How Top Politicians Rebrand Themselves | Vanity Fair: “Branding” as a general term for the way you present yourself to the world has become a popular usage. It implies that, if people see you for what you really are, that’s a failure on your part. Success is when people see you as what you wish you were. Or as what you need to be, or seem to be, or need to seem to be, to suit the exigencies of the moment.
The concept of “branding” accurately captures the artificiality and self-consciousness of the process.
It doesn’t have to be that way. There is such a thing as a genuine conversion. Saint Paul (no relation to the Republican senator from Kentucky) wasn’t rebranding himself on the road to Damascus. From a branding point of view, sincerity of this sort may not be a good thing. A politician who actually changes his mind is unreliable. What if he changes it again?