Storytelling Through Seasonal Senses

by | Oct 14, 2015

As we lose the last bit of summer weather and slide into autumn, it’s a wonderful time to take advantage of storytelling through seasonal senses. We’ll concentrate on autumn, but think bigger picture – you can easily do this with spring, summer and winter as well.

Memories are made throughout our lives. One of the most evocative ways for your storytelling to bring memories to life for customers and prospects is through the use of our 5 senses:

  • Touch
  • Taste
  • Sight
  • Smell
  • Sound

Any one or more of our senses can make us stop and linger over something because a memory has been triggered. We want that hot pumpkin spice latte because we know it always makes us feel “autumn”. Right? We echo the changing of the seasons through our very buying habits. We reach to purchase a warm pair of socks instead of another pair of flip flops, even though it is still sunny and 75 outside, simply because our internal clock is singing that it’s time and the aspen’s are starting their Gold Rush across the hillsides.

We want that new sweater because it feels delightfully soft and is that perfect shade of cranberry red which makes us feel warmer, cozier, more “autumnal”. We can see ourselves standing around bonfires with friends, wearing this perfectly delicious sweater, while toasting marshmallows for S’mores.

We purchase items in shades of orange, gold and rust because we associate these colors with the riot of new fall foliage outside. But these colors also invoke childhood memories of kicking through piles of freshly raked leaves, hiking through woods gone orange and scarlet and anticipating the coming of Halloween and Thanksgiving.

We gravitate towards products that smell like autumn. Like those kooky cinnamon-scented broomsticks and pine cones the supermarket starts selling right about now, along with candles in cranberry spice and pumpkin pie. Fragrance is one of the most powerful emotional triggers because as you inhale you have an immediate sensation of both the memory of it and the Now of it. Think of the scent of pine logs crackling in the hearth, the cold, crisp morning air – the freshness of fall as it sweeps out the lingering heat of summer.

The same goes for taste – we look forward to replacing the light, citrusy flavors of summer with the deeper, spicier ones in pumpkin and apple pie, the bright tang of hot apple cider, the childish sweetness of cocoa with marshmallows, and the salty-sweet comfort of bacon-maple-glazed doughnuts. (’Tis the season to buy bigger pants.)

It’s easy at this time of year to get into the habit of only using the holidays as themes in your storytelling. But as you create images for Instagram or Pinterest or videos for YouTube and posts for Facebook, keep in mind the powerful draw of storytelling through seasonal senses.

Don’t be afraid to wrap a story or two around more personal memories of your favorite fall moments – the ones that always light you up as the days get shorter and the nights cool down. Bring your customers into your stories with flavor, texture and aroma – let them infuse your experiences with their own and enjoy how they share them back with you.

All of the ways our senses capture the changing season connect us to that sense of warmth and comfort we begin to crave at this time of year, linking us to one another and to the earth itself as it readies for a long winter sleep. The seasons are inherent – part of our DNA – and we respond immediately both to the signals they send and the memories those signals evoke. As a small business owner, this is the perfect time to fold all of the seasonal senses into your social storytelling – let their magic connect you with customers and prospects through shared memory.

Have fun with it. Just don’t eat all of the doughnuts. We weren’t kidding about the bigger pants.