Brand Storytelling | ASK Answers | All MKC Content | ANA

Brand Storytelling


 How can my brand utilize storytelling techniques to connect with consumer audiences?

Brand storytelling is most effective when a brand understand its missions and personality, and consistently and authentically infuses it into every aspect of the brand. From products to social media posts to partners, the brand's story should be evident. 

Part of what can help propel a brand's narrative is the right use of creators and influencers. For instance, Meta prioritizes its creator strategy; during an ANA event, Meta shared that "reels ads, which contain a human presence, have a 25 percent higher CTR than those that do not." 

Further, Public Good's Melissa Anderson, Nestlé's Rene Lassauzet, and Trane Technologies' Sarah Wike, shared recommendations on how to utilize storytelling techniques to connect with consumers, such as considering the brand's angle, evaluating media investments, and determining KPIs. Doing these steps helps determine how the story is told, develop a tight strategy, and create brand differentiation.

Mike Siegel, SVP of marketing at ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, said it best at an ANA event, stating, "Storytelling is how we show up in the world." Siegel went on to say that data can help inform how the narrative is told, explaining, "Know your target audience. Our challenge is the fact that is our target can start from toddlers to the end of life. So, we market truly to everyone. We have to make choices, but we try to drive those choices based on data. Getting behind the why is important to us. We tailer the messaging to the type of motivations that people have for giving."

Below are resources on brand storytelling.

Best Practices 

  • The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling. HubSpot, February 2023.
    Storytelling is an art. Like art, it requires creativity, vision, skill, and practice. It's a crucial part of the most successful marketing campaigns, and it sets vibrant brands apart from simple businesses and loyal consumers from one-time stop-in shoppers. It's a valuable tool for all marketers to have in their tool belts, and it's the heart of inbound marketing. This article offers a guide to help you discover and understand storytelling and weave gorgeous, compelling tales for your audience.

  • The Story Behind Storytelling in Marketing. Influencer Marketing Hub, December 2022.
    If you thought that storytelling was reserved only for around the campfire, you would be very much mistaken. While storytelling is far from new, it is emerging as one of the most popular marketing strategies and forms a key element of effective digital marketing campaigns. This article makes a long story short and summarize the essentials you need to know to write a compelling story. Whether you prefer a blog post over Instagram Stories, there is a marketing channel for every brand to help them get their message across.
  • Story Marketing: Why It Matters and a Step-by-Step Guide. AMA, September 2022.
    Story marketing taps into narrative, connecting with an audience on an emotional level, to help them empathize and understand the problems your business solves on a deeper level. It is a powerful way for brands to cut through the noise. But how can you approach story marketing? And is there a formula for success? This article explores the power of marketing through story and outlines a foolproof process anyone can use to define their own brand narrative.

  • Guide to Storytelling: How to Captivate Your Audience. CXL, March 2023.
    Not every piece of content needs to tell a story. Applying storytelling in the right place, at the right time, in the right way makes all the difference. This presents a complete guide on how to apply the art of storytelling in your marketing initiatives to engage and grow your audience, when to use it, and when not to. It also looks at examples of businesses that get it right, and why their strategy is paying off.

  • What Is Brand Storytelling? Marketing Insider Group, February 2022.
    Brand storytelling is gaining momentum in the marketing world, and with good reason. Stories are scientifically proven to get a person's attention. In fact, stories stimulate brain activity. When we read or hear plot points our neurons start firing — and not just in the part of the brain that controls the language center. But there's a lot of confusion around the idea of brand storytelling. It's becoming a term that is getting thrown around a lot — like content marketing — but agencies, companies and thought leaders don't always agree on a definition. This article clarifies what it is and offers some best practices on how to do it well.


  • Five Examples of Data-Led Brand Storytelling that Hit the Mark. GWI, May 2023.
    Brand storytelling is a powerful way to build lasting connections with audiences through content. A powerful brand story engages consumers, inspires emotion, and builds brand loyalty, forging meaningful relationships that go far beyond product and service. For many of us, brand storytelling is the bread and butter of our content marketing. The five brands profiled here show exactly why it pays to tell data-led brand stories.

  • How to Overcome Barriers to Sustainability Storytelling. ANA, May 2023.
    Public Good's Melissa Anderson, Nestlé's Rene Lassauzet, and Trane Technologies' Sarah Wike joined the ANA Sustainability Committee to discuss how each of their organizations overcomes barriers to sustainability storytelling, including:
    • How to identify the right sustainability story to tell
    • How to navigate potential consumer backlash
    • How to make the business case for sustainability storytelling
  • A Reel Connection: How Creators and Brands Connect to Tell Immersive Stories. ANA, October 2022.
    As technology has evolved our platform for storytelling, so has the approach to creativity. Traditional methods of brand-building are becoming obsolete and less effective — creating space for more innovative methods to take their place. Building an inextricable link between people, technology, and brands requires a versatile and open-minded approach. For brands, partnering with creators represents a new way of brand-building that puts creativity, discovery, and authenticity first. Bianca Bradford, head of agency at Meta, discussed how creators are advancing storytelling through new and immersive formats like Video, Reels, Stories, and AR and becoming conduits for brands to enhance customer connections across Facebook and Instagram.

  • The Role of Storytelling in Humanizing Your Brand. ANA, May 2022.
    Dominic Chu, senior markets correspondent at CNBC; Lainey Johnson, head of brand and paid media for the Americas; and Mike Ruck, VP of NBC news brand studio at NBCUniversal, discussed how EY leveraged strategic partnerships and creative storytelling to create content that grew its consulting business.

  • A Strategic Approach to Branded Storytelling. ANA, May 2022.
    ALSAC (the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital) is undergoing a transformation in its marketing organization, breaking down functional and operating silos to create a new future-fit model that will fuel the next generation of storytelling. Mike Siegel shared the journey-in-progress to reimagine the marketing organization, with a focus on the creative and content engine of its "un-house agency."

  • Storytelling for Tumultuous Times. ANA, April 2022.
    With businesses struggling mightily in the first year of the pandemic, Marriott used a content campaign driven by a powerful audience insight to reignite its customers' passion for travel and to show them how it could be done not just safely, but in a way that was beneficial to society.

Webinars and Videos

  • SeeHer X Getty Visual Storytelling. ANA, December 2022.
    In this webinar, SeeHer and Getty Images shared best practices for visual storytelling to help marketers and creators identify and leverage imagery that accurately reflects women in all aspects of their identity. Through the lens of SeeHer's GEM® (Gender Equality Measure™) consumer insights and tenets for intersectional portrayals (gender, age, race/ethnicity, ability, sexuality, religion, body type), SeeHer and Getty designed this webinar to help marketers and creators to take an intentional approach to their global creative visualization processes in terms of portraying women authentically.


  • Brand Storytelling and Effective Digital Consumer Connection (Full Day). ANA.
    All brands have stories to share, and effective storytelling is all about knowing your audience in more detail - what they seek and what they respond to. This workshop focuses on providing the frameworks, insights, and best practices that will help you to optimize your brand storytelling. You will learn the key elements of storytelling and how digital technologies have influenced the way a story needs to be told today. This workshop will also show you how to use buyer personas to make your stories inspiring. This workshop is fast paced with ample opportunities for participation and interaction. It also offers an opportunity to explore creative options with feedback from peers. At the conclusion of this workshop, you will have an initial story framework that you may use with your brand. To register, contact

  • Effective Communication, Presentation and Storytelling Skills (Full Day). ANA.
    In this full-day interactive workshop, attendees will understand what the best speakers have learned from years of practice. Using the 10 keys to communicating and presenting, you'll learn how to connect authentically with an audience to present like a professional. You will practice proven techniques to enhance your stage presence, on-your-feet thinking, and engagement with listeners. Led by a Certified Speaking Professional, skilled presenter, and popular ANA workshop leader, this workshop is packed with exercises that will stretch and tone your speaking, presenting, and story-telling muscles. To register, contact
  • Clarifying Your Marketing Message (Virtual). ANA.
    In this training, participants will learn how to tell a compelling story through their messaging and leave with actionable concepts and tools they can immediately apply to real world situations. The workshop provides practical frameworks and models to understand and optimize story telling strategy to enhance overall customer experience build brand equity and drive better engagement and sales. To register, contact

  • Turning Digital Data into Decisions (301) (Half Day). ANA.
    Despite its pervasiveness, data analytics is still a mysterious "black box" to many marketers. Rows and columns of numbers that are supposed to somehow inform marketing tactics often lack the related insights necessary to drive business decisions. In this workshop, we will focus on using visual storytelling methods to explain the context of marketing data to outside audiences and/or internal stakeholders. This enables easier identification of issues in the customer journey, CRM, automation, campaign(s) and other initiatives designed to move customers through an engagement process. To register, contact

The Marketing Knowledge Center actively connects ANA members to the resources they need to be successful. You can visit the ANA website to engage with the MKC in three ways.

  • Explore content to access best practices, case studies, and marketing tools. Our proprietary content includes Event Recaps, which share actionable insights from conference and committee presentations.
  • Connect with our ASK Research Service in real time for customized answers to your specific marketing challenges.
  • Stay on top of trends with Marketing Futures Pulse issues, which explore how new technologies and innovations will affect marketers and consumers alike. 

"Brand Storytelling." ANA, 2023.