Product is the most imp thing which a person buys. The quality, expiernece, color, design etc combine to convert it to a brand which a person associates to a product.
It depends on what a person needs. If someone wants to watch, it can be branded.. but if something like a pen or a shirt, they can probably go without a popular brand
If a person is looking for fulfiling a basic need, i think they go for the product. When they get used to a product and are willing to improve on the usage in terms of quality, thats when they opt for a brand.
FOr eg if someone wants footwear, they initally would always go for a simple slippers, or sandals. But if they want comfort and style they would probably go for a brand like nike, adidas etc