How Do You Create a 7-Star Member Journey? Lessons from Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb

A couple of months ago, I listened to an interview with Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb. Brian talked about how he and his team did a brainstorming exercise where they imagined what a 7-star, 10-star, even a 12-star experience on Airbnb would be like.

Wait, aren’t star scales always five stars? What the heck is a 7-star or 10-star experience? That’s exactly what Brian and his team set out to explore. Some of their advice includes:
  • Talk to your customers. User feedback keeps you honest and helps prevent costly mistakes in product development that customers won’t want.
  • Ask your customers about the product or service of their dreams. Ask “what would it take for you to tell every person you know about this product?”
  • Imagine what a 1-star or 3-star experience looks like and then try not to create just a 3-star experience.
  • Imagine what a 10-star experience looks like. For example, a 10-star experience is a “Beatles experience” with hundreds of people waiting for your plane and tickets to the most exclusive restaurant in town.
  • Imagine what a mind-blowing, 10-star experience looks like and then talk to your staff and partners to see how much of that experience they can make happen.  

In essence, you first need to design an extreme experience in order to scale back and create an amazing, affordable, possible experience.

The next time you’re designing your website, store, conference or new member onboarding campaign, instead of designing just an acceptable and affordable, experience, trying imagining a 7-star experience and then see what’s possible.