One of the pillars of marketing in the 21st century – and mostly digitized – age is branding. Successful branding means building an identity that consumers respond to, communicate with and are able to interact with on some level. The word "identity" is key here — think about branding as the icing on the cake: easily identifiable characteristics that often define – but don't summarize – what a company is all about.

A recent report from the Harvard Business Review contains a rather stunning but instructive data point. As many as 77 percent of consumers report having little to no relationship with a brand, suggesting that many people out there shopping don't adhere to a particular family of products or services that they recognize. The in-house study noted that the remaining 23 reported having such a connection, but the jury is still out on whether or not the issue has to do with the direct actions of a particular brand.

The study suggested that more interactions don't necessarily translate into stronger branding. As a result, companies may want to step back and ensure that the cohesive strategy they have adopted, which includes internet marketing solutions from knowledgeable sources, is in-line with the realities on the consumer level.

"Instead of relentlessly demanding more consumer attention, treat the attention you do win as precious," the Harvard Business Review notes. "Then ask yourself a simple question of any new marketing efforts: is this campaign/email/microsite/print ad/etc. going to reduce the cognitive overload consumers feel as they shop my category? If the answer is "no" or "not sure," go back to the drawing board. When it comes to interacting with your customers, more isn't better."

The question still remains, however: What's the best way to interact? As many experts have agreed, the key is to be genuine. Once you are able to approach consumers on that level, the value proposition about your business can be more easily made.