Airbnb attempts to stimulate consumer imagination and expectations of home through storytelling before their stay. The purpose of this study is to gain a holistic understanding of the psychological mechanisms by which brand storytelling can evoke consumer imagination of home away from home and their choice of peer-to-peer (P2P) accommodations.
By collecting 864 valid questionnaires through two rounds of surveys with Chinese consumers, this study examined the structural relations between narrative elements in the brand story (home characteristics, social interactions in advertising, advertising features), brand perception, self-image congruence and consumption intentions.
The results demonstrate that home characteristics, social interactions in advertising, and advertising features positively influence people’s brand perceptions, self-image congruence and consumption intentions through mental imagery processing.
This study offers helpful implications on how to create a home feeling in P2P accommodations and provides recommendations to promote the connection between consumers and the brand for P2P accommodation providers and hoteliers.
This study reveals the underlying mechanism of how various narrative elements in brand stories inspire the imagination and feeling of home in consumers during the prestay phase. By analysing the impact of specific trust systems and emotional needs on the construction of a feeling of home, this study is an important complement to existing studies on the study of home in P2P accommodation.
We are grateful to our students Zongting Chen and others for distributing the questionnaires and checking the data used in the pilot study.
Funding: This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 42271250, 41901175, 41971173), National Social Science Foundation of China (No. 20ZD02) , and Guangdong Provincial Education Department Innovation Team Project (No. 2022WCXTD020).
Disclosure statement: No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.
Zheng, C. and Zhang, J. (2022), "Inspiring guests’ imagination of “home away from home” to choose Airbnb through brand storytelling", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-04-2022-0444
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