Wednesday, December 13

Mister B&B Enters the Market


I always find it fascinating to see a brand enter a category, reinvent it, and then constantly shape it.

Airbnb completely reinvented the “hotel” category, not only in what a “stay” looks like but also how travelers book a stay.

We’ve studied Airbnb in my NYU class quite a bit and there’s an exercise that I like to do where we brainstorm how a brand disruptor could continually expand their brand either into other categories or other parts of their current category. But sometimes it isn’t the brand originator who does the expanding and shaping...sometimes other brands come along and take the work the originator created and build a unique business based upon it.

Which is exactly what Mister B&B has done.

Mister B&B created an “Airbnb” for gay travelers, but they are no way affiliated with Airbnb. It’s a completely new brand building off of what Airbnb has done. They’ve just taken that model and reshaped it for a specific kind of traveler who might be looking for specific travel needs. Like safety, or non-discrimination, or meeting like-minded individuals.

And BTW, I love the name! And by the read of their tagline, "#1 gay hotelier in the world," it looks like they're off and running!

It’s quite brilliant, actually, and makes me wonder why Airbnb didn’t do it themselves. In fact, in one of my NYU classes the students came up with this very idea...along with doing Airbnb for singles, couples, families, etc. Specific needs for specific travelers.

Could be Airbnb doing all of these or it could be new competitors. Either way, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of these kinds of brands entering the space.

Mister B&B! Welcome! What’s your experience? JIM

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