The hip, catch-all word of the New Economy.

Over the past few years, many entrepreneurs have called on her to create branding programs, and she could see that old-fashioned branding strategies had gone astray.

"There's been a tremendous abuse of branding," says Jeff Dufresne, managing director of BrandStorm, a brand consulting group in Cincinnati.

With the dotcom fallout, companies are relearning the basic lessons of what makes a successful brand-mainly, that you can't live on image alone.

Many companies today are refocusing on something they'd all but forgotten: their relationships with customers.

After all, if you had a lot of venture capital and a plan to take your company public and sell it in six months, did you really need to spend time figuring out your product's value to consumers?

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