not really. I believe you are still seeing brand as top down, rather than as the driver in the process. Thus if you do not see it as the driver, you cannot understand how brand dictates decisions and that all decisions must be in concert with brand, including anything having to do with quality.
I do not know what analogy to use that would communicate this, however, this website, www.ries.com, may help. Try looking at the video about their new book, War in the Boardroom. Al Ries wrote The Ten Immutable laws of Branding, a key work in this field.
upon reread of your post a few thoughts did not sink in well enough before I posted. I think I see where you are getting some of the points. Is "grasping nettles" (perhaps doing that which is painful or uncomfortable) the concept of working on defining what the brand for Wikipedia is, or figuring out what the compass is?
Perhaps you don't have to think about the IS-ness, perhaps someone else can do it for you? Then you can just follow guidelines that another puts in place? That doesn't seem to be your speed, but it could work if you wished it to.
I handle brands with incredible care. I have been fortunate to handle a number of them. Wikipedia is no different to me -- to be handled with care.