“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

This is Jeff Bezos’ (CEO of Amazon) definition of branding. It’s a narrow description, but an accurate one.

How people perceive you is the key to great branding. A logo (or symbol), colour scheme and tagline, don’t give you a brand experience.

A brand is born from customer interactions. The experience they have will shape their view of the business. They associate the elements of the brand with those experiences. A life insurance company branding themselves “thrill-seeking adventurers” need customers to see it. If they don’t, they will lack integrity and trust.

Marketing requires research, branding is no exception.

User experience is at the heart of every business. Write out your customer touch points. Go through each one along the customer’s journey.

Talk to your sales team and learn how they present themselves to the people you’re targeting. Record a few calls to get an idea of the tone and language used. Then talk to some of your customers about their experiences. If your customers and sales team see themselves differently, ask yourself why. Does it affect your business? How can you fix it?

Next look at your marketing materials. Does the copy deliver the same message? Does the design convey the same tone? This is where many fall short.

Consistency is the key to a strong brand. This isn’t only about setting the logo in the same place or having the same size banners. It’s providing a consistent experience. That’s what creates a distinct personality for your brand.

A consistent experience is proof that your brand delivers.