Thinking of putting a different brand of snow tire on the front of my wife's car. How important is it to stay with the same brand and tread on all four tires? Thanks much
Tires of the same brand and model on all wheels will react in largely the same way at the limits of adhesion (the limit of traction, etc). Mixing brands and treads is an invitation to making the car's handling unstable (or at least uncertain) when you need the tires most, erasing most of the advantage of using them in the first place.
If budget is a major factor here, you're safer on four cheaper winter tires than you are mixing and matching pairs of more expensive tires.
And, though it's hard to tell from your post, mixing snow tires one one axle with "all-season" or "summer" tires on the other is one of the fastest ways I know to make the back end of your car the front end. Flat-out not recommended.
If you live somewhere that you actually need winter tires and you have a front wheel drive car, you want the same tire all around. In my area where studded tires are an option, a tire store will not install them on the front only of a front wheel drive car. Less of an issue with non studded tires but I'd think the same principle would apply. jmo