In The Brand Gap, author Marty Neumeier clearly states the role branding plays in defining an organization and translating its values into creatives using design.
"The traditional view of design is that it has four possible goals: to identify, to inform, to entertain, or to persuade. But with branding, there's a fifth: to differentiate."— Marty Neumeier, The Brand Gap
Branding and design in email
Good email design means both enhancing the email's message with visually creative techniques, and making it functional in the way it's accessed using email design best practices. Adding branding and design goals to the mix leads to a campaign that makes your message stand out and sticks with your audience.
Designed vs plain text emails
The debate between using a designed email campaign vs plain text, is not really a debate at all. Whether one works better than the other depends on what your product or service is about, who your audience is, and the context of your message. So choosing to go with text is in fact a branding and design decision, and can still require design practices like specific formatting and font styling.
Email design as a system
Consistency is a critical component of both branding and design, and a template system is a tool for achieving this with emails. Similar to brand guidelines and design systems used for other other marketing assets like a website, an email template is built around the goal of being able to build more emails, at a high level of quality.
"Consistency is a critical component of both branding and design, and a template system is a tool for achieving this with emails."
Most of The Brand Gap focuses on how to have a strong brand: by collaborating with your team, both internally and externally, innovating using creative campaigns, validating by tracking the results of those campaigns, and cultivating brand and design by adapting to changes in the marketplace.
While branding and design aesthetics can sound like a fuzzy proposition, understanding their underlying principles can help turn the fuzziness into a formula of key elements to keep in mind for every email that goes out: your unique brand values, informative, educational, and entertaining content, and a foundation for repeatable results.
Blocks Edit takes the systemized branding approach for emails further by allowing anyone on your team to build emails from a source template, without having to know any code, or worrying about messing up the design. See the editor in action, and sign up to setup your template.