How to develop a sustainable brand strategy

Whilst more brands are jumping on the sustainability bandwagon, being sustainable is more than developing a few ‘green’ initiatives backed up by a brand strategy or marketing campaign. A truly sustainable organisation is driven by a commitment to put the planet before their profit margin. They are dedicated to their values, and targets to reduce carbon emissions and provide net positive products and services.

Sustainable brands are obviously not new, but COVID-19 has accelerated the growth in the number of brands that are committed to do good. This growth is driven by increased numbers of consumers supporting brands they feel aligned with and that share their values.  

Are you looking to develop a sustainable brand strategy? Here are some tips:

1. Define the purpose of your brand – how is you brand putting the planet first?  What does your brand stand for?  Build the right story around your business.

2. Make sure your image aligns with your narrative and purpose. Design your image carefully so it reinforces the identity you are trying to create. Convey your sustainable nature through everything from web design to your logo.  

3. Create a positive tone of voice – the right tone of voice supports your brand’s credibility. Have a distinct and consistent voice that reminds your clients of your values. Be transparent, authentic and honest.

4. Build your tribe – sustainable brands are all about community and participation. It’s important to cultivate your community, and start drawing the right people to your company.

Remember, today’s customers are driven by and devoted to companies that share their values.

EcoStory can assist your company with building a sustainable branding strategy. Contact us on if you’d like to have a conversation about your branding.

The Purpose of Social Media

This week I had the pleasure of guest blogging for Steele Marketing about social media and where it fits in the mix. Here’s is what I had to say:

In the wake of Facebook temporarily banning news sites here in Australia, it is a good time to have a look at what the purpose of social media really is.

With more than half the world’s population on social media, these platforms provide brands the opportunity to reach and increase brand awareness amongst many. But social media, especially Facebook, should never replace your website. At any one time they can remove features, change settings, or remove pages all together as we’ve seen this week.

Social media platforms are marketing channels that drive traffic to your website. Your website is where visitors engage with your content and brand in the right context. It’s where they get the full brand experience…. Continue reading

For the love of travel

Australians love to travel.

More and more Aussies are thinking about the impact their trips are having on the environment and the destinations they are visiting.

The travel industry accounts for a significant 8%* of global greenhouse gas emissions.

As an industry, we need to take responsibility and action for the current and future environmental, social and economic impacts of travel.

Lowering the impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people.

While there is still a long way to go, the number of organisations who are committing to operate sustainably is growing and so is the demand for sustainable travel experiences.

Sustainable tourism creates positive experiences for local people, tourism companies and tourists. It’s what travellers look for more and more.

At EcoStory, we assist eco-tourism companies with their marketing and social media. We are across the guidelines and do’s and don’ts of promoting certified experiences. Contact us on if you’d like to have a chat about how we can assist your company.

*2018 figures

Why we all need some Slow Travel

If there is one positive outcome of COVID, it is that people are slowing down and making more time for the things that really matter.

It’s a great time to embrace slow travel. Slow travel is also known as mindful travel or low impact travel.

The slow travel movement started as an offshoot of the slow food movement, which began in Italy in the 1980s as a protest against the opening of a McDonald’s in Rome. The slow food movement aims to preserve regional cuisine, local farming, communal meals, and traditional food preparation methods.

Slow travel has a similar approach and focusses on connection: to local people, cultures, food and music. A holiday is meant to educate and have an emotional impact, while remaining sustainable for local communities and the environment.

Here are some of the biggest benefits of travelling slow:

Connect to your destination in a more meaningful way

Travelling slow is a great way to connect to your destination: meet locals, have authentic experiences, learn about the differences in cuisine, culture and history.  

It’s better for our planet

The fewer the travel destinations, the better it is for our planet. While air travel is often a necessity in Australia, planes are major contributors to global warming. Trains are a much more eco-friendly alternative, as well as bicycles or traveling by car.

Kinder to your budget

Staying in one place for a week or more at a time reduces your transportation costs, and holiday houses are often more cost-efficient than hotels.

Less stressful

With the leisurely and laid-back pace of slow travel, comes time and relaxation. The opportunity to reflect and soak up a new destination at your own pace, without having to rush to your next stop.  

So instead of visiting a multitude of destinations, just take your time and discover one.

World Tourism Day 2020

It’s World Tourism Day.

Its purpose is to build awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.

This year’s theme is Tourism & Rural Development.

For many rural communities, tourism means opportunity. When managed sustainably, tourism provides jobs and economic empowerment, including for women and youth. It gives rural communities the ability to protect and promote their natural surroundings, as well as their culture and heritage. In doing so, it allows tourists to enjoy unique experiences.

2020 has been without a doubt the most challenging year ever for the travel and tourism sector. As an industry, we have the opportunity to hit the reset button and adopt more sustainable approaches and practices. We must work together to ensure tourism has a positive impact on the environment, society and economy, globally and locally, so tourists can continue to enjoy those unique experiences, now and in the future.

What is Sustainable Tourism?

According to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), sustainable tourism is tourism development with a balance between environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects.

Sustainable tourism should:

  1. Make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity.
  2. Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.
  3. Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation.

Achieving sustainable tourism is a continuous process and it requires constant monitoring of impacts, introducing the necessary preventive and/or corrective measures.

Sustainable tourism should also maintain a high level of tourist satisfaction and ensure a meaningful experience to the tourists, raising their awareness about sustainability issues and promoting sustainable tourism practices amongst them.

The Beginning of EcoStory

By Vera Pajovic

While Ecostory was formally established during the COVID lockdown, I had been tossing up the idea of focusing my marketing skills and experience on something more than just general travel for quite a while.

I have always been passionate about nature based experiences, learning about other cultures and supporting local communities wherever I travel. In Europe, and Holland in particular, where I grew up, everything is so close and accessible. I remember, as a child we used to go on holidays to Germany to the Eiffel region and discover the forests and mountains or to Bordeaux in France, with its great beaches and beautiful sunsets.

From a young age I enjoyed the outdoors and travelling to new places. I had the pleasure of living and working at the Sani Pass Hotel in Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa during my university time. Located in the Drakensbergen, some 10km from the main road and the nearest village, this was my first truly off grid experience – it was inspiring.

Many years later, in Australia, I had the opportunity to work for Papua New Guinea (PNG) Tourism. It was here where my passion for eco-tourism and travel was really ignited.

This beautiful country opened my eyes in terms of the impact of tourism: Positively, as it helped so many communities earning an income allowing for better basic services such schooling and health care. Negatively, as parts of the country were (literally) run over by too many tourists.

I learned a lot about the impact of marketing as well as tourism operators on a destination, and how collaboratively manage this.

In following marketing roles at companies such as the Kokoda Track Foundation, CLIA Australasia and Spencer Travel, I continued to work on eco-travel and sustainable tourism projects and campaigns.

So when COVID hit, I took the opportunity to obtain a certificate in Sustainable Tourism through the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and developed EcoStory, combining my marketing knowledge with my passion for sustainable travel. #lovewhatyoudo

Contact me on if you’d like to have a chat about how I can assist your company.