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Case Studies

How An Ordinary Product Becomes A Best-Seller: Stanley Cup Marketing Example [Stanley Cup Success Story]

by Roman P. | | 9 min read

In an era where attention is the currency of success, businesses find themselves navigating an ever-expanding digital landscape, seeking the holy grail of consumer interest. Picture this: you’ve got the hottest items flying off your virtual shelves faster than you can say “sold out.” With every click, you’re not just making sales — you’re tapping into the heartbeat of consumer desires. Think it’s too good to be true? Then stop thinking about market trends, instead ride them like a pro and let your online store become the ultimate hotspot for must-have goodies! Today, we will explore the secrets behind Stanley cup’s strategy, so you can learn from their experience.

How stanley cups became a viral sensation

You may have seen them on TikTok, Instagram, or even in your local Target store: Stanley cups, the colorful and durable tumblers that keep your drinks cold or hot for hours. But how did these camping mugs become so popular among millions of people, especially women? Here are some of the marketing strategies that helped Stanley cups take over the internet.


Stanley cups are not just ordinary water bottles. They are reusable, vacuum-insulated tumblers that come in various colors and sizes. They have a loyal fan base of mostly millennial women. But how did a century-old brand known for camping gear and thermoses become a viral sensation? The answer lies in the power of social media marketing and the genius strategies that Stanley cups employed to reach and engage their target audience.

The rise of stanley cups

Stanley cups were originally designed for outdoor enthusiasts who needed a sturdy and reliable container for their beverages. They were not always popular. In fact, they were almost discontinued in 2019 due to poor sales and a saturated market. The product was originally designed for men who enjoyed outdoor activities, but it failed to appeal to them. However, two women who ran an affiliate marketing blog and Instagram account called The Buy Guide saw the potential of Stanley cups and decided to save them from extinction. They contacted Stanley and convinced them to let them buy 5,000 cups with their own money and resell them. The result was a huge success: the cups sold out in days and generated more sales volume than Stanley had ever seen.

photo the buy guide women

The Buy Guide founders had tapped into a new market of women-selling-to-women, who valued the cup not only for its functionality, but also for its aesthetic and emotional appeal. They rebranded the cup as a lifestyle product, a status symbol, and an emotional-support item. The hashtag #Stanley has 3.5 billion views on TikTok alone. Stanley cups became a phenomenon, a cult, and a craze.

The power of social media

So the Buy Guide founders used their platform and network to promote the Stanley cups to their millenial mom followers. They also sent the mugs to influencers and celebrities, such as former Bachelorette Emily Maynard. She posted about how much they loved the product on their social media accounts.


Stanley cups did not rely on traditional advertising methods to promote their product. Instead, they used social media marketing to create awareness, interest, and loyalty among their customers. Here are some of the marketing strategies that Stanley cups used to achieve their success:

Content marketing


#stitch with @Danielle Stanley has your back ❤️

♬ original sound – Stanley 1913

Stanley cups created and distributed valuable and relevant content to their customers and prospects on their own website and social media platforms. They provided useful and entertaining information, such as tips, tricks, facts, stories, and news about the cups, the brand, and much more. They also used humor, emotions, and personality to make their content more engaging and appealing.

Content marketing helped Stanley cups to educate and inform their customers and prospects, as well as to establish their authority and credibility in the market. It also helped Stanley cups to attract and retain their customers, as well as to increase their traffic and leads. But the most important bit is: it costs $0 to make a viral short video promotion. You can market your product completely for free to millions of people, if you only know how to do it right. And if you don’t, you can just pick the products which are already best-sellers.

Influencer marketing


Pastel Stanley Cup Release 😍 #target #christmas #fyp #fypシ゚viral #stanleycup #stanleytumbler #targrthaul

♬ All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

Stanley cups leveraged the power and reach of influencers and celebrities, who have large and loyal followings on social media platforms. They sent free cups to influencers and celebrities who matched their target audience and brand image, and asked them to post about their honest opinions and experiences with the cups. This generated organic and authentic word-of-mouth marketing, as well as social proof and trust among potential customers. Influencer marketing also helped Stanley cups to massively increase their brand awareness and visibility, as well as their engagement and conversions.

User-generated content

Stanley cups encouraged their customers to create and share their own content about the cups on social media platforms, such as TikTok. They created hashtags, challenges, and contests to motivate and reward their customers for posting their videos and photos of their cups, their collections, their water recipes, and their testimonials. User-generated content helped Stanley cups to build a strong and loyal community of fans, who felt connected and involved with the brand. It also helped Stanley cups to generate more exposure and buzz, as well as to collect valuable feedback and insights from their customers.


#fyp #fypシ゚viral #target #targetfinds #stanleycup #stanley #stanleytarget #valentinesday #stanleyvalentinesday

♬ original sound – Victoria Robino

Soon, the Stanley cups became a viral sensation, with millions of views and likes on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter. The hashtag WaterTok, where people shared videos of themselves drinking water from their Stanley cups, often with added flavors or decorations, also boosted the popularity of the product. Stanley cups were seen as a fun and fashionable way to drink more water and improve one’s health and skin.

The Lessons from Stanley Cups


Stanley cups are a great example of how social media marketing can transform a product and a brand from obscurity to popularity. They show how a product can appeal to a new and different audience by changing its positioning and messaging. They also show how a product can create a loyal and passionate fan base by building a community and a culture around it. Here are some of the lessons that we can learn from Stanley cups:

Know your audience


Stanley cups knew who their target audience was and what they wanted and needed. They understood their pain points, preferences, and motivations. They also knew where their audience hung out online and what kind of content they consumed and shared. This helped them to tailor their product and their marketing to their audience and to communicate with them effectively.

Be different


Stanley cups differentiated themselves from their competitors by offering a unique and superior product that had multiple benefits and features. They also differentiated themselves by creating a distinctive and memorable brand identity and personality that resonated with their audience. They used colors, names, slogans, and stories to make their product and their brand stand out and be memorable.

Be social

Stanley cups used social media platforms to connect and interact with their customers and prospects. They used social media to listen and respond to their customers, to provide value and entertainment, and to create a dialogue and a relationship. They also used social media to amplify their reach and influence, and to create a viral effect and a word-of-mouth effect.

a picture showing how to start an online business right with social media pages

Stanley cups are a great example of how a product can go from being overlooked to being a phenomenon, thanks to smart and creative marketing strategies. By finding a niche market, leveraging social media and influencers, and creating scarcity and exclusivity, Stanley was able to transform its image and reach a new and loyal customer base. Stanley cups are not just mugs, they are a lifestyle. They are a social media marketing success story that shows how a product can go from being almost discontinued to being a viral sensation and a must-have accessory. By using social media marketing strategies, such as influencer marketing, user-generated content, and content marketing, Stanley cups were able to reach and engage their target audience, create a loyal and passionate community, and increase their sales and profits. Stanley cups are a case study that we can learn from and apply to our own ecommerce businesses.

Create scarcity and exclusivity

The high demand for Stanley cups also created a sense of scarcity and exclusivity, which made them even more desirable. The mugs often sold out quickly, and people had to wait for restocks or hunt for them in stores. Some people even resorted to buying fake or knock-off versions of the product online.


#fyp #fypシ゚viral #target #targetfinds #stanleycup #stanley #stanleytarget #valentinesday #stanleyvalentinesday

♬ original sound – Victoria Robino

Stanley also collaborated with other brands, such as Starbucks, to create limited-edition versions of the cups, which added to the hype and excitement. These special mugs often had unique colors, designs, or features, such as glitter or holographic effects. People who managed to get their hands on these rare mugs felt a sense of pride and accomplishment, and often showed them off on social media.

Repeat Stanley’s success with Sellvia

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screenshot banner sellvia best seller pack

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by Roman P.
As a copywriter at Sellvia, Roman helps aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs around the world learn how to launch and grow their online businesses. He has a degree in economics, which gives him an edge in understanding the ecommerce industry. Roman creates engaging and informative content that empowers people to achieve their full potential.
1 Comment
Meishel Matkins February 25, 2024 21:59:47

Hello! How much is the package?

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