Kazolu is an independent consultancy based in Guelph, Ontario providing strategic business planning, marketing communications, brand identity development, and marketing audits. Kazolu partners with clients to create coherent, compelling brand stories and brand identities. 

Kazolu is managed by Rob McLean, who draws on a team of associates that provide flexibility with expertise, creative styles, and tactical implementation as required. 

Kazolu works regionally and nationally with a variety of businesses, individuals, brands, companies, and organizations, providing strategic communications that are consistent, authentic, truthful and effective.

Rob McLean


Rob McLean

My name is Rob McLean. I established the roots of what would become Kazolu in 2009.  I engage a variety of concurrent career paths as a writer, a parent, speaker, business coach, producer, and a mostly-retired folk-punk songwriter and recording musician. I am also a sessional lecturer in marketing strategy and business communications at the University of Guelph. I'm one of the few survivors of the Canadian independent music scene to earn an MBA, and I also survived a decade in the North American beer business, working the "client side" of consumer-packaged-goods marketing. My CV can be found here

My experience in the corporate world taught me that much of the value provided by large-scale advertising agencies can be delivered through effective consultancy and project management. If your primary needs are for effective processes and skill-sets that get your work completed well, you may not need additional overhead that adds little value. 

I like to think that I balance business experience with creative intuition to tell better stories for companies, organizations, and individuals. Kazolu is primarily a consultancy with core services in brand strategy counsel, clear communications development, and video production (ideas, writing, and visuals). I work with a diverse range of third-party service providers to deliver on services.

I work to build my clients' brands. I am on your team. I build and manage strategic plans, and I write efficient, shareable, clear messages. I also get very hands-on with video production and direction, mainly because both are effective communications tools, and they're really fun to work with. I ensure that all the ideas, writing and visuals we generate together are properly integrated to tell the best-possible story.

In my spare time, I still keep engaged with those aforementioned concurrent careers as a writer, a songwriter, and I'm a very active parent to Katie, Zoe, and Lucas. (Their names may answer the question "what does 'Kazolu' stand for?")

 

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Lisa McLean


Lisa McLean - Strongly Worded Letters

Lisa McLean is a skilled, talented writer and editor with a passion for bridging the information gap between a brand and its audience - particularly in relation to agriculture and food, and the non-farming public.

A graduate of the University of Guelph, Lisa spent two years working in the University’s Office of Research where she coordinated the award-winning Students Promoting Awareness of Research Knowledge (SPARK) program. She then spent five years working for in strategic planning and communications roles for agriculture organizations, working closely with primary producers as well as provincial and national farm leaders from all sectors. In 2004, Lisa initiated Ontario’s Farmers Feed Cities! agricultural awareness campaign to increase visibility of Ontario farm families.

In 2009, she joined the Alliance of Ontario Food Processors as Director of Communications and Regulatory Affairs. AOFP acts as the voice of Ontario’s $33 billion food and beverage processing sector.

Lisa continues to work as a freelance writer, and is the owner of Strongly Worded LettersShe is an active member of the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation (CFWF) and is a member of the planning committee for the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) Conference, scheduled to take place in Ontario in 2011. Lisa is also a published writer of creative fiction - most recently published as a winner of the "Great Canadian Literary Hunt" in This Magazine.



Our Process


Brand Asset Analysis - Understand Your Brand 

The Kazolu Brand Asset Analysis is a brand development methodology that charts the strategic process required to represent an effective brand. This methodology draws a brand map and defines your territory to demonstrate true command of your brand.

Inspiring, aspirational branding is the foundation of successful strategic marketing and communications. A consistently positioned brand is a critical part of a brand's marketing strategy. A clear articulation of that positioning is even more critical.

Understanding your brand and its value as your asset are key factors to achieving a successful and lasting brand strategy.

"Core” is the central, innermost element - the heart and soul that can’t be distorted or improved upon. Kazolu will reveal the core of your brand, and link it to every detail that will contribute to the success of your business, product or service in a manner that embodies truthfulness and authenticity.

 

Understand Your Brand


Understand Your Brand

Whether you are championing a product, a company, a community benefit organization, or even yourself, you need to understand your brand. Your brand is the sum total of all consumer impressions, and you need to articulate your brand identity quickly and effectively.

Understanding your brand and its value as your key asset is the critical factor to achieving a successful and lasting brand strategy.

When you have a crisp, clear statement of what your brand represents at the core of a strategic plan, you have the foundation for a marketing and communications plan that will achieve your goals.

Brands


 

We don't publicly provide a general gallery of specific work we have done, out of respect for the fact that our clients pay us to publicly showcase their work, not our own (we will share details in person if you're interested, and we have a few video examples that we requested permission to share). However, we will say that we have worked with a diverse range of local, regional and global business, organizations, and brands over the years, including:

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We have also worked alongside a number of partner agencies, including:

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The Team


Partners and Associates

Rob McLean manages the core functions of providing strategic ideas and project management. Rob engages a diverse team of professionals to deliver on whatever a job additionally requires: illustration, graphic layout, in-depth research, motion graphics animation, website development, or anything else that is needed.

Kazolu has worked with the following agencies in the past to deliver strategic insightspublic relations and crisis communications, national advertisingsourcing promotional items and apparel, and building easily updated websites.

 
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Process


Process

We use a number of proprietary processes to help you understand your brand, and to get the work done that you require.

Because we operate as a marketing practise rather than as a traditional marketing agency, you get senior-level service for all of your needs - each team member is an entrepreneur that provides an entrepreneurial level of accountability. 

The process of discovering your needs starts with a lot of questions, and we'll build whatever team you require to get the job done - but efficiency is key to our process, because we believe there is great value in simplicity.

Past Work


Past Work

We have worked with a diverse range of clients - businesses, community service organizations, brands and individuals. Some local, some national, some international - but we don't openly feature past work on this website because those organizations paid us to showcase their work, not ours (video examples are the one exception since they're already fairly public... but we still asked permission first before sharing them here). 

Please contact us directly if you'd like more information about brands that we have worked with in the past. We will be happy to send you a secure link to share case studies of work we have done that may be relevant to your needs.

The best way for us to show you how we can help your brand is to discuss your needs, your product / company / organization, and your vision and goals. Once we have a set of goals, be can start the process of building a plan to achieve them.