How did Stanley Cups get so popular, so fast? 🤔

The craze is real 😍


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Get ready, take a sip of water, and let’s dive into the fascinating story of Stanley, which has teenagers from around the world reeling for 40-ounce bottles that were once the fancy of middle-aged Americans. 🥤

The Influence Within

It’s interesting to note that Stanley isn’t a young brand.

In fact, it’s over 111 years old and was living a pretty normal life as a durable cup brand.

Until of course, the internet happened to it.

When a TikTok user’s car burned down and a lone Stanley cup miraculously survived, Stanley’s President, Terence Reilly himself replied to the TikTok saying that he will provide fresh cups and a brand new vehicle.

But that’s not where the story begins.

Before Stanley, Terence Reilly was Chief Marketing Officer at Crocs, where among other things, he was responsible for forging relationships with celebrities like Post Malone and Lil Nas X, and even brands like Balenciaga and Hello Kitty.

Terence moved on from Crocs to Stanley in 2020.

The same happened at Stanley. He was working with influencers across demographics to make their brand relevant to a younger generation.

Saturday Night Live, one of the world’s longest-running TV shows, also spoofed the Stanley craze recently.

At $45, their most popular ‘Quencher’ bottles aren’t exactly cheap, yet have caught the attention and fancy of teenagers (and adults) across the country.

Stanley wasn’t just seen as a cup. But an aspirational item. A Veblen good, if you may. ⭐️

There’s an entire section of TikTok called ‘WaterTok’, where creators discuss… water recipes!?! 👀

👉🏻 Check out more about Watertok here.

Multiple creators, regardless of their audience size, were seen sporting and sipping the Stanley cups, spilling the tea on how they stayed hydrated through the day and how they make water more tasty.

The brand seeded itself as a part of pop culture through influencers, which spawned into an unusual TikTok trend and when the recent car incident happened, they masterfully rode the wave of influence.

Influencers aren’t just micro-celebrities with a huge distribution. They have the power to change consumer behavior.

Recently, it was observed how many have started ‘collecting’ Stanley cups, as if they were rare vinyls, or even a pair of limited-edition footwear.

Janae Thomas, who collects Stanley cups in Tampa, Florida, has gathered around 37 of them (excluding those still on the way). She thinks she has collected all the various shades of pink.

You can place your best bet that Terence learned a thing or two about footwear and culture while he was at Crocs. 😉

The biggest lesson here is: How can your brand become a part of pop culture?

Answers might not come all that easily.

But they’re always worth a try.

Find out more about how this can be done in our brand-new series, 'Influencer Matchmaking,' on YouTube.👇🏻

That’s it for this week! We’ll be back with another story next Tuesday. 👋🏼

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