The Pros and Cons of Using Templates on Your Brand

If you’re a small busi­ness own­er, then you know that main­tain­ing a pro­fes­sion­al pres­ence is key to suc­cess. But what if you don’t have the time or resources to design every­thing from scratch? 

Tem­plates can be a great way to cre­ate a cohe­sive look for your brand with­out spend­ing hours using com­pli­cat­ed soft­ware. How­ev­er, there are some things to keep in mind before div­ing in. 

Image graphic talking about the Templates can be a great way to create a cohesive look for your brand without spending hours using complicated software. However, there are some things to keep in mind before diving in. In this post, we'll look at the pros and cons of using templates for your brand

In this post, we’ll look at the pros and cons of using tem­plates and how you can be strate­gic in using these for your brand­ing efforts.

The Pros and Cons of Using Templates for Your Brand

Think about your favorite brand. Odds are, you can pic­ture their logo and the gen­er­al feel of their mar­ket­ing mate­ri­als. That’s because these brands have tak­en the time to cre­ate a tem­plate for their brand­ing. But is using a tem­plate right for your busi­ness? Let’s take a look at the ben­e­fits of using tem­plates to help you decide.

The Pros 

1. You Save Time

When you use tem­plates, you can focus more on the con­text and val­ue of your con­tent over the visu­al appeal. And being able to cre­ate this on a desk­top brows­er or mobile device is a huge benefit. 

Quote graphic that talks about how branded templates help your brand.

Cre­at­ing new designs every time is the biggest time killer. With tem­plates, you will save count­less hours, headaches and mon­ey. Whether you are a design­er or not, start­ing from scratch isn’t an effi­cient use of time.

2. Fast and Easy

The world is a com­pet­i­tive place. You can’t afford to waste time on slow and tedious tasks when there are so many oth­er things that need your atten­tion in order for you busi­ness or com­pa­ny’s suc­cess! Tem­plates make con­tent cre­ation fast, easy (and) afford­able because once you have them set up, all it takes is adding your copy with images.

3. Done for You 

Instead of start­ing from scratch, you can choose a tem­plate that’s already been cre­at­ed. With these tem­plates, all you need to do is insert your con­tent and make quick cus­tomiza­tions to the design. This is incred­i­bly ben­e­fi­cial if you val­ue the impact of design, but cre­at­ing con­tent from scratch isn’t your strength.

The Cons 

1. They Aren’t Exclusive

Brand­ed tem­plates can be a great way to save time and mon­ey when cre­at­ing mar­ket­ing mate­ri­als. How­ev­er, if you use any tem­plate that’s avail­able to the mass­es, some­one else will have them too! And when you are work­ing hard to build brand aware­ness, dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion comes at a cost when your brand iden­ti­ty looks like some­one else’s.

How branded templates can help you differentiate your brand over generic templates

In order to avoid this prob­lem, it’s impor­tant to be selec­tive about the tem­plates you use. Choose tem­plates that are not wide­ly avail­able, or cre­ate your own cus­tom brand­ed tem­plate. By tak­ing the time to cre­ate a unique brand iden­ti­ty, you’ll be able to stand out from your com­peti­tors and build strong cus­tomer loyalty. 

2. Brand Consistency Issues

Some­times, too many options are NOT the best route…

For instance, let’s say you start with some tem­plates you found. But you did­n’t real­ly feel they helped you tell your brand sto­ry. There­fore, you grabbed oth­er tem­plates. And those didn’t excite you after a while. So, you looked for anoth­er new tem­plate, only to expe­ri­ence con­tent cre­ation over­whelm because your tem­plates cre­ate more con­fu­sion than consistency.

3. Letting Templates Define Your Brand

We under­stand not all busi­ness own­ers can hire a pro­fes­sion­al brand design­er, so nat­u­ral­ly, using tools to help you brand your busi­ness is a good resource. But cre­at­ing a brand from a tem­plate can backfire.

Many busi­ness own­ers and entre­pre­neurs have con­fessed to us that they just found a trend­ing tem­plate online, added their name, and called it a brand. There was no strat­e­gy or no audi­ence con­nec­tion. It was just a case of beau­ty but no brains.

When you start build­ing your brand from a tem­plate, you let it define your brand. The prob­lem that cre­ates, is that you end up think­ing about how to cre­ate con­tent that fits that tem­plate instead of focus­ing on con­tent that aligns with your brand’s mission.

Tem­plates shouldn’t lead the con­tent. They should sup­port it! 

how to make templates work for your brand 

The solu­tion isn’t about not using tem­plates. It’s about being strate­gic with what tem­plates you use. So, here’s what you CAN do to make tem­plates work for your brand:

1. Create Custom Branded Templates

Whether you cre­ate the designs from scratch or start from a tool like Cre­ative Cloud Express, make sure those tem­plates have your brand col­ors, fonts, brand­mark AND fit your brand per­son­al­i­ty. We love using Adobe Express for our clients because it’s effort­less to use and doesn’t require them to learn Illus­tra­tor or Inde­sign. This ensures they main­tain brand integri­ty and empow­ers them to take com­plete con­trol of their brand­ed content.

Custom branded template design for our client Yaya Wellness using Creative Cloud Express

Cus­tom brand­ed tem­plate design for our client Yaya Well­ness using Adobe Express

2. Using Templates Without a Purpose

Fail­ing to define a brand pur­pose for your tem­plates will make you waste time nav­i­gat­ing con­tent blocks. Set a goal for each brand­ed tem­plate design: sales, brand aware­ness, quote graph­ics, carousels, com­mu­ni­ty engage­ment, live announce­ments, etc.

When we design brands, we often include social media tem­plates for our clients. Our brand strat­e­gy process defines what type of con­tent they share, which we use to guide the design of the cus­tom tem­plates we design for them. Here is an exam­ple of brand­ed social media tem­plates we cre­at­ed for our client Ele­vate it Now using Adobe Express. 

Custom Branded templates for our client Elevate It Now using Creative Cloud Express

Cus­tom Brand­ed tem­plates for our client Ele­vate It Now using Cre­ative Cloud Express

Elevate it Now Brand Refresh graphics and templates by Nicte Creative Design

Cus­tom Brand­ed tem­plates for our client Ele­vate It Now using Adobe Express

3. Define How to Use Your Templates

Cre­at­ing your brand­ed tem­plates is just the first step. You need to have a clear strat­e­gy for using them. There­fore, we rec­om­mend you estab­lish a writ­ten guide and add it to your brand guide­lines or social media strat­e­gy — this is espe­cial­ly cru­cial if some­one else uses them.

There’s no deny­ing that tem­plates can be a huge time saver when cre­at­ing mar­ket­ing mate­ri­als. Remem­ber you can’t build a brand from tem­plates. How­ev­er, you should use cus­tom brand­ed tem­plates to cre­ate brand con­sis­ten­cy. Above all, you need to be strate­gic and cre­ate brand­ed tem­plates with spe­cif­ic brand goals. As a result, you don’t just speed up your con­tent creation—you build equi­ty with brand continuity. 

P.S. if you are look­ing to get start­ed with Adobe Express, check out our course on LinkedIn Learn­ing!

This post con­tains some affil­i­ate links and we may be com­pen­sat­ed if you make a pur­chase using them. 

About the Author

Nicte Cuevas, Principal of Nicte Creative Design, empowers mission-driven businesses through strategic design & branding. Nicte has applied this when working with Adobe Spark and Twitter Business, LinkedIn Learning, Dogs on Deployment and Purina, Girl Scouts, The Houston Zoo and The Contemporary Arts Museum. Her excellence in communication design & marketing has been recognized by multiple national / international awards, including a coveted feature in Graphic Design USA's People to Watch.

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