I always defined “brand” as something more than just a business. Because what makes it different is the memories, the feelings, the emotions that people associate with that business. Think Mcdonalds vs a local hamburger joint. They’re both businesses, but people remember Mcdonalds much more deeply. This is because Mcdonalds has spent hundreds of millions ($963 million last year for reference) on advertising, getting their brand name out there, and coming up with new ideas on how to attract more customers.
You made some great points about why we should focus on branding, and I believe every business should definitely read what you wrote.