Sonu Shivdasani is a pioneer of sustainable, luxury tourism. He runs a company called Soneva with 5-star resorts in the Maldives and Thailand (think amazing buildings above crystal blue water). His core message is that sustainable tourism can be positive for the traveller, the local population, the environment and profitability.
Examples he gives of this include:
- 1. Initially starting out to protect the ecology of the environment (e.g. protecting turtles and sharks). By protecting them and ultimately the broader environment, you also make a better place for visitors to explore and dive
- 2. Using wood that grows quickly (e.g. not dark wood from the rainforest) you protect fragile environments and create a carbon sink
- 3. Using their own desalination plant, they both save money and remove plastic water bottle waste
- 4. Leading the way in sustainable pest management by implementing an insecticide-free mosquito management solution in the Maldives
- 5. Teaching locals how to swim so they can further experience the natural beauty and therefore be further engaged to protect the environment
- 6. Focusing on marine conservation where they pledge to protect biodiversity and habitats around their resorts.
Soneva Fushi, Maldives. Luxury Hotel, Image by Soneva
So, what does this have to do with creator marketing? The answer: I believe in this new age, the more sustainable we are as businesses, the more influence we will have.
We want to redefine the meaning of influence for brands and creators. Our purpose and tagline as a business is to ‘influence well’. The very nature of influencer marketing is that a brand partners with a person who they believe will act as more than a mouthpiece or a billboard; it is about partnerships that identify common ground between the brand, the creator and their audience.
To influence well requires content that has a purpose. Any brand can partner with a creator to produce an ‘advert’, but consumers want more than this.
To have purpose, partnerships need to present the brand in at least one of three ways. We define these as being either aspirational, creative, or educational. Encompassing this in a real message of sustainability means that not only is a creator partnering with a brand for a campaign, but they are also ultimately partnering with the planet. This is a powerful story for many to consume.
Just as today Soneva resorts are so successful because they focus on more than hotel rooms and pools (they have an observatory and the biggest telescope in the Maldives), they help people to appreciate the natural environment. By doing so, they highlight the importance of sustainability, and what will ultimately be, regenerative tourism. They are a luxury brand that partners with the planet.
Governments can set agendas and targets, but it is brands that have the real power to make actual concrete changes to protect our environment. If you are a brand, we would love to hear how you are improving the impact you have on the environment and how you are telling this story to the wider world.
We have created a platform for brands to embrace partnerships that ‘influence well’. We represent some of the world’s leading sustainable creators including Kathryn Kellogg, Shelbi, Jessica Clifton, Jessica Carpenter, Immy Lucas. Our creators range from vintage shoppers, vegan chefs and minimalists to explorers, off-gridders and much more. Despite this variation, they all maintain a purpose-led approach to each partnership that they take on.
You can listen more to Sonu’s story and approach in this podcast here
No Logo Agency & Plantalist
We are a digital agency and platform driven by creators and focused on sustainable living. Plantalist, our private marketplace, is the place to partner with the world’s leading sustainable wellness creators globally.
We have conducted promotions for hundreds of leading brands across three continents. Through Plantalist, we can reach 7m+ consumers, primarily climate conscious millennials. If you are a brand or creator and would like to join our platform or discuss working with us, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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