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Airbnb, Google?s Nest partner on mobile-driven environmental push

Google?s Nest is partnering with Airbnb in a synergistic program that leverages the strong mobile identity of each platform to support a message around environmentalism. 

Airbnb, which has a strong mobile user base for its accommodations marketplace, will provide selected hosts in the United States with Nest?s mobile-controlled Learning Thermostat for free. Many of the properties outfitted with Nest will be featured on Airbnb in a curated Wish List on the site called ?Nests on Airbnb,? alongside other eco-friendly home collections. 

?The Airbnb/Nest partnership is intriguing because today's hyper-connected consumers expect to be empowered in simple yet personalized ways,? said Douglas Rozen, chief innovation officer at Meredith Xcelerated Marketing. ?Both Airbnb and Nest deliver on these very well already.  

?Together, not only does it provide a rentee a greater sense of control and the renter a reason to select a certain property over another, but it starts to open up new types of partnerships built on aligned services not just aligned brands,? he said. 

Environmental awareness
Airbnb reports that in addition to being technologically savvy, its community also tends to be environmentally aware. 

In a recent study, Airbnb found that guests in North America use 63 percent less energy than hotel guests. 

Additionally, nearly 83 percent of Airbnb hosts in North America report owning at least one energy efficient appliance at their property while 95 percent say they recycle at least one item type at their property while 94 percent of guests report that they recycle when possible.

The makeup of Airbnb?s users matches up well with Nest users, who can use their mobile phones to manage their thermostat. 

Nest features such as Auto-Away and remote control from anywhere will help Airbnb hosts manage energy use when a house is empty. The Nest Thermostat's built-in temperature lock also allows hosts to specify a temperature range for guests without having to put the thermostat behind a locked case.

The Airbnb homes outfitted with Nests will also have access to MyEnergy, an energy-tracking service acquired by Nest last year. The service is designed to help users learn how to save energy and be more efficient as part of their energy plans.

Automated lives
The goal of the partnership is to help Airbnb?s community of hosts and guests conserve energy and have a positive impact on the environment. It will also help each brand build awareness with the other?s like-minded customers. 

Airbnb?s recently revamp its Web site and mobile application to prioritize showing versus telling as well as community for today?s always-on travelers. The result is a more personalized experience designed to empower mobile-savvy travelers who are looking for a personal connection to the places they visit (see story). 

Google acquired Nest Labs for $3.2 billion earlier this year in a reflection of how the search giant is extending its business with an eye toward making smartphones and tablets the mechanism for enabling users to connect with other devices throughout their day (see story). 

?As hyper-connected consumers continue to automate their lives, we will see more partnerships that are technologically driven vs marketing driven,? Mr. Rozen said. ?This will push brands to think about Web services over Web sites, and APIs over apps and ads - all in order to provide a more empowering and engaging consumer experience.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York