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

By Roman P.

cover image stanley cup best seller

In today’s world, catching people’s attention is crucial for success. Businesses are constantly navigating through the vast digital world, all in pursuit of attracting consumers. Imagine this scenario: your online store is booming, with products flying off the virtual shelves faster than you can imagine. Each click represents not just a sale, but a connection to what consumers really want. And if you think this sounds too good to be true, then shift your focus from just observing market trends to actively riding them. By doing so, your online store can become the go-to destination for sought-after products! Now, let’s delve into the strategies employed by Stanley Cup, so we can glean insights from their success.

How stanley cups became a viral sensation

You might have spotted them on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, or even at your local Target: Stanley cups, those vibrant and sturdy tumblers that keep your drinks at the perfect temperature for hours. But what’s the story behind their massive popularity, especially among women? Let’s uncover some of the marketing tactics that propelled Stanley cups to internet stardom.


Stanley cups aren’t just your average beverage containers. They’re reusable, vacuum-insulated tumblers available in a range of colors and sizes, boasting a devoted following primarily among millennial women. But how did a brand with a century-old legacy in camping gear and thermoses manage to capture the online spotlight? The secret lies in their adept use of social media marketing and the clever strategies they employed to connect with and captivate their desired audience.

The rise of stanley cups

Originally, Stanley cups were crafted with outdoor enthusiasts in mind, providing a durable solution for their beverage needs. However, they didn’t always enjoy widespread popularity. In fact, by 2019, they were on the brink of discontinuation due to sluggish sales and a saturated market. Initially targeted towards men who embraced outdoor pursuits, the cups failed to resonate with this demographic.

However, the fortunes of Stanley cups took a dramatic turn when two women, proprietors of an affiliate marketing blog and Instagram account known as The Buy Guide, recognized their potential and intervened to save them from obscurity. Taking matters into their own hands, they approached Stanley and proposed purchasing 5,000 cups with their own funds to resell. The outcome exceeded all expectations: the cups flew off the shelves within days, generating unprecedented sales for Stanley.


The visionary founders of The Buy Guide had tapped into a previously untapped market: women selling to women. These consumers were drawn not only to the functionality of the cup but also to its aesthetic and emotional appeal. They repositioned the cup as a lifestyle essential, a symbol of status, and a source of emotional support. This strategic rebranding catapulted the cups to phenomenal success.

The hashtag #Stanley alone has garnered a staggering 3.5 billion views on TikTok, underscoring the cups’ status as a cultural phenomenon, a cult favorite, and a global sensation.

The power of social media

Utilizing their platform and extensive network, the founders of The Buy Guide strategically marketed the Stanley cups to their audience of millennial mothers. Additionally, they distributed the mugs to influencers and celebrities, including former Bachelorette Emily Maynard. Maynard shared her admiration for the product across her social media channels, amplifying its visibility and appeal to a wider audience.

a picture introducing turnkey social media accounts to let you enjoy benefits of social media with no hassle

Stanley cups opted not to depend on conventional advertising approaches to showcase their product. Instead, they harnessed the power of social media marketing to cultivate awareness, intrigue, and customer loyalty. Now let’s check out some of the marketing tactics employed by Stanley cups to accomplish their remarkable success.

Content marketing

Stanley cups took an innovative approach by crafting and sharing valuable, pertinent content with their customers and potential buyers across their website and social media channels. This content ranged from practical advice and interesting tidbits to captivating stories and updates about the cups and the brand. Leveraging humor, emotions, and a distinct personality, they ensured their content was both engaging and appealing.


#stitch with @Danielle Stanley has your back ❤️

♬ original sound – Stanley 1913


Through content marketing, Stanley cups not only educated and informed their audience but also established themselves as authorities in their field, bolstering their credibility. Furthermore, this strategy facilitated customer retention, increased traffic, and generated leads.

What’s noteworthy is that creating a viral short video promotion doesn’t have to break the bank — it can be achieved with minimal cost. With the right approach, a product can be marketed effectively to millions of viewers without spending a dime. Alternatively, one can capitalize on existing best-selling products to simplify the process.

Influencer marketing

Stanley cups strategically utilized influencers and celebrities, harnessing their substantial and devoted social media followings. By providing complimentary cups to influencers and celebrities whose demographics and persona aligned with their target audience and brand ethos, Stanley cups fostered genuine and organic endorsements.


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

♬ All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

These influencers were encouraged to share their unbiased opinions and personal encounters with the cups, resulting in authentic word-of-mouth marketing. This approach not only bolstered social proof and instilled trust among prospective customers but also significantly heightened Stanley cups’ brand recognition and online presence. Consequently, influencer marketing proved instrumental in driving engagement and conversions for Stanley cups.

User-generated content

Stanley cups actively encouraged their customers to share their experiences with the cups on social media platforms like TikTok. They initiated hashtags, challenges, and contests to inspire and acknowledge customers for posting videos and photos featuring their cups, collections, water recipes, and testimonials. This user-generated content not only fostered a vibrant and loyal community of fans who felt closely connected to the brand but also amplified exposure and generated excitement around Stanley cups. Additionally, it served as a valuable source of feedback and insights from customers.


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

♬ original sound – Victoria Robino

Before long, Stanley cups became a viral sensation, garnering millions of views and likes across TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter. The emergence of the hashtag #WaterTok, dedicated to videos of individuals enjoying water from their Stanley cups, often with creative flavors or decorations, further fueled the product’s popularity. Stanley cups were embraced as a trendy and stylish means of enhancing hydration, health, and skincare routines.

The Lessons from Stanley Cups


Stanley cups provide a prime example of how social media marketing can elevate a product and brand from obscurity to prominence. They illustrate how a product can attract a fresh audience by adjusting its positioning and messaging. Additionally, they demonstrate how a product can foster a devoted and enthusiastic fan base by establishing a community and culture around it. Let’s delve into the insights we can glean from Stanley cups:

Understanding your audience


Stanley cups identified their target audience, comprehending their desires, challenges, preferences, and motivations. They also pinpointed where their audience congregated online and the type of content they engaged with, aiding in tailoring both the product and marketing efforts to effectively communicate with them.

Setting yourself apart

picture branding

Stanley cups distinguished themselves from competitors by providing a unique and superior product with numerous benefits. They also crafted a distinct brand identity and personality that resonated with their audience, utilizing colors, names, slogans, and stories to ensure memorability and distinction.

Using social media


Stanley cups utilized social media platforms to engage with customers and prospects, listening to and addressing their feedback, offering value and entertainment, and fostering dialogue and relationships. They leveraged social media to extend their reach and influence, fostering a viral and word-of-mouth effect.

Stanley cups epitomize how astute and imaginative marketing strategies can propel a product from obscurity to a phenomenon. By identifying a niche market, capitalizing on social media and influencers, and cultivating scarcity and exclusivity, Stanley transformed its image and cultivated a devoted customer base. Stanley cups transcend mere mugs; they represent a lifestyle. This social media marketing triumph demonstrates how a product on the brink of discontinuation can become a viral sensation and coveted accessory. By employing strategies such as influencer marketing, user-generated content, and content marketing, Stanley cups successfully engaged their target audience, cultivated a loyal community, and boosted sales and profits. They serve as a valuable case study applicable to our own ecommerce ventures.

Fostering scarcity and exclusivity


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

♬ original sound – Victoria Robino

The high demand for these mugs heightened their desirability, often leading to swift sell-outs and the need to wait for restocks or scour stores. Collaborations with brands like Starbucks for limited-edition versions further fueled excitement and anticipation. These exclusive mugs, with unique colors, designs, or features, evoked pride and accomplishment in those who managed to acquire them, often prompting them to showcase their prized possessions on social media.

Repeat Stanley’s success with AliDropship

You’ve seen how effective marketing can skyrocket your profits, but here’s the kicker: some products practically sell themselves without any marketing effort on your part. Enter AliDrioship’s top-selling hits collection, where each item is carefully selected to be trendy and captivating. With 1,000 handpicked products, your store will stand out as a hub of style in 2024.

screenshot banner alidrpoship best-sellers pack

This collection doesn’t just offer in-demand items; it presents lucrative profit opportunities, driving your business towards success. But hold on, there’s more! Seamlessly integrate with Amazon using our ready-to-use product data feed. This means effortless expansion and access to Amazon’s vast customer base and traffic.

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Start dropshipping best-sellers with AliDropship, where it’s not just about starting a business; it’s about crafting a brand synonymous with style, quality, and trendiness. Our 2024 best-sellers collection serves as your springboard to a thriving future in the realm of online business.

By Roman P.
Roman is a copywriter who works for AliDropship to help people start and grow their own online businesses. He loves writing about ecommerce and sharing his tips and tricks with aspiring entrepreneurs from all over the world. Roman has a degree in economics, which means he knows a lot about how the ecommerce industry works. Using his degree in economics, he writes informative content that inspires.

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