Saturday, January 31, 2009

Three Advance To Management Ranks at Cazbah

We’ve had a few people who’ve been promoted recently within their areas.

Vikki Donnelly, who has been with the company for 4 years now, was promoted to the position of Director of Production / Build. Vikki is responsible for all aspects of the work product and resources associated with the development and update of our customer’s websites. Vikki’s and her production team are the first people that customers encounter after joining Cazbah. Her keen sense of timing and priority has ensured a flawless record of successful customer website launches.

Mike Farney, one of the first employees of the company, was promoted to Director of Account Management. Mike’s roll is to oversee and manage the dedicated account management staff at Cazbah. Mike has been an account manager himself for 5 years and is a classic example of what effectiveness as an account manager at Cazbah is all about. Mike’s responsibility is to provide leadership to his team in all areas of their involvement with their individual base of Cazbah customers.

Louis Horton, was recently promoted to Director of Information Technology. Louis is responsible for a growing staff of software development personnel and is the principle development engineer for the company. Louis provides direction to his team regarding the design, daily operations, security, update and continuing development of Cazbah’s technology. Louis’ expert development skills have had a profound effect on the quality of the company’s technology in a very short period of time.

This group represents the management team for the company and is headed by Mike Seppala, company president, who acts as the director of operations.

Congratulations to Vikki, Mike and Louis!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What's In a Name?

We get asked all the time, “where did you guys come up with the name Cazbah?” Believe me, it wasn’t something that we just stumbled upon. We put quite a bit of research and thought into our brand, which is what good branding requires.

First, we picked Cazbah because it represents exactly who we are! The Cazbah, (or Kasbah -proper spelling) is generally the center of the North African towns where you go to get everything that you need. Likewise, it is also where you will find the marketplace. This juxtaposition of the centering influence and market access is who we are for our small business customers, bringing together everything that they need to be successful on the web.

Second, we wanted a brand that was familiar but not obvious. Now what-in-the-world do I mean by that? Cazbah is familiar to different people for different reasons. For the younger generation there is the song by the Clash (vintage 80’s rock actually, albeit still popular), “Rock the Kasbah.” We’ve never made direct reference to that classic line (nor will we ever) in our marketing efforts because, that would be a total rip-off.

For the more mature crowd there is Ingrid
Bergman & Humphrey Bogart in Casa Blanca. “Rick’s,” where most of the action in the film occurs, is located in the Kasbah.

A classic movie line that many people remember is, “Come with me to the Kasbah. We’ll make beautiful music together!” That line actually came from the film Pepe’ Le Moko, a French film from the late 30’s that was remade in Hollywood in the 40’s, about a French gangster that hides out in the Kasbah.

An interesting side note is that Pepe’ LePew (Chuck Schultz cartoon) is based on this movie. Who could forget the over-sexed skunk of Saturday morning cartoons, so unaware of his odoriferous nature? Pepe’ (the skunk) takes many of his lines from the film, including the, “come wis me to da Kasbah… (sp).

Third, you will notice that Cazbah is constructed in a (roughly) consonant – vowel – consonant – vowel sequence. This wasn’t by accident. The most successful brands follow this form. Brands like ebay, Microsoft, Intel, Google, Coca Cola, Samsung, DuPont, etc. Note also that most of these are “made-up” words or adaptations of other words or names.

Fourth, we subscribe to the branding methodology outlined by Al & Laura Reese in their excellent book, “The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR.” Al and Laura posit that in creating a brand you must; Define a new category, Give it a name and then, Dominate the category!

That is precisely what we have done and are in the process of doing.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The New Site is Launched!

Hey, great news! The new Cazbah site is up and running! A lot of creativity, thought and hard work went into the new site and every member of Cazbah had a hand in getting it off the ground.
As you can imagine, we were pretty psyched when we launched the new site. So much so, that we decided to celebrate. We get jazzed about stuff like that. Besides, we’re always looking for a reason to party.

We had a special cake & champagne and… Sue Mayo, who recently joined the Cazbah Account Management team, wrote a song for the event! How cool is that? Actually, this is not the first evidence of her unique talent in this area. For the Christmas party she wrote one too but, that’s another story for another blog post.

Anyway, I thought it would be fitting to post the words to the song so here they are:

Oh Cazbah Site (sung to the tune of America, The Beautiful)

Oh beautiful, our Cazbah Site
You are a shining Star
Your Cobalt blue, comes shining through
A beacon from afar

Oh Cazbah site, Oh Cazbah site
Please bring us many sales
With love you’re made
You’ll never fade
Cause teamwork never fails!

Oh beautiful, our Cazbah site
It’s you we really love
You’ll serve us well
Through Heaven & Hell
Bring blessings from above

Oh Cazbah site, Oh Cazbah site
With sweat and stress you’re born
Your special look
Consumers you’ll hook
And take them away from Porn

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Allow me to introduce...Ourselves.

Since 2001 we have helped small specialty businesses succeed by taking full advantage of the Internet as a primary marketing medium. Over that time we have identified that there is no better, more efficient and effective, way for small businesses to reach their customers and sell their products than to do so online.

Small businesses represent the majority of our economy on multiple levels. Small businesses are in the greatest need when it comes to the services we offer. Small businesses are still relatively under-served when it comes to marketing effectiveness and overall business strategy. It is for these reasons that we started Cazbah and continue to support our 100s of customers with services and support that are unmatched in the industry.

Our commitment to our small business customers runs so deep that we base our success on their success, according to their definition of the term. We have not been disappointed. However, I will say that when we first introduced the Cazbah business model back in 2001 there were many, in the Internet Industry at that time, who swore it would never work. It’s interesting to note that many of those same people who told us we would fail are no longer in business, while Cazbah has grown exponentially, year-over-year.

It’s really quite simple: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Treat people with respect and dignity; give them the support that they need to get them to their goals, and it’s amazing what can happen. The more colloquial version is, “you get back what you put out,” or “give to get.” We have gotten back loyal Cazbah customers that renew with us annually at an astoundingly high rate of 90% or better, voluntarily!

We have turned the page on a new chapter at Cazbah. In many respects we have reached the next stage of our business growth. Our business model has proven itself to be stable and robust at all levels; we are a rapidly growing (albeit managed growth) organization with departments and middle management in place; our technology is being continuously improved and the work processes that we employ on our customer’s behalf are accomplishing their marketing objectives daily.

We have so many good things to talk about and it’s now time for us to do so. We will use Cazblog as a medium through which we communicate the good news that we have to share with our community. We won’t just talk-the-talk. Real expertise comes from direct, personal experience, which we have a whole lot of, years and years worth actually! We walk-our-talk daily and we intend to share those experiences with you here on Cazblog.

All of us at Cazbah will be contributing to Cazblog so, it should be very interesting. The range of topics will be diverse for sure but will stay fairly well centered on company related information, Internet Marketing (in its broadest definition) and the challenges, successes and occasional failures of our Cazbah customers. Please check back often to collect the new information contained here. I sincerely hope that we can help you take that next step towards your success on the Internet.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to getting to know you better. Please communicate with us and let us know how we can help you.