I think one of the takeaways from the survey may be that formal intellectual property protection isn't always valuable to most businesses, even though intangible things like reputation may be very valuable.
You do realise that trademark protection exists with or without registration, right? Registration confers additional rights to your trademark, but even without registration, other businesses are not permitted to imitate you.
Therefore, even without taking the step of registration, there is still formal intellectual property protection, which the GP is correct in saying that businesses that trade on their reputation rely on. If a business wasn't able to have exclusivity over the name tied to their reputation, such a reputation would be very difficult to foster in the first place. It's easy to take things like the concept of a business's reputation for granted when we are so used to the idea of a trademark.