I would add that even if your first consideration is SEO, you still want to rank for your brand, for the simple reason that it can be a good barometer for the overall health of your site. Put another way: if you aren’t ranking for your own brand or company name, you have a problem, and possibly a big one.
In addition, for many sites I’ve worked on in the past, even for those that used organic and paid search as their main marketing channels, the highest traffic and conversions were around branded search. So it’s a bit foolhardy to focus on nonbranded search to the exclusion of your branded terms.
However, it’s worth remembering that if you’re talking about building brand, then you’re almost certainly talking about offline advertising at some point. In other words, money money money. But your web presence should serve to reinforce whatever you’re doing offline, which leads into my first point above. So it’s not one or the other, as the author says:
No matter what industry you’re in or the type of business you’re trying to build, consider including both brand building and SEO in your marketing strategy. You don’t have to focus exclusively on one technique at the expense of the other.