By Mylena Vazquez
A value proposition is arguably the single most important statement that a company creates and disseminates to its customers. It serves as a method of persuasion, a way to communicate to your customers the reasons why they should choose your company over your competitors. More importantly, your value proposition is the promise you make to your customers about the value that they can expect to receive if they choose your company.
In the case of Airbnb, they have double the promises to keep. Airbnb has two target audiences to which they have to deliver value. On the one hand, there are the hosts—all 4 million of them. For hosts, Airbnb presents huge benefits. First, hosts can rent out their spaces to generate extra income. In this day and age, there is a lot of talk about the benefits of income diversification, side hustles, and the like. For people who are willing to rent out their homes to strangers, Airbnb serves as the avenue through which people can do just that. In fact, some Airbnb hosts have even made this a lucrative full-time job.
For hosts, Airbnb also minimizes the risk associated with renting your home to someone you don’t know. In terms of monetary safety, Airbnb serves as the secure intermediary between guest and host. If either party is not satisfied with the experience, they can turn to Airbnb to resolve the issue, one way or another. Additionally, the Airbnb platform is designed in such a way that the personal safety concerns that existed in this area are significantly reduced. This is because both guests and hosts are vetted by other members of the community. With Airbnb, hosts can have peace of mind knowing that their homes will be safe.
Low cost, high value
The largest audience for Airbnb is obviously guests. The company has hosted one billion people all over the world through their platform. For guests, the most obvious benefit of choosing Airbnb over a traditional hotel is the price. When my family and I went on vacation to Spain a few years back, we did not stay at a single hotel—we only stayed at Airbnbs. It was less expensive to rent a two-room Airbnb for the four of us than it would have been to rent a single room in a traditional hotel. This is one of the huge value propositions of Airbnb: being able to find accommodations for larger groups at a fraction of the cost.
Live like a local
Apart from the low prices and large spaces, one of the greatest things about staying at an Airbnb is the sense of connection it allows you to build, almost instantaneously, with the place you are visiting and the people who live there. At every stop in our trip to Spain, the owner of the Airbnb or one of their family members personally greeted us. They recommended restaurants, told us about events, talked to us like friends, and even guided us through the city. This is something no concierge at a traditional hotel can imitate.
All of these unique elements come together to create a value proposition for Airbnb’s target customers that really works—the data speaks for itself. At the end of the day, it is like Harold S. Geneen says, “It is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises—but only performance is reality.” And it is clear that Airbnb’s performance has lived up to its value proposition promises.
Do you prefer to stay at Airbnbs or traditional hotels? What is the unique value proposition of your choice that persuades you one way versus the other?