How Stanley Multiplied its Sales Overnight


4 minutes read
How Stanley Multiplied its Sales Overnight

If you haven’t yet seen the viral video of a car engulfed in flames, with everything inside destroyed, except for a seemingly indestructible Stanley Tumbler, you’ve probably been living under a rock. The Stanley Quencher Tumbler, now a TikTok sensation, has become quite a noteworthy marketing case study, leaving many wondering what exactly is the reason behind the sudden surge in popularity for a brand that’s been around for almost 111 years. The answer is surprisingly simple: they discovered the right target audience to market to.

Defining a target audience is a fundamental step for any business. While most companies believe they have it right from the start, Stanley realized that wasn't the case for them—at least not until recently. The high-priced tumbler was initially marketed towards men who enjoyed camping and outdoor activities, with the brand's logo featuring a bear, inspired by stories shared by loyal customers encountering bears during their camping trips.

A significant shift in perspective occurred when someone on TikTok, a woman, decided to sing praises of the 40-oz Stanley Quencher Tumbler. This marked the beginning of a viral trend, with the hashtag #StanleyTumbler amassing over 700 million views on the platform leading to millions in sale for the company.

Initially, Stanley’s target persona was described as a “retired Army solider” or a “30-year-career veteran policeman.” However, the TikTok trend opened their eyes to a much broader market, proving that their product resonated with a much wider audience than they had anticipated. Therefore, if you visit Stanley’s website today, it’s evident that women are now a crucial part of their target audience. The majority of the website’s images now feature women – a stark contrast to the company’s previous focus.

Today, owning a Stanley Quencher Tumbler has become a social phenomenon. It's not just about having one; it's about having them in different sizes, colors, and for various activities like going to the gym or sipping water at home. What was once a camping essential has evolved into a collectible item. This phenomenon is not new; we've seen similar trends with products like Starbucks Cups, where influencers like Trisha Paytas boast collections exceeding 50 cups.

The pricing strategy, initially perceived as rather steep for a regular tumbler, has not deterred consumers. The 30 oz tumbler is priced at $35, while the 40 oz tumbler is priced at $45. Instead of hindering sales, this pricing seems to add a sense of exclusivity.

So, what can other businesses learn from Stanley's overnight success?

Adaptability is key for a successful business. Stanley's ability to pivot its marketing strategy based on real-time feedback from social media is commendable. The company was quick to recognize the emerging trend on TikTok and adjusted its target audience accordingly.

Moreover, the power of influencers, even those outside the conventional realms of advertising, cannot be underestimated. A single TikTok video had a domino effect, propelling Stanley Tumbler into the limelight. Collaborating with influencers who genuinely resonate with your product can yield significant results.

Creating a sense of community is essential. The social aspect of owning a Stanley Tumbler has turned it into a community-driven trend. People now share their collections, usage scenarios, and even create a sense of peer pressure to own one. Building a community around your product can lead to organic growth and sustained success.

In conclusion, Stanley's journey from a camping brand to a viral sensation serves as a valuable lesson in the ever-evolving landscape of marketing. By adapting to emerging trends, embracing social media influencers, and fostering a sense of community, businesses can transform their fortunes overnight. The Stanley Tumbler phenomenon proves that understanding and connecting with your audience on a deeper level can be the catalyst for unprecedented success.


Written by Inam Faisal
Will is a gadget fanatic, working from cafes and gadget-infused mega-hovels to turn caffeine into technology articles. Follow her on Twitter @infaisal and check out her newly redesigned tech review site!