I mentioned this term that I made up a lot in my last post, but the way I think of brand-identity is this: celebrities have an identity that is presented to the public every time they step in front of a camera, cross into a space of performance (court, stage, etc.), or talk abstractly about anything. The moment they engage fans directly, however, is the moment they enter a space of branding: generating impressions with audiences, galvanizing those audiences to make an opinion about the product that is a specific celebrity’s appearance, talent, and lifestyle. I guess the identity is what the artist cultivates, but brand is a fan-dictated perception of the artist’s identity.
I think Vanilla Ice is a pretty good example: his nu-metal shlock-reinvention in the early 2000s was an attempt to reidentify himself. However, his actions came off as clownish histrionics and he was branded as an irrelevant ICP reject.