NEW YORK: Airbnb, the online travel marketplace, believes that its commitment to taking a public stand on certain political issues that are pertinent to its brand is an essential way of expressing its core values.

Kim Rubey, global head/social impact and philanthropy at Airbnb, discussed this subject during a session at the 2018 Techonomy NYC conference

And whether it is running ads that embrace tolerance and openness, championing destinations that have been unfairly maligned by political leaders, or helping displaced people, Airbnb has made its views on several hot-button topics very clear.

The company, Rubey observed, has witnessed push back among some consumer pockets in response to its assertions in favor of tolerance and cosmopolitanism.

“To the extent that people disagree with positions or stances we’ve taken, the way they express themselves can be really antagonistic and kind of rattling in some regards,” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How Airbnb mixes brand-building and politics.)

While this rancor may cause some marketers to worry about reducing their prospective audience, Airbnb thinks such vocal opponents are unlikely to buy into its mission. “The flip-side of that is they know exactly where we stand,” Rubey said.

“And, for all intents and purposes, if they don’t believe in the ethos of our form of travel [and] our form of hospitality, they’re probably not going to be great guests or great hosts. So for them to make other choices when they travel is absolutely fine with us.”

In further evidence for such a claim, she revealed that an otherwise data-focused company relaxes this emphasis for particular matters of principle.

“For us, writ large, this is the one area where we’re not focused on measurement and we’re not so metrics-obsessed,” Rubey said. “There’s just a whole bucket of things where it’s the right thing to do and that drives the decision-making.”

With such a public posture, the enterprise, she continued, has realized an unequivocal benefit for the brand in terms of recruiting and retaining talent.

“One area that is a real standout though is employees consistently say that our work to help those in need and the stances we take on policy issues is the number one reason they choose to work at Airbnb,” Rubey said.

Sourced from WARC