I met with John Morabito (@johnmorabitoseo) at Stella Rising in NYC, he is the director of SEO at that agency. The agency he is working at was acquired during his tenure there. Prior to that he worked as a graphic designer and built web sites in the early days and that is how he became an SEO by trying to get those sites to rank well.
He learned a lot about SEO through online resources including Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, Moz and my site he said. We talked a bit more about the acquisition and how that experience went.
We then talked about branded search, a topic he is passionate about. Many people do not pay attention in too much detail to branded search and he thinks there is a lot of opportunity to that area. It is important that you are ranking well for your branded queries and your competitors or resellers aren’t dominating that space. It is not just about those products you sell but things around your brand’s return policy, FAQs, etc you want to rank for those queries. In fact, John wrote about this in more detail at Search Engine Watch. It felt very similar to reputation management on some level to me.