Kagool one year on

8th April 2016

A year ago we became Kagool

The rebrand project took close to a year. I’m so glad we worked with a top brand agency to do it. It started with a plan. Followed by months of research. Plus lots of interviews with customers and key people at Sitecore.

This revealed so much valuable insight. For the first time in 16 years we really understood what we were about.

It sounds odd, but we really didn’t know exactly what customers valued about us, our ethos and values. Our culture and how we go about doing stuff was what stood out.

The naming part of the project

Ah! At last something I might find easier. A first for me. It was exciting but also draining. As founder, I probably had more emotionally invested than the rest of the board. One thing I was determined about was not following trends. Or ending up with anything bland or clichéd. Naming options were based on our brand platform and the position we’ve chosen in our marketplace. All the options Heavenly presented to us scared the holy c*** out of me. But all had a real spark. It was tricky and wasn’t unanimous at all. We just couldn’t get to a decision.

Then Heavenly called and said they wanted us to hold off. They’d had a ‘penny drop moment’. They rocketed up the M4 and ran through a new option. They unveiled a slightly shifted positioning and ‘Kagool’. Everyone looked at each other. It was quiet. Everyone in the room looked a bit nervous. It took a minute or so before the ice cracked! Everyone became very animated. Strangely perhaps, it all made sense!

We’d all had that moment we were hoping for ever since we selected Heavenly. We were already Kagool!

Ta da!

So we had our new name. We had a new identity. The website was coming along well. But how do we roll this out? Engage people? We decided we needed a tone of voice that was consistent. Everyone here has decades of writing formal documents, plans and specifications. We’d always written like we’d swallowed the dictionary. We worked with Enough Said. This was an eye opener.

We rolled out the new website and announced to the world that we were Kagool. I was expecting some flak and not a small amount of piss-taking. But the reaction was positive beyond anything I dared hope for.

The new tone of voice unleashed everyone’s ‘inner Kagool’. We developed something called Kagool DNA .This transformed how we measure and support people. We ripped up job descriptions, relaxed the dress code and totally refurbed our offices.

How does it all sit a year on?

The rebrand was a catalyst for change. Yes it has helped us stand out. Our marketing is now so much more effective. And we’ve improved HR aspects of the business to some extent. But it feels like we’ve always been Kagool. The identity better reflects who we are. Who we’ve always been in fact – people that look out for each other. People that thrive on doing a good job. And that are excited by the opportunities to do great stuff for our customers.

We’ve always had a lot of recruitment success. But it’s so much easier to attract the right people now. And we have a better idea of what a ‘Kagoolie’ really is!

Our tone of voice work and training has been liberating. We write in a fun way these days. It’s easier to understand. It gets what we are trying to say across clearly. And provokes people. We get noticed more.

So a year as Kagool. It’s been fabulous. Everything is so much better. More relaxed, less stuffy. More inclusive. Everyone remains focused and committed. But with a newfound conviction. And most of this seems to have simply happened. Some sort of osmotic Kagoolism we’d not expected!

So here we are, Kagool. Reassuringly geeky to the core.

A bolder business with great things happening. It feels like there are really no limits to what we can achieve.