Business like life is made up of decisions and choices. How you make them determines whether you'll be successful or not, as well as the level of your success... or failure. Decisions and choices that aren't based on any foundational principles or values don't have much chance of getting us or our organizations where we or our organizations want to be. This is mainly because we probably aren't sure where we want to be or how we'd like to (or should) get there.
So where does branding come into all of this? Well, I believe at the beginning. By clearly defining your brand you will also be clarifying your purpose, the fundamental things you believe in and what you and your organization value most. Once you can stand on this foundation, making decisions becomes simple (I didn't say easy). You'll be able to see the past, present and future through new eyes... and others (colleagues, employees, clients, vendors, prospects, media, investors, your spouse, etc.) will be able to see you and/or your organization through those same new eyes. You'll know what (and who) fits and what doesn't. It's like your mother told you, just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD.
Define your brand and make better decisions.