I don't see a difference between branding a product or branding a service. Albeit intangible, a service is still a product. No? With it comes emotions, customer service, advertising, PR... all the customer touch points you'd find in a typical, tangible brand or product scenario.
Virgin is a strong brand with a brilliant marketer at the helm but really, how many people at the consumer level know who Richard Branson is? Not many I suspect. That being said, the product or company name usually supersedes and is the banner or top-of-mind identification or reference for most.
So, as per an earlier submission which stated, you would never get into the door if you weren't backed by a product or company name that built its equity/reputation with the consumer over time, stands true. Some people, like Richard Branson, or Michael Dell, or Bill Gates , as founders of their companies, whether they like it or not, whether they prefer it or not, have become brands within and/or apart from their respective companies/products. E.g. Bill Gates and Microsoft; Michael Dell and, well, DELL; Michael Eisen and Disney and so on...
In the end, the dynamics are quite common between the user and the marketer of a service or that of a brand/product. The main goal is to build customer base, retain customers and make a profit while you're at it.
Fedex is a service and a good one at that. They've spent millions on branding and they deliver a positive experience to consumers every time. Fedex has become a household name, a top-of-mind service for many around the world.
Google, in less than 5 years, has created a brand worth more than $2 billion -- this is a service and a free one at that. Take away the Google name and, well, you may lose everything that comes with it: reputation, accessibilty, reliability and the like.
Got a service? Brand it! Got a product/ Brand it. The only place you'll find some small differences is in B2C and B2B in terms of dynamics of targeted messaging, etc.