Seven years after starting its aggressive expansion strategy outside of its US homeland, HomeAway is axing the brand of one of its first acquisitions, Holiday-Rentals.
The vacation rental giant will this week turn Holiday-Rentals.co.uk into HomeAway.co.uk after beginning the process a few years ago to plant the HomeAway brand in the minds of existing owners and users.
Holiday-Rentals became part of HomeAway in 2005, the first in a line of companies snapped up in Europe (including Owners-Direct , also in the UK, Abritel in France and Fewo-Direkt in Germany) as the mothership looked to expand its network in to new territories.
The site was one of the first online holiday home rental services in the UK after its creation in 1996, but despite HomeAway claiming the service had maintained a strong position in the country, research found it did not to have a “strong brand name and holidaymakers had difficulty remembering it”.
UK HomeAway managing director Andy Cockburn says the same research found that “HomeAway was a name that British holidaymakers found easier to remember and that they liked”.
And, so, 16 years after its birth, Holiday-Rentals is no longer a marketing or online entity.
“This is the final step in the transition and will leave us with a clean brand that we can build up to become a household name in the UK,” says Cockburn.
The OwnersDirect brand remains in the UK for the time being.
While the switch is an obvious one to make given the the myriad of brands under the HomeAway portfolio, aligning its largest UK brand under the same umbrella as the global offering comes as HomeAway’s newest rival on the scene, Airbnb¬†and its single brand name, seemingly goes from the strength to strength.
It is not alone, of course, with other similar services also gaining momentum over the course of the past 18 months, including Wimdu and OneFineStay et al, as well as TripAdvisor‘s efforts to move in to the vacation rental sector.