I think everybody has a life-view even if they say they don´t believe in anything at all (a view too). If you have a preference you will keep this view.
If for example you like Buddha and want to uphold his strength, you can gather knowledge about Buddhism and put it into action. You can then share ideas with Buddhists but also keep a healthy independence without rejecting any other people and in this way you are a representative of Buddha. Then the label Buddhist can be meaningful but not really needed.
I´m a member of the Buddhist Association in my country but that is mostly for practical purposes of supporting Buddha with the 80 dollars from the government. If that earns me the label "Buddhist" it´s OK but it´s not really reality. I´m a member of this forum and that can make me a Buddhist also, but I don´t for personal reasons want to be known as a religious person (it´s probably obvious to anyone why). As a little scientist-in-the-making, I don´t see any harm in exchanging opinions and give and receive support while gathering material for my own hypothesises *lol*.
I have been in contact with some Christian priests and they never rejected me nor tried to convert me. Some of them suspected me of being a Buddhist but could´nt really arrest me HAHA. Some Muslims have asked me if I am a Muslim - thanks for their tolerance. And so it goes around...
This is my current opinion. Whatever point you reach before you identify yourself is fortunately something only you can know. I´m glad we´re equipped with a basic autonomy of the heart!
Buddha doesn't have a "but", but he has a "maybe".