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.
Kazolu is a marketing practice that provides brand identity development and strategic business communications. We work with our clients and partners to create clear communications, compelling stories and clearly-understood brand identities for their businesses, not-for-profit groups, and themselves. Kazolu is an independent firm based in Guelph, Ontario, working regionally and nationally with a wide variety of brands, companies, and organizations since 2009.
We draw upon a team of associates who provide flexibility with expertise, creative styles, and tactical implementation as required.
We work to tell strategic stories that are consistent, authentic, truthful and effective.
The Guelph Country Club was established in 1912 as a private golf facility but has been open to the public as a semi-private Golf facility since 1999. This fact was not widely known in the Guelph area, hindering walk-in traffic for the golf and hospitality facilities. Memberships were also in decline. The business goal was to increase awareness of the semi-private facility’s premium quality to drive walk-in traffic and expand the membership base.
A comprehensive re-branding plan was needed, while acknowledging the proud history of the Club. This re-branding necessitated a new Brand Strategy, a Brand Standards Manual, and a long-term Communications plan.
The core competency and competitive advantage of "offering public golf with private club heritage and service” was defined. The Guelph Country Club’s unique local heritage was incorporated into a slogan that claimed the Club’s place as Guelph oldest, best and most sociable golf facility: "The Guelph Country Club. Guelph’s Home Course. Since 1912.”
The logo for The Guelph Country Club was very old, clearly outdated, and more to the point – a high-resolution digital version did not exist which greatly hindered the professionalism of all print materials. A new logo was developed that modernized the traditional historical crest of the Club. The focus was on communicating tradition and "class” with a clear, legible image that would work equally well as CMYK or B/W.
|Old Logo||New Logo|
There had been no consistency in the textual representation of "The Guelph Country Club” logo – a consistent font or colour palette was never established, nor was there any consistency with a slogan. A wordmark and slogan were developed with high-resolution digital representations to ensure that all print/textual representations of The Guelph Country Club would be unified in font, colour, and messaging. A Brand Standards Manual was developed for the use of third-party ad designers to ensure that all images and pantone colours be used according to precise specifications.
Radio advertising for The Guelph Country Club had traditionally been event-based and opportunistic. New radio scripts were written with a greater focus on clear messaging and branding, incorporating keywords like "public access”, "family”, "membership”, and of course, "premier golf facility”. To maintain a clear community feeling, voice talent featured Head Professional and General Manager Dave Vogel (since he also happened to have a speaking voice that felt fully professional).
Historical print ads offered no continuity of branding, in large part because a consistent logo and wordmark did not exist. Messaging was event-based and opportunistic. Consistent brand-focused representation will now be confirmed in all print media.
The existing website, like TGCC brochures, was informative and well-written, but had no continuity with other brand representations. A Google search of the keywords "Guelph Golf” did not reveal the site within the top-50 results. The website was redesigned to reflect the new brand standards and re-written to clarify the offerings of the facility. News, current events and even video golf lessons (as well as a strong focus on SEO) will direct viewers to the site more easily than in the past and will keep them coming back for new information. The new site can be viewed at www.tgcc.ca.
As near as we can tell, The Guelph Country Club was the first golf course in Canada to actively engage Twitter. Event updates, special rates, and even course conditions are now communicated in real-time to followers. The username "GuelphGolf” was secured to further the Club’s presence as "Guelph’s Home Course” at www.twitter.com/GuelphGolf. The re-designed website will include video golf lessons (hosted on YouTube).
In spite of the economic downturn in early 2009 and horrible golfing weather through May, June and July, The Guelph Country Club was one of the few golf facilities in south-western Ontario to enjoy a significant boost in new memberships. Walk-in traffic also increased exponentially, and the previously under-utilized hospitality facilities turned a significant profit vs. past years. The growth is continuing into the 2010 season, in spite of a series of rainy weekends.
Northern Village Inc. is a company that provides content-driven websites: websites built on a proprietary content management system that prioritized good content over flashy design. Because websites are easy to update, the client gains the benefit of updated, timely and relevant content without having to pay a third-party ISP to insert content, and they have complete control over their brand's messaging.
Northern Village asked Sociable Communications to assist with a clear brand message for Northern Village's new website, and new strategic direction. You can imagine that a website production company had better have a great website - particularly when its brand is based in great, concise content.
Rob worked one-on-one with Arni Mikelsons, owner of Northern Village, as well as other members of his team.
We determined that the core of Northern Village is in providing custom websites that are easily-updated by their clients - people who have been frustrated with the difficulty of making changes to their website love the service.
Therefore, Northern Village's brand essence (and key discriminator) was determined to be "Easily Updated Websites".
With this essence at the core, new messaging was developed from the ground up. The process included a creative brief that expressed the values and personality of the Northern Village brand. The result was a new logo, a new website (with clear navigation elements), and new content for the website. The site can be viewed (and read) at www.northernvillage.com.
Challenge and Solution: Completely new brand identity, logo development, marketing strategy, integrated communications plan, website creation, social media engagement, advertising
Challenge and Solution: A new brand identity, new brand messaging, in support of a new website... for a website development company.
Members of the Guelph Arts and Culture community have joined together to define a strategic marketing position for the arts and culture community within the broader Guelph community.
The goal of this project is to define a shared identity that will support economic sustainability and audience development throughout the professional arts and culture community, as well as tourism and economic development initiatives for the Guelph community-at-large.
Guelph Arts and Culture Community Mission Statement
Arts and Culture in Guelph measurably contributes to community wellness and wellbeing, providing education, inclusivity, authenticity and creative innovation.
Guelph Arts and Culture Community Vision Statement
Guelph’s Arts and Culture sector supports the social and economic growth and sustainability of the entire community.
The Essence of Guelph’s Arts and Culture Community:
Guelph provides continuous opportunities to experience and participate in creativity: opportunities for discovery.
Strategic Market Positioning:
It is measurably valuable to have a thriving arts and culture community as an authentic platform for sharing community-defining stories of heritage, humanity and happenings.
The role of the arts is to inform people, and Guelph is a repository for unique, fascinating stories that positively support a strong, distinct community position. Arts and culture supports growth and vibrancy in the broader Guelph community by telling these stories, continually sparking new ideas,events and economies.
1. Achieving a balance between artistic mission and economic need, and creating a sustainable economy for artistic work is essential for community artists and arts organizations to be sustainable and healthy in the long-term.
2. Creative innovation is essential to develop a culture of innovation in the broader community.
3. Authenticity is fundamental to Guelph’s Arts and Culture community.
4. On a per-capita basis, Guelph’s existing arts and culture community is one of the densest pockets of thriving culture that you can find in Canada.
5. It is measurably valuable to have a thriving arts and culture community in the Guelph community, as an authentic platform for sharing community-defining stories of heritage, history, humanity and happenings.
Please click the following links to download the entire strategic planning documents:
Food and Beverage Ontario - Branding and Marketing Resource Guide. Managing for Success Branding & Marketing Guide. (13.3 MB)
Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council report: "Today's and Tomorrow's Farms: Employment and Skills Development" CAHRC Report (2.1 MB)
Rural Ontario Institute Brochure ROI Brochure (2.8 MB)
The Grain Farmers of Ontario's Road Safety Awareness campaign involved production of a number of radio and video PSAs.
The beauty of this campaign was in the way we approached distribution. We approached conventional radio, television and cable distributors with the understanding that the CRTC mandates allocation of a percentage of all commercial airtime to public service announcements at no-cost to the content creators, as long as the content adheres to PSA standards. It was a bit of a gamble, but it paid off hugely - we gained maximum rotation with all Ontario rural CTV/Bell Media affiliates, and all rural Ontario Rogers affiliates. Furthermore, because the videos were produced in HD, we gained heavy rotation on the urban Rogers affiliates as well - the impact in Toronto alone would have easily been worth five figures in conventionally-purchased airtime.
We missed the window for 2012 radio, but we have multiple commitments for radio distribution during planing and harvest seasons in 2013, and have even confirmed distribution of the HD video spots with rural drive-in theatres - who are subject to the same CTRC PSA regulations as broadcasters.GFO Road Safety: "Be Patient"
Social media represents a distribution vehicle for relevant communication. It provides the opportunity to “self-publish” information, bypassing the traditional mechanisms of public relations engagement.
June of 2009 was still the earliest days of Twitter-fed communications, and Sociable Communications was still a new little firm with time to kill. One evening, with a few friends, we recorded and posted a song/video to YouTube as an experiment - wondering if the distribution of content that is very relevant to a select group could catch on with any level of "virality." The song was written by a band called The GMOs who called themselves a “beer league band” in the same manner that some people play “beer league hockey”. The association was appropriate as the recorded song took the fan-based stance of supporting the “Make it Seven” campaign (www.makeitseven.ca), spearheaded by Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie, that was working diligently to bring a seventh NHL franchise to Canada.
The song itself was cheesy, and the video production was intentionally even more amateurish, to ensure that nobody would assume it was a product of the campaign itself. The song/video was posted to YouTube on a Monday evening. Awareness was gained via Twitter comments from a few key individuals. Initial tweets reached 220 followers, but immediate re-tweets promptly reached over 5,000 people. By Tuesday afternoon the video was re-posted on a Facebook fansite and the www.makeitseven.ca site (separately from the YouTube link, and unfortunately, from its clear analytics).
Email blasts from these sites went to all site members (155,000 at makeitseven.ca, and 23,000 on Facebook). While these sites received the bulk of video views, YouTube also reached over 10,000 views as the YouTube link was tweeted and re-tweeted dozens of times. The song was discussed in numerous International sports blogs. By Wednesday it was being called the “official campaign song”. Comments on all social media distribution sites numbered in the hundreds (for better and for worse) – an example of the conversational consumer engagement that is possible in this medium.
Individual views of the video peaked at over 100,000 views, but more importantly from a PR point-of-view, the song (and the story behind it) gained significant coverage in “conventional media”.
Print stories specifically about the song and the band numbered twelve, which were also posted online. Additional print articles about the campaign that acknowledged the song reached fourteen. Band members were involved with four radio interviews, and the video (rough as it is) earned airtime on CTV National News twice, CBC National News, and numerous regional television news programs including Toronto, Hamilton and Kitchener/Waterloo stations (who aired a three-minute feature story on the band and the campaign). The traditional PR value of the execution can arguably be valued in six-figures.
The most curious spin-off of the social media engagement came as the band was booked to perform at a downtown Hamilton “Bring NHL to Hamilton” rally on Friday, June 19th. The crowd numbered over 5000 people, disproving the alleged impersonal nature of online media with this person-to-person engagement.
The success of this experiment revealed that relevancy of a message is critical – a strong and relevant story is essential to ensure that communication in engaged and internalized by consumers. It also proved that a strong message and a strong story will transcend any one medium. The real-time immediacy of social media as a medium for message distribution was essential in this case, but like ripples in a pond, the dropped pebble of social media had a reach beyond online forums.