vacation rental branding

How to Build Your Vacation Rental Brand in 2024

No matter what type of business you own, it’s important to have a clear branding strategy. A branding strategy will help you define your business and build relationships with your audience while encouraging them to become loyal customers.

Branding brings your business to life by communicating your purpose, values, and message to the market. Vacation rental owners can use branding to convince potential guests to choose their home over another.

But how do you go about creating an effective branding strategy?

In this branding guide for vacation rentals, we’re going to look at why you should implement a vacation rental branding strategy into your business plan, how to achieve it, and what examples you can use for inspiration.

Don’t see the form to download the Ultimate Branding Guide? Click here.

What exactly is a brand?

It’s not just about having a recognizable name or logo to make you stand out in a crowded industry. Your brand is how customers perceive you when they connect with your business—both the impressions you can control and those you can’t.

If you think about it, we all have brands, too. We each have a name, style, and tone of voice, and we make different impressions on people.

Likewise, vacation rental businesses have names, listings, logos, colors, fonts, property styles, and reputations to manage that make up who they are and affect how they’re perceived. Essentially, it’s the gut feeling people get about our vacation rental properties and services.

And although you can’t fully control what potential guests think about you, you can impact it by being consistent and extending your brand to every part of your business.

It all starts with establishing what that consistency is going to look like and the feeling you want it to evoke. If your properties have a rural charm, you might want guests to feel a connection with nature. Or if you target families, bright colors in your logo and pictures of kid-friendly areas in your property might play a big part in your branding.

Why does your vacation rental business need a brand?

There are plenty of reasons to take the time to invest in your vacation rental brand. Your branding goes well beyond colors and logos. Vacation rental branding is vital for your business, and we’re here to tell you why.

1. A brand helps you stand out from the crowd

It can’t be stressed enough: your vacation rental business isn’t the only one in your neighborhood. It might not even be the only one on your street! So the importance of defining your vacation rental brand primarily comes from the need to distinguish yourself from your direct competitors.

If you have a sleek, consistent, and coherent brand across all content (we’re talking copy, photographs, videos, everything) on the channels you use, this becomes your identity and is what guests use to differentiate you.

Guests are faced with endless options for vacation rentals, so it’s important to come up with something persuasive and telling. Not only does your brand name communicate something unique to your audience, but it will help them remember your property.

2. A brand sets expectations

Never forget that your brand also acts as a tool for communication. How you decide to present your vacation rental business from the very outset will help you identify your brand voice, message, and (to an extent) even guest expectations.

Let’s imagine your vacation rental is called “Luxury Apartment.” Without any other information, the name in itself will generate some kind of idea about what you offer.

How to Build a Brand for Your Vacation Rental Business

But names don’t have to be descriptive for you to have a strong brand. After all, Amazon has nothing to do with rivers.

The objective is just to have a great brand that evokes positive experiences and expectations, which leads us to the next point…

3. A brand becomes self-explanatory

In the long term, your brand becomes a synonym for your business and vice versa. Setting out your brand objectives early on only helps prepare you for success in the future. To put it in Matt Landau’s words:

“There’s a reason McDonald’s uses giant yellow arches […]. It’s because a brand is the quickest way to explain what a business has to offer.”

If your vacation rental brand is recognizable, memorable, and has a catchy name, you’re halfway there. If you have a logo that speaks for your business, even better. Both first-time and return guests alike will draw associations between your brand and what it means for them.

There are few people who see a bitten apple these days and don’t immediately think of the technology giant, or a swoosh and the slogan “just do it” without thinking of Nike.

When branding is done well, it speaks volumes for the business.

4. A brand is the basis for your marketing

Defining your vacation rental brand isn’t as simple as choosing a name and a logo. There are many other factors to consider, including color schemes, styles, and design choices across your website.

These choices will, in turn, play a huge role in the marketing of your property. Whether that’s in the creation of a special offer banner you upload to social media, or a local newspaper advertisement, every piece of marketing material should aim to be consistent with your vacation rental website. After all, that is the first and best way travelers interact with your offering.

What’s more, many customers expect consistent experiences when dealing with brands online. Good marketing of your property will bring you more inquiries and more direct bookings, and you can’t achieve this without a sound brand.

5. A brand builds trust and loyalty

81% of consumers say they need to trust a brand before they even consider buying a product. So, great customer service is key.

Featuring reviews on your site also helps to reinforce the trust you’ve built with your guests and strengthens your online credibility. In turn, this all adds to the overall brand ideology you have created.

Return customers

When you provide your guests with great customer service, an easy booking system, clear communication processes, and a beautiful vacation rental, they’re more likely to return to your property time and time again. It’s also likely you’ll encourage word-of-mouth recommendations.

When guests feel comfortable with your brand and know what they can expect out of your business, they’re that much more likely to book with you again in the future.

Future direct bookings

Online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Airbnb or Vrbo bring in a huge yield of bookings. In fact, for many owners, the majority of their bookings come from listing sites. With the right branding, you can convert these clients into direct bookers.

When you create trust through your brand, guests can feel comfortable reserving your vacation rental on multiple platforms, including your own! If your brand embodies quality and a great guest experience, guests will feel more confident to venture beyond OTAs and book with you directly. 

6. A brand can build value

There’s a reason why Gucci boots are $900 and “knock-offs” can go for $30. Customers are willing to pay more for a brand name because they know that it encompasses a certain level of quality. Having a good brand for your vacation rental prevents your business from being seen as a “knock-off.”

Once you’ve achieved brand-name status, your vacation rental gains value and notoriety just because of its branding. Are guests willing to pay more just for your brand? If so, that’s a true vacation rental success!

But how do the experts achieve this level of brand recognition? Let’s find out!

How to build your vacation rental brand

Building your own brand essentially boils down to these simple seven steps:

  1. Analyze your target audience and your competitors.
  2. Pick your focus and personality.
  3. Choose your business name.
  4. Write your tagline or slogan.
  5. Choose colors and fonts that reflect your brand.
  6. Design your logo.
  7. Apply your branding across your business and adapt it as you grow.

Although you may revisit these steps after launching your business, it’s crucial that you consider each step when you shape your branding.

Let’s start by setting the groundwork to go over the different ways of developing your brand.

1. Analyze your market

Before getting started with or updating your brand, it’s important to understand your target customers and competition.

You can start your research by doing the following:

  • Google “vacation rental + (your location)” to analyze the direct and indirect competitors that come up. Make a note of the services they offer, logos, colors, pictures, and how they describe their listings. Also, review their social media accounts to see what their followers are saying about them.
  • Talk to past guests or friends who would be your target market and ask them what stands out about your property.
  • Search on Instagram or Facebook for similar accounts (even if they’re not a competitor). Analyze their content (what they’re saying and communicating) and what their followers comment on.
  • Navigate through websites of other vacation rental businesses to get a feel for how potential customers would browse and book.

Analyze your competitors in the vacation rental industry

Make a note of:

  1. Who your main local competitors are: the businesses that appear in the first results in Google and listing sites
  2. Who your “lowest hanging fruit” potential guests are: the customers you can easily convince to book
  3. Characteristics of your potential guests: their tone of voice (formal/informal), interests (outdoor activities, cultural attractions, etc.), and so on

This research will help you decide what to focus on, how to position your brand, and how to stand out from the competitors.

2. Define your brand’s focus and personality

Although you want to target all types of travelers and cater to anyone that wants to stay in your area, it’s important to focus on specific segments to build your brand.

Here are some exercises to help you decide what to focus on and what tone of voice to use.

Start with your positioning statement

A positioning statement is simply one or two lines that define your business in the industry. It’s not really what you put on your website, listing, or business card. It’s just a summary of what you want your business to represent. It’ll also help you answer all the questions that will come up while building your brand.

Your positioning statement would be something like:



For example: Our Bali villas offer self-catering accommodation for travelers to find a home away from home while discovering a new culture. Unlike our competitors, we offer personalized onsite cooking classes and local tours.

Your value proposition is the one thing that makes your business stand out. It can be anything from having luxury bedsheets to offering special services. Think about it, find it, and make it part of your brand’s identity.

What words would you associate with your brand?

Another way of defining your brand’s personality is to think of it as a person. What would they be like? What kind of friends would they have?

This will help you think about how you’re going to be writing on social media, listing platforms, and your website as well as what kind of images you should use.

A fun and very useful exercise is to pick three to five adjectives to describe your brand, focusing on words that will resonate with your target audience. Here’s a couple of concepts to help you get started:

Brand words you can use to define your vacation rental brand

What metaphors or concepts describe your brand?

You can also use metaphors or concepts to help you identify the individual qualities you want your brand to have. It can be anything: an animal, a celebrity, a famous quote… As long as it makes you think of what you want your brand to portray, it’s fair game.

For example, a beach house that targets families might choose elephants as a starting point. They’re beautiful creatures, focused, family-oriented, and loyal. They love working in small groups.

If your vacation rental business were an animal, what animal would it be and what does it represent to you?

3. Choose a brand name

Although a brand is way more than just a name, your company name is one of the most important commitments you have to make when you’re getting started. Your name will impact your logo, domain (website address), and your marketing strategy.

Essentially, you want a brand name that’s hard to copy and even harder to confuse with your competitors.

4. Write your tagline or slogan

A good slogan is short, catchy, and makes a strong first impression. You can use this on your website’s header, business cards, and social media accounts.

A great example is Airbnb’s tagline: “Belong Anywhere.” It says a lot with only two simple words. It gets travelers excited about traveling, exploring new and unfamiliar territories, and yet feeling welcome and safe at the same time. The tagline also goes hand in hand with what the company represents: Why stay in a hotel if you can find a great vacation rental that will give you a sense of place and make you feel like you belong?

Airbnb branding

Here are some ways to approach writing a slogan of your own:

  • Be blunt: “The World’s Most Luxurious Villas”
  • Turn it into a metaphor: “WTF: With The Family”
  • Describe your guests’ mindsets: “Adventure Time”
  • Describe what they’ll find: “Luxury, Location, and Convenience”
  • Write a rhyme: “Don’t Fuss With The Bus” (for a school bus rental)
  • Describe it literally: “Holiday Rentals in Costa Brava”

5. Choose colors and fonts that reflect your brand

Now that you have a business name and tagline, think about how you want to represent your brand visually with colors and font styles. This is especially important for when you start building your own vacation rental website.

Choosing your brand colors

Colors are essential, but not only because of how they’ll make your website look. They’ll also evoke emotions and feelings in your potential guests. You’re going to want to use colors that represent your business concept and differentiate you from competitors.

There are a lot of studies about color psychology. Although it isn’t an exact science, it can definitely help you choose your brand colors:

Color psychology to help you define your vacation rental brand

Remember to think about how legible colored text might look over white and black backgrounds and how white and black text work over your brand colors.

Choosing your fonts

We recommend picking two fonts that will also look good on your website. Choose one for headings and titles and another for body text.

Just like your brand colors, keep in mind what those fonts represent and what feelings they evoke in users.

A logo is the face of your company and is shown almost everywhere your brand exists. So, it’s important to create a unique and identifiable vacation rental logo that can be easily scalable in all sizes.

Most brands overlook the adaptability of their logos. It has to look great on a Facebook page, your browser, and many other channels and devices.

Not sure about how to create a logo? Check out these 8 Free Logo Maker Tools for Your Vacation Rental Business.

7. Apply your branding across your business and adapt it as you grow

Building a brand doesn’t end with creating a logo or slogan. It has to “live” and be consistent everywhere travelers interact with you, from the template you choose for your website to the automated messages you send before/after guests check in or out of your vacation rental.

You’ll continue to define and grow your brand as you get more bookings. The more travelers you expose your brand to, the more you’ll learn about the customers you’re attracting and how to interact with them.

Where to show off your vacation rental brand

Remember that your brand will unify your values, image, and reputation across multiple channels, including your website, social media, and even in person. If you’ve developed a great brand strategy, rich with color schemes, a compelling logo, and a great font selection, you’re probably eager to show it off.

But where should you start? Here are some ideas for where to flaunt your brand.

Welcome book and guest book

Your welcome book and guest book might be some of the first interactions your guests will have with your property. Your welcome book is where guests get acquainted with your property, while the guest book is where they leave their mark.

The front page or cover of each book should be branded. It’s the easiest way to get your logo, font, and color scheme together in one place, and it’s something physical for the guests to see as representative of your business.

The guest book, in particular, is a great place to show off your vacation rental brand, as guests frequently take pictures of their responses, read through other stays, and might give it a bit more attention than some other vacation rental materials.


At first, you might be thinking, “Why would I want to brand my shampoo?” But it’s actually a clever way to subtly remind guests of your brand. Here’s how.

Often, guests will bring their vacation rental toiletries home with them, be it shampoos, soaps, or sewing kits. If your brand finds its way into your guests’ homes, that can serve as a future reminder of your business and, in turn, great potential for future bookings and repeat clients.

Interior design

Many hosts opt to make the color scheme the paramount of their brand. Whether that means neon colors or smooth, muted tones, design can have a huge impact on your brand in a very positive way if done right.

As implied by the name, interior design is a form of brand expression. When it comes to vacation rentals, interior design and brand alignment are vital. Imagine you paint your business to be a fun, colorful, family-friendly stay, but your home consists of whites, creams, and Scandinavian minimalism. Guests might feel confused by your brand or, worse yet, misled.

Let your interior design be an echo of your brand at large to really drive home your branding efforts.

Tip: Use paint swatches or try out color-matching apps to exactly replicate your brand’s colors for interior design elements like wall color and wood staining. 


55% of brand first impressions are visual, so the online world is the best place to let your brand shine. You can experiment with fonts, sizing, format, colors, and design as much as you want! Remember that you’ll still want to follow your basic branding guidelines, but you can consider your vacation rental website a virtual playground for your brand.

Not only will it be a fun place to work with your brand, but it’s also going to be one of the first places that guests see your brand. Why not introduce them to something professional and aesthetically pleasing?

Vacation rental branding examples

We’re all familiar with some of the big brand names out there: Amazon, Walmart, McDonald’s, and so on. But what about when it comes to vacation rentals?

Considering that the industry is far more niche than some of the other brand leaders, it’s harder to draw from examples. Luckily, we’ve chosen a couple of our favorites for you to browse through and get inspired.

Consistent color schemes and themes

Your brand needs to make sense. The color choices should be coherent and fit into the story of your vacation rental.

Let’s say you have a themed vacation rental on the outskirts of Orlando and it typically attracts large families and travelers with children. If you want to emphasize “fun” and “adventure,” you might have a bright, eye-popping color scheme to convey this. That color scheme would then need to be consistent throughout every element of your business.

Examples of vacation rental branding

Australian vacation rental The Woods Ocean Grove has nailed this concept. From the property photos to the colors that their website uses, The Woods Ocean Grove has perfectly encapsulated the idea of color uniformity. They play with different hues of greens and grays and have mastered their branding in doing so. 

Using interior design to emphasize your brand

Your interior design and home at large are the physical expressions of your brand. Interior design also grants guests direct exposure to your branding throughout the duration of their stay.

Some hosts, like the owners of Yellow Block BnB, as seen on Netflix’s show Stay Here, know this well. 

Vacation rental brand example

Yellow Block has an interior design that makes this Brooklyn apartment stand out in a very saturated market. Their vacation rental business does an excellent job of playing with bright colors, lighting, and a popping guest experience to match.

Vacation rental website branding

Your website branding can help you to attract certain guest types while also defining and emphasizing your brand. Take The Shippen, for example. This vacation rental business advertises itself as a rural retreat. Their website expands on these ideas by using elegant typography and great use of white space.

Brand your short term rental

In summary

Creating a good vacation rental brand is so important that it might be the difference between a full reservation calendar and amateur results.

Remember that you’re never going to have complete control of how people perceive your brand. But you can tug them in the right direction. Make an outstanding first impression, manage their expectations, and build your reputation by implementing our easy-to-follow steps.

Building a brand that suits your vacation rental is possible with Lodgify’s completely customizable templates. Let us know how you define your brand in the comments section below!

Don’t see the form to download the Ultimate Branding Guide? Click here.

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