jimbeetle - 5:34 pm on Dec 29, 2012 (gmt 0)
All the brand stuff is simply a byproduct of all SE's -- not just Google's -- push to identify entities. Brands are simply one type of entity that is easy to identify. So, to be identified as a brand you have to start putting out signals that you are a specific entity.
A good place to start:
[entities site:seobythesea.com] [google.com]
As you can see, SEs have been stressing entities for a number of years.