Helping content marketers more confidently navigate the world of brand storytelling.
Oct. 18, 2022

How Sleep Number Grew Storytelling – Lisa Bailey, episode 83



As we approach the two-year anniversary of the Marketing with Empathy podcast, I’m feeling a little nostalgic. Of course, I’m thrilled to have a whole lot more listeners than when we started out, but that also means you might have missed some of our earlier episodes.

Today, I’m taking a trip down memory lane and sharing a previous episode that is just too valuable to skip! Join me as we revisit this insightful conversation with Sleep Number’s VP of Media and Content Strategy, Lisa Bailey.

We take you behind the scenes as Lisa and I share what it was like in the early days of growing Sleep Number’s storytelling function into the authentic and effective marketing tool that it is today. Tuning in, you'll learn how you can track the results of your own brand storytelling, how quickly or slowly you should test the waters, and what we would do differently with hindsight.

Our advice might just be the thing you need to help you tell stories that not only engage your audience on an emotional level but ultimately connect back to your brand’s mission. So, make sure not to miss this powerful rerun episode with Lisa Bailey from Sleep Number!


  • Brand storytelling advice Lisa and Sarah would give their past self
  • Why taking a slow approach might be a mistake
  • How Sleep Number made brand storytelling a priority
  • A brand storytelling example that Lisa is excited about
  • Measurable results Sleep Number has seen from their narrative content
  • Advice for creating upper funnel content that sets your brand apart
  • Ways that brand storytelling delivers marketing ROI
  • Lisa’s take on brand over time versus brand overnight
  • Embracing the idea of failing upward
  • Bonus: learn three ways to improve your content strategy!


Connect with Lisa Bailey on LinkedIn.


Learn more about Sleep Number on their website, take a look at some of their customer stories, or read their blog. You can also subscribe to their YouTube Channel for interviews with your favorite NFL athletes, tips on how to sleep better, and more.


Click here for 3 Ways to Improve Your Content Strategy This Year, packed with tips and actionable advice that I’ve learned and mastered over the last 20 years. 


Looking to humanize your brand, connect with your audience, and attract top-funnel leads to drive bottom-funnel results? Sign up for my 3-month Brand Storytelling Academy program.


Sarah Panus is a brand storytelling marketing strategist, Minnesota mom, and owner of Kindred Speak, LLC, a remote consultancy that helps corporations attract upper-funnel leads that drive bottom-funnel results through storytelling.  Her mission is to add value to the world by humanizing brand+consumer connections. Her online courses teach content professionals inside corporations how to think like Editorial Directors to drive stronger results while enjoying their jobs more.  She’s spent the last 20 years helping brands including Sleep Number, Starbucks, Nestle Waters, Christos Bridal, Game Crazy, Cone Inc, and others, speak a kindred language with their audiences, driving brand advocacy and millions in revenue and brand engagements. Learn more at