Establishing the Brand

"Up on the roof"

Well, America has spoken. Or – at least – some of the people who read my blog have shared their feelings. Overwhelmingly, there has been “two thumbs up” for this new format. The changes will go like this:

  • I have decided to move my primary blog to this location at WordPress
  • My primary blog is now “The Life-Charged Life”.
  • I’ll still post at “Derek Maul” at Blogger, but it’s essentially going to be the same content, cut and pasted from here.
  • “The Preacher’s Husband”, for the time being, will remain at its current Blogger home.
  • My emphasis will shift from “A Life Examined” to “The Life-Charged Life.”

About that. While my stats have become increasingly strong (thanks for reading, and thanks for passing my posts on to your friends), I’m looking to involve more people in this conversation.

My publisher, and other experts, tell me that the narrower the door, the more people come through. Or, you catch higher numbers with a smaller net. Or, if I want more readers interested in my writing, I should talk about less…!

Okay, I know the above paragraph sounds contradictory, but what we’re talking about here is the difference between limiting my audience to people who already know me and are interested in my life… and associating a clear sense of direction and content with my name and this blog title, The Life-Charged Life.


What we’re talking about here is – in a sense – branding. Branding – the way I’m imagining it in this space – involves the following elements.

  1. First, it requires a consistent association between the brand and what the brand stands for. If “Derek Maul” is the brand, then it needs be clear what kind of reading experience should be expected.
  2. Branding needs predictability. Not in the boring sense but in the sense that there is “consumer confidence” that the brand really does deliver on the promise. No predictability = no brand.
  3. Distinctiveness. There should be no confusion as to what makes a visit to this blog a unique experience. My blog needs to be qualitatively different from others.

Put all this together and what I’d love to see happen is this. I want people to begin to associate “Derek Maul” with the idea of “The Life-Charged Life”. Also, and especially in light of the kind of events I tend to be invited to speak at, I want people to associate the name “Derek Maul” with “The Life-Charged Life for Men”.

This coming week I’ll be talking, specifically, about what I mean by “The Life-Charged Life.” I hope you will read along, and that you will introduce some of your friends to what I believe promises to be an exciting new resource.

With enthusiasm – DEREK!

4 thoughts on “Establishing the Brand

  1. Charles

    Dear Derek,

    Thank you for the invitation.

    Here’s the comment. I don’t intend it to be polemical, tendentious, or captious. I am just using your invitation and discussion of your blog to reflect a larger puzzlement. So, the comment starts with a question: Is the blog about Derek Maul or is it about Life-Charged Life? Actually, we are all about the self first and the other … well, somewhere other than first. If I think about the columns of Thomas Friedman and Paul Krugman, to mention two, I read them not because of anything I know about either of them, which is precious little, but because what they write contributes to me. On the other hand, I am willing to come to your blog-site once because I already know you. But I don’t continue to come to it unless I experience, in your blog, something that contributes a charge to my life.

    Almost by identity, blogs have to be overwhelmingly written in the first person singular, which is a huge barrier. Fortunately, in your case, once you get us over that barrier, we do experience life-charged life. If we don’t get charged just by reading it, we are at least compelled by the observations to ask, “How can I be like that?”

    FWIW, however, I have tagged your site in my browser Favorites, “Derek’s Blog,” not “Life-Charged Life.”

    Did you ever see the movie, “The Singer Not the Song”?



  2. That’s a great comment, Charles. You have noted the inherent problem with the “branding” concept. This is helpful, too, because I am still working on how this will play out.

    I want people to be invited into contemplation and action vis-a-vis “The Life-Charged Life”. But I also need readers to be confident that they will get that quality of content wherever they see my name, even if it’s in the newspaper or the bookstore….

    This is helpful – thanks….


    1. Charles

      You are welcome. Those of us who come to your blog do so because we are already confident of what we will find. The only question is, How is it going to be wrapped — or I guess it could be “rapped.” I cannot imagine anyone trying out blogs, the way you would a restaurant or a coffee shop. So once we get to your site, what you say therein is going to do one of two things: strenghten the confidence that got us there in the first place … or erode it. The uneasiness that must afflict every blogger is that it doesn’t take more than one or two erosions to lose the visitor forever.



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