One of my favorite R&B songs recorded by the late Aretha Franklin is “Respect”. I love the chorus of that song, where she says “re- re- re- re- re- re- re- re-spect!” I’m no expert about other languages, but I think “re-” is a very powerful part of the English language.

It’s a prefix. Oxford’s Advanced Learners Dictionary defines it as “once more, afresh, anew.” And, not to be outdone, the Cambridge Dictionary simply defines it as “a letter or group of letters added to the beginning of a word to make a new word.” These dictionaries are published in England, by the two oldest universities in the English speaking world. So they should know, right?

I must say, though, that I like the word because it’s intentionally and strategically placed to shake things up. It RE-minds me that we can RE-do, RE-visit and RE-new, and that we can be RE-silient by becoming the producers of our own RE-mix. And boy, after the year we’ve just experienced, doesn’t that sound simply RE-storative?

The year 2020 will go down in history (and possibly, infamy) for so much. Climate, politics, discovery, loss and grief (okay, I’ll say it, Pandemic), but also growth and change and possibilities. All of these words apply.

This year, in 2021, CSD Marketing and Consulting is launching a Fresh Start campaign. After all, our little company pressed the reset button at the end of 2020 and expanded our portfolio of services and moved from a one-woman show to a high performing team. We embody the phrase, “Fresh Start.” We want to work with organizations that are ready to hit their own reset buttons, possibly redefining themselves and what they do, or how they do it.

What do we mean by Fresh Start? How about, refocusing? What did we actually learn from 2020? How did it affect your business? What seemed unimportant before but now is key to your operations and achievement of goals? What do you need to think about—and do—now to stay viable or advance in a new reality?

Another element of a fresh start is, well, refreshing something. Once you’ve completed the situational analysis—that hard look at your operating environment, inside and out—and identified what needs to be done, you need to implement your plan of action in a way that makes sense for your business model, your goals and your capacities.

The final element of CSD Marketing and Consulting’s Fresh Start is revival. Let’s hit the English books again, because revival is a bit of a twist on our previous use of RE-. This is actually a word that is a smashup of the English prefix (RE-) and the French word for life. It literally means to bring something back to life. “Back to life?”, you ask, appalled. “I was never dead!” True. But in America, we also use this word when we are relaunching a life. And isn’t your business—with its systems (like the human body systems, running everything behind the scene), its employees (the lifeblood of your operations), its leadership (the heart and mind behind the vision), and its customers (the food or energy that keeps you going)—yes, isn’t your business, by creative definition, a life? And when you make big moves to shift into this new reality, that is what we call a revival, relaunch, regeneration.

CSD Marketing and Consulting’s Fresh Start 2021 aims to guide a few willing partners through the steps of Refocusing, Refreshing, and Revival. What does that look like? We will lend our expertise to your organization as you consider what moves to take you to the next level in 2021.

Stick with me. Next week I’ll explore an essential initial step for making a Fresh Start in 2021—bringing your brand identity into alignment with your purpose and vision, with laser-like focus. Until then: Cut Loose with Aretha!! “RE- RE- RE- RE- RE- RE- RE- RE- SPECT!” Or you can RE-word it to suit you!