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 business 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. The beer industry is a great place to hone the ability to craft unique, authentic brand identities for products that are (let's face it) fairly identical. This corporate experience was also an immersive education in applied marketing and business development, and I worked in everything from small privately-owned companies to what was, at that time, the largest beer company in the world. I like to think that I balance business experience with 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 much of the value provided by a large-scale advertising agency can be delivered through effective consultancy and project management. The costly trappings that many large-scale communications agencies provide can be unproductive, expensive, and they don't always support creativity and efficiency. If your primary needs are for effective processes and skill-sets that get your work completed well, I suggest that you don't need additional expenses that add little client value. 

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 with me 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.

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 of Kazolu's strategic work. 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 united to tell your best-possible story.

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


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Our Story

Kazolu is an independent communications company based in Guelph, Ontario that provides strategic business communications, brand identity development, and marketing audits. We work with our clients to create coherent, compelling brand stories and brand identities. We work regionally and nationally with a wide variety of brands, companies, and organizations.

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 with businesses, community benefit organizations, and individuals - providing strategic messages that are consistent, authentic, truthful and effective.