If you can weave your name into search suggestions related to your product or field of work it helps build your brand value for free and makes it much harder for others to take your market position.
If search engines use latent semantic indexing (or some similar systems that are obviously and certainly in use) having your brand or name semantically associated with your keywords makes it easier for you to write naturally about your topic, whereas some competing sites may write in a somewhat mechanical sounding process to try to compete.
It looks like Yahoo! thinks words are related if they appear next to each other often
And, as linked to above, here is an example of MSN finding a document relevant when there was no relevant anchor text or page copy. Here also is a post from last June talking about when Google started placing more emphasis on the value of search engine marketing anchor text in the search engine optimization search results.
If engines think your name is synonymous with your topic so will many consumers. It is all a game of mindshare and brand equity. If you can get people to talk about you then you do great.
Now if only I could fix minkhounds...
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