Branding versus search engine optimization is a marketing dilemma that larger companies will need to come to grips with on Internet. Often companies will need to decide whether to promote their own brand name as their main keyword phrase or optimize for a more generic keyword phrase. For instance, one search engine report states that 1.3 million visitors per month search for term "Best Buy." This same report states that term "electronics" is searched for by 1.1 visitors per month. The obvious choice in this scenario is for Best Buy to optimize for their own brand name first and word "electronics" second.
But take a competitor such as Fry's Electronics. Approximately 95,000 visitors search for term "Fry's" every month, far short of those who search for "electronics". Does this mean Fry's Electronics (a partner with Outpost.com) should optimize for "electronics" first and Fry's (and/or Outpost.com) second?
Currently, a search on Google for "electronics" will show that Best Buy does not show up in first two pages. Fry's (Outpost.com) is on second page. But let's take a further look to see who is in number 1 position: Sony.
Sony, with 450,000 searches per month for word "sony", has managed to grab number one spot for its brand name and generic name "electronics". A search of Sony homepage source code will reveal that this page is optimized for both words, "Sony" and "electronics." By optimizing for both words Sony has nabbed a lot of traffic neglected by Best Buy and perhaps even exceeds Best Buys traffic in doing this.