Booking.com is the world’s largest online accommodation booking platform handling more than 1 million online bookings per day. In the last 3 years, Booking.com’s business has grown exponentially, and so has its staff numbers. By adding more than 4000 employees in 2015, the total number grew to over 10,000 people across its 158 offices worldwide.
Managing and informing all these people adds up to an amazing number of internal communications. Everyday more than 50 internal training sessions are held; 750 partner-specific presentations are made and sent out; and more than 1250 internal memos, posters and flyers are circulated.
How to manage and unify all these in-house communications? The Booking.com Internal Brand team approached us to partner with them and help solve this problem.
One of our major challenges was to streamline the internal communication without imposing a top-down approach. Booking.com is all about people. Together with its employees, Booking.com is on an expedition to explore new horizons and overcome challenges, both on a company level and a personal level. This is what drives the people at Booking.com, to better themselves.
Our objective was to create an internal system that any employee on any level could use. Therefore, we developed the booking:people: a versatile branded communication toolkit that uses graphics, illustrations, type and motion graphics, in a simple and flexible expression.
Booking:people provides the tools and templates for people to personalise their brand communication assets, be consistent and have a smooth conversation with each other. For people to understand and use this visual system with ease, we created the booking:people brandhub: an online platform where the Booking.com brand story and internal communication guidelines are explained, and assets and templates can be downloaded.
We realised that not everybody at Booking.com is a designer, but with use of digital tools we can empower anyone to tell stories.
The dynamic booking:people brandhub, is an online brand guide that offers employees worldwide, access to all the information and tools they need for the new communication system.
The people:grid is a toolkit that allows one to embed any photograph in endless variations of the grid and make a unique piece of communication.
As people express themselves in their own voice using the guide, the brandhub is kept up-to-date by featuring a selection of best works by staff members worldwide. This helps employees gain recognition, exchange ideas and learn from each other; and so the brand stays young and relevant.
We also capitalised on the global network of Booking office managers as people:brand-ambassadors, and roped them in to initiate, promote and collate the new assets created by employees and update the brandhub.
BAM, short for Booking Annual Meeting, is one of the largest staff gatherings in the world. More than 6,000 staff members of Booking.com are flown in from across the globe to celebrate the past year’s achievements and draw inspiration for the year to come.
For us, it was the perfect moment to introduce the booking:people identity. We were able to brand the whole event, from stage design to name badges and everything in between, making sure the entire staff was impacted by the all new communication system.
Brands are to be experienced, not told. Brands today should include their stakeholders in the entire brand experience. Developing a robust communication system, through which employees can express themselves in a personal and honest way via any medium, creates solidarity, and ensures that the vocabulary that develops overtime is unique to the Booking.com.
Booking:people is a visual language not just for the people, but also by the people.