The CUInsight Network podcast: Building a brand – Strum (#34)

Featuring Ben Stangland, President and COO at Strum

Thank you for tuning in to episode 34 of The CUInsight Network, with your host, Lauren Culp, Publisher & CEO of In The CUInsight Network, we take a deeper dive with the thought leaders who support the credit union community. We discuss issues and challenges facing credit unions and identify best practices to learn and grow together.

My guest today is Ben Stangland, President and COO at Strum (previously Weber Marketing Group). After going through brand updates, Strum is now building upon their legacy with their two companies, Strum Agency and Strum Platform. Strum Agency is a full service marketing agency helping credit unions build growth strategies through naming, branding, and marketing. Strum Platform is a financial marketing analytics software that helps credit unions better understand their members through data.

Ben has been with Strum for over twenty years. In this episode, he describes how Strum works with credit unions to help create focus in their growth strategy. He shares the importance of understanding and reaching the credit union’s target member, while staying true to the mission of the organization. Ben puts great emphasis on helping credit unions through the process of renaming and rebranding as they evolve. He discusses the adaptation of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud-based computing. Ben also gives key insights on the significance of sharing data within the organization rather than keeping it siloed. 

Tune in to hear Ben discuss trends that he finds important for the future of the movement and ways credit unions can innovate to meet those needs. Strum helps credit unions utilize the data they already have and supplement it with additional information to gain a better understanding of their members. During our conversation, you’ll also hear more about the rebranding process that Strum went through as they evolved from Weber Marketing Group into the robust organization they are today.

As we wrap up the episode, Ben talks about bullet journaling, jazz music, and spending time with his family. Enjoy my conversation with Ben Stangland!

Connect with Ben:
Ben Stangland, President and COO at Strum
LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Show notes from this episode:
What an amazing interview with Ben! Check out all the exceptional work his team is doing over at Strum here.
Want to hear more from Ben Stangland? Click here.
Shout-out: Ben’s grandfather
Shout-out: Mark Weber
Shout out: Bullet Journal
Shout-out: Leuchtturm1917 
Shout-out: Ben’s parents
Shout-out: Smart Jump Rope 
Shout-out: Miles Davis
Shout-out: John Coltrane
Podcast mentioned: How I Built This
Place mentioned: Seattle, WA
Shout-out: Ben’s wife 
Shout-out: Ben’s daughters
Shout-out: Ben’s dog
Book mentioned: Remote: Office Not Required by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried
Book mentioned: Leading from Anywhere: The Essential Guide to Managing Remote Teams by David Burkus

In this episode:
[00:43] – Ben Stangland describes how he came into the credit union field. It starts as a love story.
[03:30] – Ben is grateful that he is still learning everyday in the credit union field.
[06:25] – What is Strum Agency? What is Strum Platform?
[07:57] – In marketing, you can’t be everything to everyone. 
[10:30] – Are you gaining or losing value of your name equity and brand?
[12:54] – Ben describes the massive brand changes that became the modern Strum Agency.
[15:25] – How did the changes within Strum Agency evolve into adding Strum Platform?
[17:01] – Build a foundation before hopping into data analytics.
[19:22] – Ben warns about this situation that can end up costing credit unions twice the amount of money and time than it needs to take.
[21:24] – How can credit unions get a bigger picture of the needs of their members?
[23:16] – Ben talks about bullet journaling, and the specific brand he likes.
[24:58] – Ben shares a funny story of his mother’s wholesome and eclectic habits.
[27:08] – What kind of content is Ben consuming these days? He talks about jazz, podcasts, and books.
[29:27] – How does Ben spend time with his family?
[31:30] – Change can be tough, but taking a step at a time helps build progress.

Lauren Culp

Lauren Culp

Lauren Culp is the President & CEO at She leads the growing team at CUInsight, works with organizations serving credit unions to maximize their brand and exposure, connects with ... Web: Details