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How Woden Positioned Binary Defense to Win in a Commodified Market

“We needed to move from a list of features and benefits to selling solutions to our customers’ issues.”


Binary Defense is the technical leader in managed detection and response. According to Forrester: “Binary Defense brings unsurpassed technical chops…Given that Dave Kennedy founded Binary Defense, it’s not surprising.” That reputation earned Binary Defense $36 million in private equity backing and several notable early customers including the Cleveland Browns.

Along with institutional backing came a new leadership team that was surprised to discover Dave’s reputation and the team’s unmatched expertise weren’t enough to differentiate them from competitors like CrowdStrike and SentinelOne. Binary Defense won their earliest customers thanks to their technical chops. They engaged Woden to help them reposition in the market: Woden uncovered what really made Binary Defense essential and crafted the strategic narrative around it that fuels their go-to-market strategy today.

Through Woden’s proprietary StoryKernel—and a breakthrough at the StorySeminar—Binary Defense landed on market positioning that’s fueling their funnel today and has more than doubled the size of its business.


Dave Kennedy founded Binary Defense to make the world a safer place. For a cybersecurity expert with an attacker’s mindset, this made sense—Dave had a background in military cyber and as a Fortune 500 CSO. From their earliest days, Binary Defense made investments that ensured they were a technical leader in Managed Detection and Response (MDR). 

Gartner research found that buyers of cybersecurity services make their decision based on three factors: the vendor’s technology, expertise, and cultural alignment with the customer. Binary Defense gained traction thanks to their reputation in the first two areas. 

But as competitors made aggressive investments in their own technology and expertise, the gap increasingly narrowed. Larger customers led to the involvement of non-technical buyers who did not always appreciate the differences between vendors. Binary Defense sounded the same as everyone else in the space, and it was keeping them out of deals they knew they should be winning. They came to Woden with a challenge: what’s the story that would set them apart from the market and ensure customers saw them as essential?

“Woden’s work immediately impacted our business because it aligned our sales teams under a common direct messaging space. In addition, it helped our customers to understand our services, true brand story, and value proposition.” – David White, VP of Marketing


Extensive research showed that although Binary Defense was selling technology, its customers were really buying trust. Interviews with clients and the internal team all acknowledged the futility of preventing attacks—despite increases in spending across the industry, they continue to happen.

What buyers needed, especially those in the C-Suite who drove the decision-making behind larger deals, was a partner who they were confident they could turn to if the unthinkable happened. 

Woden identified five differentiators for Binary Defense: the attacker’s mindset, their emphasis on people, personalized protection, answers over alerts, and their product vision. The differentiators were woven into the StoryKernel, a strategic narrative designed to resonate at all levels of the prospect’s organization and move the conversation forward.

The StoryKernel was built on a simple but powerful belief: The right partner is the best defense. 

As competitors went deeper into technology, where Binary Defense knew they could win already, the brand positioned their story around the value proposition, where they knew they could truly stand alone.

Binary Defense brought their entire leadership team together for a one-day session with Woden, the StorySeminar, to align on how to use this message in their go-to-market strategy. This collaborative effort led to a breakthrough approach: recognizing all deals are competitive, Binary Defense should segment buyers into two segments and apply their story accordingly. While retaining Dave Kennedy’s original mission statement, Woden gave Binary Defense additional pillars they needed to stand up the story, including clear positioning as “The MDR Defense Partner.”

To ensure Binary Defense’s StoryKernel reached its transformative potential—and that their strategy was realized—Woden crafted their StoryGuide. 

The StoryGuide ensured that in deals where technical prowess was valued, Binary Defense shifted the story to that being seen as a baseline expectation, with their partnership as the valued component of the relationship. And with the one notable competitor who had been successful using a partnership-based message, Binary Defense aligned their origin story with the strategic narrative to be seen as the more mature, trustworthy partner—who the customer wants to call should they experience a breach.

Woden’s engagement achieved an immediate impact: a new sales playbook, website, and go-to-market strategy were introduced at that year’s sales kickoff and provided the foundation for the sales team as it rapidly scaled—and added seven new channel partnerships alone in rapid succession.


With a strategic narrative built by Woden, Binary Defense has transformed from an expert cybersecurity vendor to an essential partner for their clients. Binary Defense continues to win accolades from Forrester and Gartner for their technical prowess, but more importantly, is winning more new business because of their differentiated view of partnership from the competition.

In his review of the project, Binary Defense’s VP of Marketing David White said: “Woden is the best option if you want to sharpen and refine your company’s brand story.” A business looking to win in a commodified industry must find a way to become essential. For brands like Binary Defense, an authentic strategic narrative is the ultimate differentiator—and why companies who believe the right partner is the best defense overwhelmingly choose Binary Defense.