By Charlotte Mackenzie
At align.me, we communicate with many different businesses all around the world and, like everyone else, we like to look professional when we do it.
It goes without saying that all written communication should contain well-written content that represents your company well. But how it looks visually is just as important, and often neglected. Essentially, every communication piece should instantly notify the recipient of who you are via a clear and consistent corporate identity. What’s the best way to establish and then maintain that corporate identity? By leveraging templates.
Customised templates are an effective form of branding, and help to achieve a consistent and coherent brand personality. Beyond this visual advantage, templates – especially letterheads – can also be treated as legally binding documents. In this sense, creating a suite of company templates is very useful in maintaining professionalism throughout conduct with partners, other organisations, and both potential and current clients.
When attempting to develop templates to support your visual identity, you should be mindful that, in B2B, impressions are formed by many sources. A brand is built up, in a consumers’ mind, from repeated exposure to certain elements, and in B2B, they are not big-ticket items, but a collection of smaller interactions, such as:
- Product Packaging
Many of these touch points should use templates that align to your corporate identity. Our own brand at align.me is the aggregate of the impressions formed from all these small interactions. For this reason, the templates, which are essential to these interactions, must be consistent, clear, and complete.
There are also a number of additional benefits, aside from relaying identity, that occur as a result of using personalised templates within your business, and Prima Communications have identified the 5 key advantages:
- Consistency – A template ensures the same points and details are related every time. There’s no need to worry about missing information or what was done or not done previously.
- Clarity – Templates remove the guesswork from documentation. Because information and details are outlined for the user, the purpose of the document is clear and concise, streamlining the documentation process.
- Form – Rather than reviewing plans or procedures that all look different and contain information in varying order, templates allow for a consistency of form that enables users to know where to find what they’re looking for in every document.
- Completeness – Templates ensure that all necessary information is included in a document. Each time the template is used, specific details are prompted. This makes it hard to erroneously leave something out.
- Efficiency – Instead of rewriting entire documents each time they’re needed, templates enable a document to be created once and then reused over and over again. The only difference from document to document is the specific information being provided. This saves valuable time and money, because employees no longer have to reinvent the wheel when they work.
Despite these clear advantages, it can be quite daunting to create a template from scratch. For tips on how to create templates, see our templates guide on Funnel Wiki. You may also want to enlist the help of a professional designer or template creator to help you.
Overall, templates are an effective way to enhance and solidify your brand, ensure consistency, save time, and make a good impression on partners, prospects, customers, and other organisations.
With thanks to Olivia Bradley, research assistant.