peek inside the first issue:
According to their press release, Airbnb will begin distributing the first Pineapple issue during their Airbnb Open Conference on November 21st, and will then begin issuing 18,000 copies of Pineapple for free to its global hosts. A limited number of copies will be for sale ‘in specialty bookstores, newsstands and boutiques across North America and Europe’.