Airbnb’s new booking policy is smart. How the company advertised it is awesome

Airbnb recently announced a host of new features in its Summer 2022 press release. Airbnb categories are the most prominent in the article, a feature that makes it easy to discover unique spaces that can transport you to a different time, place, or reality. You can live like kings in a 15th century castlego dutch in a windmillor even sleep in a 6 ton potato or maybe a shoe.

The categories aren’t the real star of the show, however, as Airbnb wanted you to believe. This honor goes to Air Cover, which was announced with much less fanfare. It’s a feature that could really change the way we travel, as well as increase Airbnb’s market share and generate millions of dollars in additional revenue every year. But the $113 billion the home-sharing platform didn’t necessarily want AirCover front and center for good reason. In fact, for a brilliant reason that companies often overlook.

Reduce risk, reduce reluctance

The new policy helps protect customers and provide free assistance in finding new accommodation or a refund if there is a problem with their booking. For example, if a guest is locked out after a host cancels at the last minute or does not hand over keys upon check-in. Or, maybe guests are checking in to find the place shabby or just completely different from its pictures.

As a P2P marketplace, Airbnb cannot eliminate these types of issues. The new coverage helps, but it doesn’t completely eliminate the risks of booking with Airbnb rather than a traditional hotel. In other words, it shines a light on Airbnb’s shortcomings, reminding the world of its dark side.

Avoid advertising defects as selling points

Airbnb has changed the way we travel. This has opened the door to a dream vacation where you can feel like home away from home. This has made the market more versatile, and with more options at your fingertips, travel has become a little easier on the wallet. But as awesome as it is, anyone who’s ever booked an Airbnb also knows that every booking comes with some degree of risk. An accident and Airbnb can quickly become a headache, if not an absolute nightmare.

But as clearly necessary as AirCover protection is for travelers, Airbnb had to address a challenge that many companies face: how to effectively promote change that highlights a glaring problem facing the company. After all, by announcing that updating its terms reduces risk to customers, it sends the message that its bookings are risky – something some may not have considered and no company wants to do. of advertising.

The neat part of Airbnb’s ad strategy is how it pairs AirCover with more glossy features that more effectively capture audiences’ attention. It focuses on exciting changes that emphasize its main selling point – worldwide access to incredibly unusual locations. In doing so, it induces excitement while alleviating any doubts or friction around taking the leap to stay in a potato. After all, you can’t be left in the dirt anymore, but you can have an experience like no other.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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