Rob McLean

My name is Rob McLean. I established the roots of what would become Kazolu in 2009. I offer 25 years of professional experience developed through concurrent careers as a marketer, a writer, and a sessional lecturer in marketing strategy and communications at the University of Guelph. I am also a parent, speaker, business coach, producer, and a mostly-retired folk-punk songwriter and recording musician. 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 in the "client side" of consumer-packaged-goods marketing. That industry is where I honed my ability to craft unique, authentic brand identities for products that are (let's face it) fairly identical. I like to think that I balance business experience and creative intuition to tell better stories for companies, organizations, and individuals. My CV can be found here

My experience in the corporate world taught me that the value of a large-scale advertising agency can be delivered through effective consultancy and project management. The expensive trappings that most large-scale communications agencies provide (long lunches on blended-rate billing, warehouse loft offices, lots of interns, etc.) don't really add client value. They are rarely productive, sometimes shady, certainly expensive, and they don't support creativity and efficiency - which is the core of what I offer. Value and authenticity is already locked inside your brand's assets - we just need to release it together.

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, and I don't project the illusion (nor maintain the assets) of a "big marketing company" because neither is required to get the job done. If you're a big business that prefers a big agency, that's totally cool - by all means get in touch and I'll happily introduce you to a few world-class friends of mine. I know that "big likes big", though you may be surprised by what small can provide.

If you require efficient, shareable, clear messages, then stick around. I've said it many times, but I work to build my clients' brands, not my own. I am on your team. I manage almost all Kazolu's strategic work, and I am also the primary video producer and director (mainly because video production is both effective and really fun). I ensure that all the ideas, writing and visuals we generate together are properly united to tell your best-possible story.

In my spare time, I keep working on those aforementioned concurrent careers as a writer, a songwriter, a musician, and a very active parent to Katie, Zoe, and Lucas (who may answer the "what does Kazolu mean?" question).


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Our Story

Kazolu is a communications company that develops brand identities and provides strategic business communications. We work with our clients to create coherent, compelling stories and clearly-understood brand identities. Kazolu is an independent firm based in Guelph, Ontario that works regionally and nationally with a wide variety of brands, companies, and organizations since 2009.

We work with businesses, community benefit organizations, and individuals. Kazolu is managed by Rob McLean, and draws upon a team of associates who provide flexibility with expertise, creative styles, and tactical implementation as required.

We work to provide strategic messages that are consistent, authentic, truthful and effective.