Alex, this is very nice thread created by you :)
I focus more on personal branding, and try to maintain a similar presence wherever I go. I learned this from band - you're always representing the band, and in a similar fashion, I'm always representing my business and my own personal self.
That's a great analogy for the purpose of an identity, Corey. My friend had a band called Die By Fire. It was a great band, kinda a bit hardcore, and their music was well put together. I saw some of their sheet music and it looked like a symphony it was so complex. But they did no branding, had no website, had nothing but a MySpace that didn't have any songs on it. They are, needless to say, no more.
But I had another friend who created a band called Betting For Benson. They gathered a following through selling shirts, making a well laid-out website and a racehorse mascot named Benson (ergo "Betting For"), taking care of business and responding to emails and message from others. They advertised everywhere, to the point of annoyance without crossing it, and they reaped the benefits as they were signed by a small label in the Mars Hill area and now have an album out.
Yet another friend of mine went to UNC-Asheville and started a band called Just Die! They were signed using the same methods, plus enthusiasm on Matt's part, and are now on a tour of the entire east coast. Bands are a great analogy for identities. However it doesn't really fit with my thinking. Two is enough for me. Talk to Tom DeLonge. Two is too much.