Gather round, kids, and let me tell you a story. A company founder was a lifelong resident of his community – a guy who grew up riding a bike through his town – and wherever he went, he knew and recognized his neighbors. He had learned some simple lessons at home from his mom and dad about the importance of lending a helping hand. So sometimes when he’d see an elderly lady pulling her trash can to the street, he’d push down that kickstand on his bike and rush to finish rolling the can to the curb for her. As time went by, he carried those values into his company, and now he rides his truck through this same town. And he still stops to help his neighbors, always lending a hand whenever they need him.

That’s a fictional story, but the facts aren’t the point. It’s the idea of storytelling – how you express who you are as a company and how that connects to how you serve your customers. Your company story is not told just in words. It’s also told in images, feelings, impressions.

You can see someone in this company’s uniform at a neighbor’s door – polite, clean, professional with a neat, clean, well-stocked service vehicle in the background. In this scenario, customers might get a sense: “This company is trustworthy, conscientious, committed. I can count on them. They care about their customers.”

To develop your story, think of the unique qualities about your company – but also how your customers can translate these qualities into something of value for them. How do you solve your customers’ problems? And why are you a better choice for them over your competitor?

Your story is not just who you say you are, but who your customers sense you are. Their interpretations become your story too. So be true to the company story you tell.