Branding is not a name, it's not a logo, it's not a brochure, it's not a web site, and it’s not what you say it is. Branding is what your customer says you are. If you don't believe me I highly recommend you read Zag. If you do believe me, you must be smart, good looking and very successful. Debating regarding what Branding is aside, under the assumption that branding is what your customers and potential customers say you are, What are they saying about you? What do they call your industry? You call your industry thermo graphing they call it thermo imaging. Now where could you get this kind of information??? You could comb through the millions of blogs out there until you find someone who is an "expert" who gives you some feedback on your industry if you're lucky. You could check out yelp, and the hundreds of other review sites... But wouldn't it be nice if there were one place you could go to find this kind of information out... wait, there is. It's SEO. In Search Engine Optimization we look to see what people are typing in to find your services or your company. Think about it, all the millions and millions of people using Google. They're all typing in searches for services and products. It's interesting, the way our clients describe their services and the way their customers are searching for them can be quite different. Who wins? The customer is always right, right? In this case, absolutely and for SEO what's the point in optimizing for terms you think are relevant, save your time, search for the terms you customers are searching for. Back to branding, your customers are telling you what they think of your industry by the way they're searching for it. Keep your ears to your SEO and you'll have a pulse on your industry. If you seem new terms growing in popularity, you'll see a shift in customer perception and values.
I've been talking branding at a industry level it also works for some larger brands as well, where there is enough search info. You can also check your analytics for the keywords people are using to reach your web site.