I spoke to a group of CFO's in Ann Arbor Michigan a few years ago on the benefits of branding. This group didn't care about marketing benefits but only how branding can save money. Bottom line.
Number one - consistency. How the brand image is delivered is crucial. If the brand image is consistent across all media, then there is little room for confusion , making it cheaper to promote the company. Inconsistency results in confusion. Confusion is a costly error. If you buy into differentiation and go to market with one thrust, then marketing costs are focused on that unique selling point. For every product or service you add to that you not only increase the marketing costs but also add more competitors to the mix.
Another financial consideration for branding is luring prospective investors or buyers. If the brand is focused properly, the brand is more attractive to investors or buyers. They have their act together. When the brand is strong, the resulting passion among all stakeholders holds a great deal of value.
To view branding as simply a marketing function is a gross misunderstanding and appreciation of what your brand IS. Your brand at the end of the day is your passion and reputation. If nurtured properly, the financial benefits are obvious.