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How to Capture The Spirit of The Seasons to Tell A Captivating Brand Story All Year Round

Brand story telling

Seasons are a great source of inspiration, for both creativity and business. Each season brings with it an energy and essence that should be celebrated. I use the four seasons as a backdrop to my brand’s story, which helps me to keep things, relevant, and fresh all year round. In this post, I share how to celebrate the spirit of each season through visual storytelling to captivate my audience.

What is seasonal branding?

First and foremost this is not a complete brand overhaul/rebrand. My goodness, that would be extremely time-intensive and expensive if you had to do that every season. Instead, think of it like a sprinkling of pumpkin spice in autumn or a splash of zest in summer.  It’s a matter of aligning your current brand identity to match the mood of the season and its holidays.

Get clear on your who, what, why

As a brand your focus is to influence and inspire others, through leveraging your unique skills, characteristics, and ‘isms to shape and frame the way you are percived as a business.

As a brand, it’s important to consider how you plan to show up throughout the seasons. As a personal Brand, it’s sometimes a little easier to be authentic because it’s often defined by your own likes and dislikes. But whether you’re a business is the brand or you are you need to be clear on who you are, what your story is, and what you want to be known for. How do you want the world to see you? What are your core values (what do you stand for)? And what’s the legacy you want to leave behind? If you need help with this I offer Brand Clarity Sessions to help with understanding who and what your brand should be.

Why you should create seasonal content for your brand

When I talk about capturing the essence of what a business stands for I’m referring to the heart and soul of what makes a brand loveable and its values. Seasons are a great way to evoke emotions, experiences, and excitement across your brand’s touchpoints such as your website, socials, leaflets, shop window, etc.

Many brands celebrate the seasons to cater to consumer trends such as M&S with their winter foodie moments or John Lewis Ads for Christmas, yet all the while putting their own style spin on it (Christmas doesn’t have to consist of wreaths and Father Christmas). Think about the values of what each of the seasons stands for not necessarily what represents them. No matter how small your business is, your brand deserves to celebrate in the same big way, and this is why:

  • It’s great for SEO! The key to a successful brand is to be consistent and relevant. People will continuously search for terms related to the seasons and this is your opportunity to share your take.
  • Increase profits
  • Build brand loyalty with the right people
  • It shows your audience you are a reactive & creative brand that thinks ahead.
  • It strengthens your core brand identity
  • People love seasons! One brand that celebrates the seasons well is Starbucks through its drinks. Now, many people feel Autumn hasn’t officially begun until the release of their Pumpkin Spiced Latte or Christmas hasn’t started until the launch of their winter cups.

Seasonal moods to help you tell your brand story

Spring, summer, autumn, and winter each hold their own personality, look and feel. Weather affects people’s mental state and understanding how, is the first step to telling a captivating brand story, that’s relevant and authentic.

How to Capture The Spirit of The Seasons to Tell A Captivating Brand Story All Year Round

Spring – Is all about new beginnings and transformation. Visually it’s a vibrant, playful season. Most people walk with a Spring in their step and look forward to the future. Due to being cooped up all winter most of us are welcoming the longer brighter days. This is a time of the year when people are out with the old and in with the new. New habits start to change during this season too. Download my spring collection of images for free here.

Summer – Represents positivity, hope, and optimism. Visually summer has more muted colours, think dreamy, hazy gradients, and soft pastels or even bleached-out tones. I’m a summer girl through and through. People are at their happiest during the summer months. We spend more days outside and are most social in the warmer months. We’re also most impulsive and spontaneous during summer. Download my summer collection of images for free here.

How to Capture The Spirit of The Seasons to Tell A Captivating Brand Story All Year Round
Autumn Brand images

Autumn – The season of change, autumn is all about abundance and shifting. Visually this is one of the most stunning months. Everything looks like it’s on fire even the sky (if you catch it on a good day). Warm reds, greens, and browns all make autumn vibrant. This is the time when we (and nature) begin to harvest and hunker down, we do the most DIY at this time to prep for the winter ahead, start financial planning, and become more sustainable. Download this collection of images for free here.

Winter – The harshest season of the year, winter represents stillness and slowness. During the winter months, I adapt to a slow way of living. Visually it’s the most monochromatic seasonal palette, with hints and highlights of vibrant colour here and there. It’s a moody season, but beautiful nevertheless. Most of us take a much slower approach to living, and value our dwellings, and venture outside less. Download my winter collection of images for free here.

How to Capture The Spirit of The Seasons to Tell A Captivating Brand Story All Year Round

Ideas for themeing your content with story

They always say content is king, and when it comes to capturing the seasons your visuals and copy are what will pull people in. Seasons are always trending on social media, and Google. Get as creative as you like this. Here are some examples.

  • Write a blog post on the best way to use your product during the colder/warmer months. Or if you run a service-based business what are some issues your clients will encounter during a particular season?
  • Create a video of how you package your products for that season.
  • Ask questions about what people love about the season.
  • Share pictures by capturing the seasons on your phone, and how the season makes you feel.
  • Your self-care tips for the current weather
  • Introduce a new colour into the mix
  • Promote your services with a sale or giveaway: Halloween, Easter, Christmas, etc.
  • Share a recipe that captures the spirit of that season.
  • launch a product of new service

Note: Always consider whether the personality of your brand will actually be seen/expected to do the above for example if you’re a luxury high-end brand you might not hold a sale. Is it appropriate for your business), tips, tools, insights, or behind-the-scenes content, but remember it should always stay on brand, and relevant to your business.

Seasonal colors

As I mentioned before, I don’t recommend changing your brand’s colour palette. Instead, a great way to have fun with the season’s colours is through photography and filters; In warmer months use cool crisp tones to create a sense of energy, and use warm tones in colder months to create a sense of coziness.. Use seasonal props in your photography.

Tone of voice

When I design brands for my clients we always make sure to have a popular character in mind. If your brand were to have a real voice and body, who would they sound like? What would they dress like? Would your brand speak with a hint of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s for an air of elegance or have a touch of Bridget Jones for a lovable and relatability persona? How would these characters respond to the changing seasons? This will make your life so much easier when it comes to writing copy that connects with your audience too.

Excite the senses

Your brand is an experience of your stories, values, and style.

If you own a shop or client-facing office you can use smell to leave a lasting impression. Our sense of smell is the most sensitive of all our senses. Using scents that trigger nostalgia or give people a sense of excitement when it comes to the seasons will leave an experience to be remembered.

Creating a sensory experience using visuals (sight), tone of voice (sound), sent (smell) and the quality of your printed collateral for example (touch), will create an overall essence of the seasons and keep people coming back for more.

Above all tell a story

As humans, we are hard-wired to remember and learn through stories, especially ones that make us feel good. Put your audience front and center and make them leave wanting more.

References

https://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2018/34702/four-things-marketers-can-learn-from-spring-shopping-behavior-infographic

https://info.zimmercommunications.com/blog/6-shifts-in-mid-missouri-consumer-behavior-that-happen-in-the-fall

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Kate Male Brand Designer

About Kate

Kate is a brand designer and creative director based in London. She works with wellness, lifestyle, and beauty brands that want to tell their story with depth, and style.

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