Of course the Brand is important.
No marketer in his or her right mind would argue differently. Emotion stills plays an important role. Ask the Harley Davidson fan who has the Harley logo tattooed on them.
As marketers we often talk about Multi Channel, on or off line, integration across national boundaries. The customer thinks about none of these. They talk Brands
And the Brand has to be conveyed throughout the eCRM experience. In football there is a saying that it only takes a second to score a goal. It takes just as long to score an own goal!
Ultimately the message is a combination of the Brand, the Purpose of the Communication, and the Attributes of the Channel being used.