If you’re wanting to understand how people are searching for your company or brand, one of the first questions you should ask is ‘what is the difference between brand and generic searches?’ And, a close second is, ‘how could this influence my potential customer’s decisions?’
This is what you think it is. It is the brand itself. It can be a little more complex than this if you are considering specific channels and what qualifies as the brand. For example, an easy one might be if you are a corporation with a brand, for example, Walt Disney Studios, you would consider that a branded search. But, any affiliate companies that you own underneath that brand would also need to be considered. So, you would want to include Disney World and Disney Land. These all keep words like Disney in the explanation, but there is also Marvel Entertainment. Each one of these requires considerations into how they break out within paid and organic channels that might have specific distinctions between how these brands show up in search queries.
Another example might be in the retirement industry with national chains, like Brookdale. Brookdale makes it simple by keeping the brand name in each property location. For example, Brookdale Tyler East is a property brand underneath the corporation’s brand, Brookdale. But, in another circumstance, the brand may be the parent company and each property might have specific property names that don’t reference the brand. This causes a whole host of different considerations when drilling into the types of keywords and search queries that you might want to be found for and where you should consider these into your marketing strategy.
This is anything that does not include the brand name itself. So, for example, with Disney, you might say, ‘theme parks’ or you could add a geo-modifier, ‘theme parks in California’. As a brand, you want to identify those generic terms that might show up in search queries. These are typically more mid-funnel and top-funnel search queries, meaning there is more investigation going on regarding potential considerations prior to narrowing down and selecting a destination for a trip. Most likely, someone putting these terms in is looking into some ideas for a good time and is not fixated on a specific brand at this time, hence the word, ‘generic’.
Just the Basics
This is the nuts and bolts of generic and brand searches. It’s important to start here and have a solid grasp of these two concepts with all kinds of different scenarios that can play into this conversation, all surrounding the brand and the types of searches that are common for a particular industry. This is one of the first steps to understanding search engines and how to approach an appropriate strategy for being found where you want to be considered in people’s online research. Another step that goes hand in hand with this, is consideration of the demographics of your ideal prospect(s) and who is most likely to consider your brand for solicitation. But that’s another post for another time!