flat stanley

‘Stanley,’ 2024’s version of Tay Tay?

Tay TayAlrighty, wrapping up the third week of January. Wow, this month is flying by! Yet, every time I think about sticking to the resolutions I set, it feels like we’re in week 54 of 2024’s 52-week marathon. But hey, here we are, together again and I’m still on track – a perfect three for three. Considering the stats I shared last week; we’ll chalk this up as a small victory. And as everyone knows, small victories pave the way to winning the larger war. How are your resolutions holding up? Still in the game, I hope!

As you and I continue to score our small victories, it’s important to take a moment and celebrate them. It’s incredible how these tiny triumphs can snowball into astounding success stories over time. This reminds me of a quote often attributed to various thinkers: ‘We overestimate what we can do in a year and underestimate what we can do in ten.’ This principle appears true not only in personal development but also in the dynamic world of marketing. Take, for example, William Stanley’s invention in 1913 – the all-steel, double-wall vacuum bottle, a precursor to today’s trendy insulated Stanley cups. Who would have thought his quest for hot coffee all day while he was working would spark a viral fad over a century later? Yes, the insulated Stanley cup craze of 2024 is a testament to the long-term, often unexpected impact of a seemingly modest product.

So, how did this transformation happen? What led a variation of a utilitarian item, once a staple for blue-collar workers, to become a global presence in diverse settings? Today, the Stanley cup isn’t just a vehicle for your favorite beverage; it’s a statement. You’ll spot the ‘Stanley’ in boardrooms and on hiking trails alike, in the hands of busy professionals and gym rats. The ‘Stanley’ has evolved into ‘THE’ accessory of the year, a symbol that says, ‘you’re in the know,’ blending trendiness with practicality in one sleek and oversized package.

Stanley cupThe rise of ‘Stanley’ is like a modern-day ‘rags to riches’ story, where social media plays the role of the genie from Aladin. While he didn’t get three wishes, ‘Stanley’ magically started showing up in influencers’ visually appealing Instagram and TikTok videos. It seems ‘Stanley’ is the Taylor Swift of drinkware, showing up everywhere. Suddenly, it wasn’t just social media pros flaunting ‘Stanley’ – friends, family, and even my daughter were part of the trend. In social media, ‘Stanley’ was omnipresent, and each post he showed up in served as an unsolicited – and more importantly, unpaid – endorsement. The message was clear, to be in the ‘cool kids’ club you needed two things:

  1. A ‘Stanley’ that represents your personal brand, and
  2. To sign up for Red Whiskey’s email (okay, that second one might be more wishful thinking, but if ‘Stanley’ can become an overnight sensation, why not a humble, poorly written blog, like this one?). But, I digress.

‘Stanley’s’ rise is a textbook example of organic, grassroots marketing, reminiscent of Seth Godin’s concept of the ‘Purple Cow.’ Godin advocates for creating something truly ‘remarkable’ – not in the sense of inventing sliced bread, but in making your product stand out so much that it becomes irresistible to talk about. In ‘Stanley’s’ case, it’s not just its utility, but the way it resonated with and was embraced by its fans that made it remarkable. This phenomenon aligns with Godin’s idea of ‘sneezers’ – enthusiastic customers who spread the word about your product like a contagious ‘ideavirus.’ With ‘Stanley’, we witnessed this ‘ideavirus’ in action, as its popularity spread virally through genuine customer love and word-of-mouth, not just through mass marketing.

purple cow Putting a bow on this. ‘Stanley’s’ story is more than just a product transforming into a trend. It mirrors our journey with New Year’s resolutions. Just as we value each small victory on our path to success, ‘Stanley’ started as a humble idea – to keep liquids at the desired temperature. It evolved into prioritizing a practical design to fit in all car cup holders, and eventually, it emerged as a cultural icon, propelled by the enthusiasm of ‘sneezers.’

The journey of ‘Stanley’ reminds us that success, be it in achieving personal goals or in crafting effective marketing strategies, often arrives in unexpected forms. It’s not always the big or flashy initiatives that pave our path forward; sometimes, it’s about consistent focus and making those slight yet crucial adjustments.

So, as we continue through the year, let’s stay alert for our own ‘Stanley’ moments – those seemingly small, ordinary opportunities that possess the potential for extraordinary impact. Here’s to discovering success in the most unexpected places and embracing every chance we encounter. Let’s celebrate every small victory.

Till next time


    • great stuff

      Guy LaLonde
    • Good read.

      Sadly, until today I just thought Stanley Cups were games played on ice or perhaps an associated trophy hoisted high by great skaters in need of dental work.
      Thanks for educating me on multiple fronts!

      Jeff Chamberlain

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