In the old days you had to spend money on marketing your business in order to have people find you. Therefore, by definition, your success was almost directly tied to brand recognition. Think about the Yellow Pages (Golden Pages in Ireland). In its heyday you open it up to find a specific company and you would be hit by full-page ads. You would flick through page after page of full page ads and then the half-page ads would appear, followed by the quarter-page and then the line listings. The bigger ads would typically get the most calls, but they would also be the most expensive. It wasn’t unheard of for companies to hand over €20,000 or more for one ad!
Then Google came along and something interesting began to happen. Slowly at first and then with increasing frequency Google’s search rank began to replace the need for us to buy from recognised companies. In other words, Google’s search rank became a de facto brand identity for unknown brands.
You might disagree with me and in some instances you’d be right to. However, the fact remains that these days most start-up businesses will spend more on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) than they do on brand marketing. Obviously the ideal is to have a well recognised brand backed by a first place, or at least first page, rank in search results. When you look at the Google search results, the listings are all the same. You might be on the same page as a major brand and visually you are both on a par. The Yellow pages approach of “bigger is better” is meaningless in Google’s listings. So, the question is ‘can having a good search ranking can be more valuable in this “search-engine” age than brand?’
Click on the link to read the complete marketing article.