The story begins in a small office in Berghem, Sweden. The year is 2002 and the stakes are high for Jon Strand. His private residence is newly purchased, the children are young. All his savings are invested in the company he just started, Strands fordonskomponenter AB. He wants to change a conservative industry. Do it different, do it better.
As a child he was always full of energy. He had a social gift and talked very much. His social skills was a useful quality when he at the young age of 15 started his first company in grocery retail. The following years he worked in the automotive industry with spare parts, for example. He soon became frustrated. The established companies turned out to have a resistance to new technology. Their high prices proved to be unjustified and too much resources were spent on definding their right to exist as a business.
When he started Strands he knew that the savings not were enough to produce own products, but the goal was to do it as fast as possible. Two years later he held Strands first own product in his hands. A driving light with the well-known Osram technology on the inside.
Strand’s lamp tests were at first very unsophisticated and mostly about comparing the lamps with the major German manufactures products. Often on a dark forest road. The result was always the same – Strand’s lamps always proved to the winner. After problems with various authorities the lamps finally were approved for use in EU. The price was nearly one-third from the nearest competitor. Guess what, the lamps were sold very quickly.
On the truck fair in Jönköping 2004 Strand’s started to show the products prices. It shooked the market and 500 dealers was lost during the fair. But the customers liked it. The company got 500 new customers every month the following two years.
Later Strand’s started the industry’s first online shop that made products accessible to everyone. Much thanks to low prices Strand’s became business leader in mail order. To further strengthen the business position Strand’s developed a unique concept based on sales, marketing and custumer value. Among other things, about five million brochures were produced and distributed every year.
The new way of working lead to a change in the market and after three years the dealers started to return. Today Strand’s only work through retailers and distributors. Since then Strand’s produced nearly 500 products under own brands, all in the same spirit. Technology, design and durability reflects what the product actually costs. The customer should not pay more than necessary.
Strand’s has won alot of different types of tests in various magazines in Europe – and always appointed as the most affordable option. The customers is the very best ambassadors. They have through their ratings created intrest from the worlds major automotive and machinery manufacturers. Strand’s now delivers directly to the many of them.
Jon Strands willingness to do things differently is still a part of Strand’s business culture. The ambition to be a market leaders continues, this requires innovative and corporate culture.