A brand is not merely "something that’s nice to have" any more than air is something good to inhale once in a while.
A brand is like air. Without it, you don’t survive. With it, you can live.
More to the point, a brand—like air—simply makes all the good stuff possible.
To be on the same page, the definition of brand used here is "that image/mark/identity which people know you by beyond your logo—but instead by what you stand for and what customers know you by."
There’s a law: If you don't create it, your customers will create it for you.
By way of example, breathing doesn’t mean everyone who breathes will be the next Michael Jordan, the next Thomas Edison, the next Einstein, the next Picasso, the next Steve Jobs or the next Donald Trump. And having a brand doesn’t mean you’ll be the next Apple, Google, Nike, or Godiva. What it does mean is: now you can.
How you live—or grow as a brand—that’s the next step.
But to even be in the race—human or otherwise—you need a brand. Just like you need air.