Why Are Stanley Tumblers So Popular, Anyway?

We've come to expect emergent trends around seemingly normal products, but the explosion of the Stanley cup is admittedly a bit confusing. It isn't difficult to understand why drinking out of a reusable container has become something of a "thing" lately, as using the best-insulated tumblers maintains your drink's temperature, hot or cold. Whether we want to do our bit for the environment, save some money in the long run, or just have a really cool bottle to show off, it seems like everyone is in the market for a water bottle.

But why have Stanley tumblers (specifically the Stanley Quencher) caught our notice? The draw may be this tumbler's wide host of features, including temperature regulation, a 40-ounce size, a rotating top with three different drinking positions, and a FlowState Lid that uses silicone to prevent spills (via Today).

However, as with all trends in the wake of the social media age, it's not quite as simple as having a cool product with a variety of features. The secret of the Stanley Quencher's popularity comes from two techniques used to push it into our consciousness: influencer marketing, or the use of endorsements given by public figures, and scarcity marketing, which capitalizes on our fear of missing out.

What's the story of the Stanley cup?

Stanley cups are by no means new to the market. The company's first bottle was created in the 1920s by William Stanley Jr., who accidentally invented an "unbreakable bottle" while working on the first alternating current transformer. (You know, a very normal mistake that normal people make all the time.) The Quencher hit shelves in 2016 and was almost discontinued until The Buy Guide, an online shopping blog and a staple of early influencer culture in its own right, persuaded Stanley to sell them 5,000 cups. When these cups sold out not once but twice, Stanley got the message about just how powerful an online community (and limited drops, a classic technique of scarcity marketing) could be. Stanley teamed up with The Buy Guide, taking its advice on how to turn this product into a sensation.

Cut to 2023, when Stanley is dropping limited edition Starbucks crossover cups that were released in such small quantities that most people, including Starbucks employees, never truly had the chance to get their hands on one. Stanley also teamed up with Target to release several cool colors that have fans rushing to pick up their favorite and enjoying massive social media coverage. It just goes to show that even the most mundane products can start a craze as long as they're marketed in the right way and to the right audience.