Get All Access for $5/mo

Airbnb, Why the New Logo? The accommodation-rental site relaunched its website and rolled out a new logo. The logo, in particular, has been met with some pretty vitriolic feedback.

By Catherine Clifford

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Airbnb just rolled out a new logo and website design. But why right now? The company is going strong, worth upwards of $10 billion, involved in some highly controversial legal battles and then there's the fact that rebrandings always draw criticisms. (Yahoo, anyone?) The Internet did not disappoint -- especially when it came to the logo design. And in some cases, the comments are downright crude.

OK, so what's behind the logo? What was Airbnb thinking?

The Bélo, as Airbnb has named its new logo, is intended to be a symbol of "belonging," according to co-founder of the San Francisco-based company, Brian Chesky.

Related: The Future of the Sharing Economy Is a World Built Like Bitcoin

Airbnb Logo Explanation

The symbol itself is a combination of four simple symbols: a head to represent people, a location icon to represent place, a heart for love and then an A for Airbnb. A video (embedded below) explains the geometry of Airbnb's logo.

The three co-founders of Airbnb spent the last year -- a year in which they have been fighting some very impassioned legal battles -- trying to boil down their company's core mission. They decided to focus on "belonging," the idea that through their service, a traveler can feel at home anywhere.

"You see, a house is just a space, but a home is where you belong. And what makes this global community so special is that for the very first time, you can belong anywhere," says Chesky. "The rewards you get from Airbnb aren't just financial -- they're personal --for hosts and guests alike."

Related: Airbnb Co-Founder: If Rejection Slows You Down, Entrepreneurship Isn't For You

As part of the initiative, Airbnb is inviting members of its community to create their own version of the Airbnb logo. (Perhaps this wasn't a great idea, after a Tumblr blog was created to mock the logo.)

The new Airbnb pitch is unabashedly tugging at heart strings, focusing the rebranding on the people in the community and the people who use the service. It does, I have to admit, kind of work. I felt some feels reading about the founder's experiences.

"I met Amol, one of the first guests, who later invited me to his wedding in India. I met Sebastian, who was trapped in his house in the middle of the London riots in 2011. Before his own mother had a chance to check that he was okay, seven of his former guests did. And I met Shell, who saw the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy and listed her home for free to those who were displaced," says Chesky.

Those emotional renderings, though, are going to do nothing for the very real legal battles Airbnb is currently embroiled in. Those regulatory battles are particularly intense in New York City, where the New York Attorney General subpoenaed the personal information of New York City hosts.

Related: Airbnb Piloting Dinner Party Program for Complete Strangers

And as much as Airbnb wants to pull at emotional heartstrings, the $10 billion company still has some very complicated, and potentially lengthy, regulatory battles to wrangle.
Catherine Clifford

Frequently covers crowdfunding, the sharing economy and social entrepreneurship.

Catherine Clifford is a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Catherine attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. Email her at CClifford@entrepreneur.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

How to Be a Billionaire By 25, According to a College Dropout Turned CEO Worth $1.6 Billion

Austin Russell became the world's youngest self-made billionaire in 2020 at age 25.

Living

Taylor Swift Has a Lucky Number. And She's Not the Only High Performer Who Leans Into Superstitions to Boost Confidence.

Even megastars like Swift need a little extra something to get them in the right mindset when it is game time.

Career

These 3 Big Tech Companies Offer 6-Figure Salaries and Easy Interviews — Especially If You Follow This Expert's Advice

There are far more candidates than positions, so being strategic on the job hunt is key.

Marketing

SEO Trends You Need to Be Aware of Right Now, According to a Seasoned Pro

Navigate the future of search engine optimization to elevate your online presence and drive meaningful engagement.

Health & Wellness

4 Habits I Cultivated to Become a Healthier, More Effective Entrepreneur

By the time I hit mid-life, some of my bad habits were becoming a risk to my long-term business goals — and my health. Here's how I was able to change them.