SEO vs. Branding.

Based on the amount of time people spend talking and writing about it, and the number of companies pitching their ability to do it, and the money being thrown at it, you would think that search engine optimization was the holy grail of marketing.  Just do SEO well, and marketing will take care of itself.  Except it won’t.  It can only get someone to visit your website.  Unless there’s a compelling brand waiting for them, your only hope is to be the low-cost provider for price-shoppers.  Good luck building long-term profitability on that strategy; someone will always undercut the low price.  But when you combine a true brand — a unique position in the market — with strong SEO, you’ve got a potent combination.  How are you doing in both areas?  Is one or the other getting all your love?