Here's my question that I would like smarter people than me provide an answer to.
Can you build such a strong brand that it actually hurts you?
This question is sparked from thoughts of artist being very good at building personal brands but then having these brands define them in ways that are detrimental.
Two quick examples,
Bob Dylan- folk singer: This clearly hurt him when he tried to transition past the folk audience.
Possible business case example: McDonald's trying to introduce higher end menu items that are, on their merits, good but don't fall within the McDonald's brand.
Hunter S. Thompson- professional consumptionist: By the end, Thompson became a caricature of himself spending more time eating, drinking, and drugging than doing good work. By most accounts, he squandered some of his talent at the hands of trying to live the life of the Hunter S. Thompson brand.
Possible business case example: An ad agency trying to hard sell the cool or edgy direction to a client instead of the direction that works best for the client.
I guess the easy answer is to say that a good brand is good because it doesn't get pigeonholed so easily. But I'm not convinced that is the right answer.