Celebrating 25 Years of Stran
25 years ago, our founders Andrew Stranberg and Andy Shape founded Stran & Company following their graduation from the University of New Hampshire in 1994. Starting from the ground up, Andrew and Andy built Stran into an industry leader who sets the standard for how business is done throughout the Promotional Products Industry. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, it’s been a long journey to get here and we’re not shy of that.
When Andy & Andrew were students at UNH, they realized that they were very different people, but their personality traits complimented one and other and they knew early on that post-graduation they wanted to go into business together. Andrew graduated a year before Andy and began selling holiday cards. Upon Andy’s graduation, he followed suit and the two began selling cards door-to-door. The pair received their fair share of rejection, but they were never discouraged. After remaining persistent and staying the course, the two began gaining traction which encouraged them to keep at it. Eventually, they received their first big book of business for over 28,000 cards and realized that there was a market for more than just holiday cards. After coming to this realization, they began asking their clients who worked on their promo. Not straying from their initial plan, the college friends continued their grass roots, boots on the ground approach and shortly thereafter moving into the promotional products industry they landed an order from the New England Patriots and their radio affiliate WBCN. This spring-boarded them into the industry and after doing a few small orders, the pair earned the business of Nantucket Nectars. The business started as a few one-off orders as Nantucket Nectars was looking for Stran to prove itself, and it did. Eventually, this blossomed into a partnership that resulted in Nantucket Nectars becoming Stran’s first program client.
After a few years, Nantucket Nectars was bought out and members of their purchasing team moved on to work for a number of other successful local companies. But their positive experiences with Stran weren’t something that they were willing to part ways with. Through the hard work and commitment put forth with Nantucket Nectars, Stran was able to secure promotional programs with the retail giant Vineyard Vines & the financial services firm Natixis. Over the years, Stran’s book of business has grown drastically which triggered the natural growth of the company as a whole. Built from the ground up, that same hard-working mentality has never been lost from Stran’s core as it remains a predominant pillar of its success.
As Stran’s client base experienced substantial growth, the team at Stran realized that different industries require different levels of understanding and expertise. With the mission of providing clients with the best possible creative solutions, Stran developed a number of different divisions to focus on the service a few of those verticals. Stran Beverage launched in 2007 while Stran Nightlife formed in 2009. In addition to the creation of these industry specific divisions, Stran continuously constructs client teams to best serve the unique needs of each client based on team experience. While the business as a whole adapts to the changing industry trends & demands, the strategy of its’ people hasn’t.
Recently, Stran’s been named a “Best Places to Work” three years running and a top 50 distributor in consecutive years. These successes are validation that the decision to get into business together back in college was the right decision as their idea has now blossomed into a Promotional Products Industry powerhouse. As Stran celebrates its’ 25th anniversary, the technology has changed, some personnel has changed and the products have surely changed, but the mission of providing clients with an unmatched customer experience remains the same. From the initial knock on the door the the eventual dialing of the phone, the mission remains unchanged. From delivering one-off orders of the highest quality to executing complex e-commerce programs, Stran takes pride in treating all clients with the same care & attention to detail. Each client has equal access to the exceptional client experience teams that Stran has to offer. While this may be the current story of Stran, the team is still writing its’ next chapter and will continue doing so for years to come!