You get to live like a native, whether that's in not-yet-gentrified Bronx, New York or some exotic land. Instead of gawking you are a part of.
You bet, the Airbnb branding is all about belonging. And the term "tourist" is as yesterday as "certainty."
That successful formula has totally caught on.
Traditional hotels are now struggling to create a sense of being the hub of a neighborhood. And, the help wanted boards are full of ads for "locals" to uncover and write about the ethos of those seven blocks surrounding Hotel X or Y. And beyond.
Real estate agencies are doing likewise. They are positioning and packaging House A or House B in a setting with so much that's unique. You can only be part of that if you purchase that house. They also are hiring "locals" to conjure up that ambiance.
Here is how Forbes has analyzed this phenomenon.
But, come on, everyone in marketing knows that tactic is nothing new.
The game to make prospects feel like insiders is as old as the serpent's pitch to Eve in the Garden of Paradise. The snake got it that Eve wanted in on what was really going on with the entity who oversaw the territory. Bliss wasn't enough.
The whole gossip industry operates on that promise of letting outsiders feel they belong in the lives of the brandname personalities.
What is new is that more folks who need to peddle something are leveraging this approach. They label it "connecting" or "emotionally bonding." More often than not it's done badly.
The now-usual example of that is the client who wants us to pull off the impossible, on a small budget. He or she will let us in on supposed industry secrets and dirt about the players. However, the marketplace has shifted to transactional or a project economy from long-term relational. Internally we roll our eyes. No bonding here, thank you.
Warning: Not everyone yearns to wander inside. They include the myriad Accidental Tourists, purchasers of real estate for investment and professionals who want to get in and out fast on an assignment. The Airbnb template can lose you the sale or high-quality work.
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