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How Woden Helped Peckham Industries Differentiate After 100 Years in Business

“Woden gave us the structure to move our brand forward.”


For more than a century, Peckham Industries has provided the raw materials necessary to build civilization. What began as a family supplier of construction supplies has grown into a portfolio of 12 brands that touch every phase of civil infrastructure.

With nearly 1,000 employees and countless product lines and service offerings, the company had grown complex. When a new leadership team came on board to prepare the company for its 100th Anniversary, they immediately recognized a need to recast Peckham’s value. Competitors had eroded the effectiveness of Peckahm’s historic appeals to service and quality. Poor differentiation externally was reflected in confusion internally about how the different brands support one another—and how employees should tell that story in a business that is still heavily relationship-driven.

Peckham engaged Woden to build a story that captured “The Peckham Way.” Woden’s proprietary StoryKernel captured what made Peckham essential. Through in-person collaboration and a detailed StoryGuide, the Peckham Way became a framework that, in the words of CEO Damian Murphy, “codified our company’s culture, story, and messaging.”


William Peckham started paving roads in 1924. Over the next century, the company built an unimpeachable reputation for service and quality as it expanded into production of raw materials, precast, and more. As it neared 100 years in business, Peckham was still operating as a family company, doing things the “right” way; making and keeping promises to customers.

Over time, however, the market became more competitive. Other pavers, quarries, and suppliers had entered markets with their own claims of quality and service. Peckham pointed to its long history for credibility in the market, but prospects still did not often understand what truly made them different.

Much of Peckham’s business development happens in person: with local communities or developers building new infrastructure. Employees knew why they loved working at Peckham and had deep knowledge of the industry, but 12 brands, 100 years of history and 1,000 employees had led to a message lacking cohesion and differentiation. Peckham came to Woden at a critical point: could they build the story that would align their team, differentiate them, and position them as essential for another century?

“Woden helped us unify our company’s branding and messaging. They helped us develop our StoryKernel with help from our employees and customers since the most important thing for us was having consistent messaging across our different channels.” – Damian Murphy, CEO


Peckham’s engagement with Woden began with interviews that captured the story already alive in the brand. These discussions surfaced consistent themes: pride in Peckham as a company, difficulty articulating why Peckham was different, and the importance of trust in the building materials industry.

Trust is important to every brand. Peckham had earned that with customers and wanted to preserve the culture that delivered it. But “trust” is critical to any relationship—Peckham needed to talk about trust and the service it delivered in a way unique from competitors.

Woden identified that Peckham’s lasting contributions to the community were what truly made it different. In each of its markets people drive on roads and enter buildings that for generations have been built by Peckham.
“Civilization that lasts generations is built on promises kept.” This belief statement formed the basis of the StoryKernel, where Woden crafted the arc of a story that defined the Peckham Way: treating word as bond, building for the long-term, and putting people first.

Peckham brought together all of its top leadership for a one-day session, the StorySeminar, to fully develop the story into a system of belief. With Woden’s help, the team framed out a set of values, a mission, market positioning, and more elements that were distilled from their StoryKernel that made the story actionable for teams. A narrative strategy was developed that mapped the Peckham Way on to every customer interaction, so employees could tell that story on the job site, in a bid, or during a public hearing.

The product and services Peckham delivered still mattered—and would be there for generations. But by positioning itself around making and keeping promises (and with a track record competitors could never match), Peckham was able to differentiate itself effectively.

Woden wove this story into every stage of the customer journey in Peckham’s StoryGuide. This blueprint showed how to use the strategic narrative as a frame for each conversation with each buyer at each funnel stage—ensuring that the Peckham story was pulling people consistently through that journey. Storytelling opened the opportunity to cross-sell across brands and instilled pride within employees who shared the Peckham story themselves.

Peckham extended its work with Woden through the StoryAccelerator program, where it developed activities that introduced and reinforced the story across its entire workforce. The company even had Woden capture its customer and employee stories in a unique book on the Peckham Way—a vivid illustration of how the StoryKernel is alive within Peckham, and how its promises affected people for generations.


With the Peckham Way codified in the form of a strategic narrative, Peckham Industries has charged into its 100th Anniversary. From casual observations—”we’ve noticed a measurable improvement in our employees’ engagement”—to tangible outcomes—”defined brand guidelines and a structure for our brand moving forward”—Woden has provided a foundation for their brand heading into another century of growth.

Every longstanding brand must adapt its story to remain competitive with contemporary buyers. Brands competing in commodified spaces with a history like Peckham’s must do that in a way that honors their heritage: capturing what truly makes them different and giving the team the tools to share that in every interaction with customers and prospects. To become an essential brand is the promise Woden makes—and with its strategic narrative in place, Peckham is now ready to keep its own promises for years to come.