Were you a Cinderella and Snow White kind of kid? Or an adventure-loving child who preferred the evil queen or wicked stepmother because they were so (predictably) scary? Human beings are natural storytellers โ€” and what we value affects the “signs” we carry.

This intriguing infographic from Zenzi.com shows how our values predict the stories we choose. Zenzi, a communications firm, explains how we can leverage this values research to better inform companies about consumer engagement. “A good marketing campaign is one that doesn’t feel like someone is trying to sell you something, but rather highlights shared goals.”

The study found that “people who value Power, Achievement, Spirituality, Tradition, Conformity, and Security seem to prefer stories that are closer to them, which they can relate to. In contrast, individuals who value Universalism, Self-Direction, Stimulation and Hedonism report a greater preference for stories that provide more of an escape from their everyday existence.”

vacationHow does this affect the signage you choose? If your business focuses on escape (a vacation destination, for example), your sandwich boards and vehicle magnets should rightly evoke self-direction and stimulation: “The trip of a lifetime” or “Better than windsurfing. Try THIS!” With vibrant colors and head-turning logo or graphics, you’ll capture the attention of consumers whose values match your business values.

On the other hand, someone who prefers tradition and conformity would likely find a quaint bed and breakfast nestled amid oak trees in a picturesque town much more appealing. The tastefully done vinyl banner reads “Welcome Home!” and the discreet yard sign promises, “Country breakfast just like Mom’s โ€” maybe even better!”

So know your customers’ values, and you can create signs that speak straight to the stories they hold most dear.