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Brand name bidding: should you buy ads for your brand terms?

Earlier today I wanted to visit Taskrabbit, so typed the brand name into Google to navigate my way to its website.
Wow, Taskrabbit is so good they listed it twice!
taskrabbit
Obviously the top listing is a paid search ad, although perhaps that’s not so obvious to the 40% of people who don’t know that these results are actually paid for.

It begs the question: why do brands bid on their own brand terms? Is it a good idea, or a bad one? Aren’t you just paying for traffic that you’d otherwise get for free?

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