muzza64 - 10:21 am on Jun 21, 2013 (gmt 0)
Let's look at this another way. Let's say there's a brand scale that goes from 1-10.
1 - start up business/website and give it a name
2 - create your content and begin marketing
3 - do more marketing, PR stunts, etc. to catch attention everywhere you can
4 - join an industry body, speak at seminars to grow your reputation
5 - become the 'go to' person/business in your industry
6 - get mentioned in the media (TV, radio, etc.) as your name and reputation grows
7 - business becomes a household name in your country
8 - word of your business starts to spread to other countries
9 - most of the world has heard of your business
10 - your business becomes famous worldwide (e.g. Amazon, Apple, etc.)
At which point on that scale do you make the transition from nothing to what we're referring to as a "brand"?
Personally I think of a brand as a household name (7-10) but if the advice here is that you'll only be successful if you become a household name then the majority of us are in major trouble.
In my niche the sites that dominate range from 4-8 in the scale above. One I'd rate as a 7 but it's a subsidiary of a 10 brand. Two of the sites are only in the 3-5 range, they are small businesses with an affiliate type model but they rank very strongly as a result of very creative marketing which gained them very high quality backlinks and lots of social mentions/likes/shares (on a par with sites in the 6-7 range). So they created the illusion of being more significant than they really are and that is working for them in Google.
My niche has a number of sub-niches and the sites that dominate those are the people who make the products (the main niche is companies selling the products these people make). These would be 3-6 in the brand scale. You could say they are big fish in a very, very, very small pond. So they are unknown to the public, heard of in the niche and very well known in their sub-niche.
So what are we really saying a brand is? What are we advising people to strive for on this scale? At which point can you say you don't need Google?
Years ago when my business had just started to fly and I was full of confidence and bravado I was chatting to a very successful businessman with a relatively well known company in the UK employing hundreds and explained how I was building a brand. He laughed (too much!) and said "do you have any idea what it really takes to build a brand?". That's when I realised there was a big difference between building a business and building a brand.
My advice would be "build a real business" and then you don't have to depend on Google. One day you may become a brand if you're really talented, determined and/or well financed, but you'll be ranking well in Google long before you get anywhere close to being a brand.