Kazolu (Kah-zOH-Loo) Communication is a consultancy based in Guelph, Ontario. We provide brand audits, marketing plans, business plans, copywriting, and content. Kazolu works alongside our clients to develop coherent brand stories and compelling brand identities.
Kazolu is managed by Rob McLean, who draws on a team of associates to provide flexibility with tactical implementation and creative styles if required.
Kazolu works regionally and nationally with various businesses, individuals, brands, companies, and organizations to provide strategic brand communications that are consistent, authentic, and actionable.
My name is Rob McLean. I established the roots of what would become Kazolu Brand Communications in 2009. I engage a variety of concurrent career paths as a brand development consultant, a writer, a parent, a professor at the University of Guelph, a speaker, a business coach, an audio/visual content 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 industry on the "client side" of consumer-packaged-goods marketing, until I chose independence for good. 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 brand identity consulting and project management. If your primary needs are for brand communications assistance and effective processes that accomplish your goals effectively, you may not need additional overhead that adds little value. You probably have the resources in place already to engage the marketing tactics you need - especially with the benefit of online tools. What you really need is clear messaging and tactical guidance.
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 develop 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 the word 'Kazolu' mean?")
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 Letters. She 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.
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.
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.
We don't publicly provide a gallery of specific work we have engaged out of respect for the fact that our clients pay us to publicly showcase their work, not our own. We'll share details in person if you're interested, and we have a few video examples that we requested permission to share. However, we can say that we have worked with a diverse range of local, regional and global business, organizations, and brands over the years, including:
We have also worked alongside a number of partner agencies, including:
Outside of our core functions of brand planning and project management, we engage a diverse team of professionals to deliver on whatever a job additionally requires: media buying, digital asset management, illustration, graphic design & layout, quantitiative market research, motion graphics animation, website development, or anything else that you need. Consider it a concierge service - we have a strong contacts list of preferred marketing service partners and providers.
Kazolu has worked with a variety of agencies in the past to deliver strategic insights, public relations and crisis communications, national advertising, sourcing promotional items and apparel, and building easily updated websites.
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.
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.