Brand name not important anymore? Tell that to Cosina (Voigtlander), Leica, Zeiss, Rollei etc. The make great products, but the brand name is a great issue there. I mean, but would you seriously pay $5,000 for a Konost camera? Brand gives a degree of trust. Yeah, they could lose their name due to bad products but if you have good products and service, the brand could keep its value over time.
Related to Nikon, I dont think they need external help, but good management decisions.