In 2008, Airbnb was struggling. A simple insight allowed them to double sales in a snap.

A year in the startup was only making $200 per week with 0 growth. Founders Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky traveled from SFO to New York to meet some of their hosts. They discovered that the images on their website were awful. The photos, usually taken with phones, didn’t truly represent the spaces that were on offer.

An idea was hatched. With the help of a rented professional camera, they visited the top listings and snapped high-quality photos of the spaces. The result: An overnight success. The listings with the professional photos experienced a doubling or tripling of bookings in the next month. Overall revenue had doubled.

Airbnb has now turned this into a Purple Goldfish. It falls into the category of “Added Service.” The company now helps to schedule and contract pro photographers for their listings. It’s not free, but according to their website, “Payment comes from future bookings and is typically paid off with one or two nights.”

I can hear Jerry Maguire in my ear, “Help me, help you.” Listings with professional photography earn 40% more on average. In this case, a picture is worth 1,000 words and a 75 billion-dollar valuation.

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Stan Phelps walks the walk. He stands out in the sea of sameness by modeling his own Differentiated Experience (DX) message: Differentiation isn’t just about what you say, it’s about what you do and, more importantly, how and why you do it. Stan leverages his unique collection of 5,000+ case studies on customer, employee, and brand experience to engage audiences with informative learning-based experiences. He believes purposeful DX wins the hearts of employees and customers, and differentiation ultimately boosts loyalty, retention, referrals, and results.

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