Our world today is composed of two kinds of companies.

The more commonplace and conventional storyteller companies convey the story of their brand, business or product through paid advertising or public relations placement.

Then there are the far more rare storydoer companies, which consciously convey the story of their brand, business or products through direct action.

You’re likely familiar with the characteristics of storyteller companies; but are two main identifiers of a storydoer company:

  • They use their core story as an organizing principle for activities throughout the company such as new product development, recruiting, partnerships, every piece of communication.
  • They spend significantly less on paid media, and the dollars they do spend work harder – so they are more efficient.

Six attributes should drive storydoer company actions.

  1. Have a story. At Changelane, we believe this story should be tellable in a single sentence. For us, our story is our benefit and our promise: Automotive service that doesn’t interrupt your life.
  2. Have ambition beyond commercial aspirations. Yes, we want our investors to see an amazing return on their investment and we want to see everyone involved with Changelane rewarded well for their involvement – but what drives us more is what will happen to our communities when thousands of people each month use Changelane to get an hour or more of their life back.
  3. Your story is understood and cared about by your entire company.We’re a small startup with just a handful of people, so at this point it’s relatively easy for us to know in our guts that everybody is on board with our story. Now is the time for us to plan ways to scale our belief as well as our growth. We’re working on that.
  4. That story drives action throughout the company. We accomplish this by running everything we do through the litmus test of questions that including asking whether it will create a profound customer experience and if it’s in agreement with our goal to provide automotive service that doesn’t interrupt your life.
  5. These actions add up to a cohesive whole. This is not-so-easy, but we accomplish it by remaining unafraid to run decisions through the litmus test again and again – to ask “why” until asking “why” results in no further ability to remove words from our “because.”
  6. Passionate communities outside your company engage and participate in your story. At Changelane, we like to refer to this as “leaning in.” When your story is simple and ambitious and solves a problem everyone can understand, people around you want to join your story. Sometimes they don’t even ask for permission.

What happens if you do this? Research shows that storydoer companies perform better financially, they create more social engagement, they spend less on media, and their valuations grow faster.

Changelane is a young company. There are many chapters yet to do (not tell). One thing on which we all agree, though, is that what we are doing is not lip service.

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