Stanley cups invent genius way to stay viral

It’s been over a year since the popularity and mayhem around Stanley cups became a mainstream phenomenon. 

The water bottles, which are most popular in their 40 ounce Quencher form, sell in bright colors and keep beverages cold for hours. They typically retail for around $40, though limited edition colors will sometimes resell online for hundreds.

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It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why Stanley went viral in the first place, but we can certainly identify where it happened. 

The answer is primarily found on TikTok, where the phrase “Stanley Cup” has over 124.1M posts – and few of them are about the hockey tournament. 

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Stanleys are beloved by a younger generation that spends a lot of time on social media. The

 cups have become something of a status symbol, and collecting different colors and accessories to make them unique has become something of a competitive sport. 

It’s not uncommon to see most Stanley displays in stores completely sold out — or at the very least picked over for the most popular colors and sizes. After all, nobody wants a plain white cup without the signature handle.

Stanley has a way to stay relevant

But like most viral products, one of Stanley’s worst fears is getting tossed out on the streets again. It may be enjoying plenty of time in the spotlight, but that’s always subject to change. 

So management has been thinking hard about how to stay in the public eye – and keep people wanting more – for as long as possible. 

“Today’s consumer [goes] keys, phone, wallet, Stanley when they are leaving their house,” Stanley president Matt Navarro said in early May. “We’re super, super proud of that. And the challenge that creates for us is: How do we really continue to bring products to consumers that they love and recognize, while still being innovative and fresh and keeping things new?”

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So the company has begun “exploring what future product launches could look like,” which might include the bright colors that has helped to make Stanley so popular. 

Stanley users have “a great appreciation for style, design and color,” Navarro explained. So he sees an opportunity to create a line of accessories and products to complement that enthusiasm. 

“With our Quencher being very viral over the last three or four years and just creating such a buzz on social media and with consumers, it’s really an opportunity for us to bring a really cool chic, functional accessory to the forefront,” he said. 

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Online, TikTok and Amazon include countless lists of Stanley accessories. Some of the most popular accessories include straw toppers, bag attachments to easily carry the tumblers, charms, dangling keychains, and Stanley crossbody bags. 

But if Stanley wanted to actually create its own line of accessories, this venture would likely be cheap to produce and quick to roll out. It already carries bags on its website, but Navarro hinted more could be around the corner. 

“Obviously the transformation of the brand has really been rooted in color revolution in the hard goods space,” he said. “And I think you will see us stay true to that with core, seasonal and even special drops throughout the year in soft goods.”

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