Fletch & Co.

What can we learn from the Stanley Tumbler?

Do you own a Stanley Cup / Tumbler? Love them or hate them, there is a brilliant lesson we can learn from The Stanley Tumbler / Stanley Cup… and a pretty simple one at that.

Stanley is a 111-year company that seemed to come out of nowhere a few years ago and is fast becoming a household name across the globe. Originally catering to hardworking men on job sites, if you weren’t in (or connected to) this market, you probably didn’t know they existed. 

In 2019, they hit $73 million dollars in sales. Which in the scheme of things, is huge. But in 2023, they made over $750 million dollars in sales.What changed in those 4 years? The influence of women happened – a market that Stanley hadn’t even considered for the past 100+ years.

In early 2020, a popular blog for women posted about a cup she had recently discovered and fell in love with. Her audience went crazy for this simple, yet well designed cup causing the blog to go viral, several times over. And the viral sensation of the Stanley Tumbler was made.

Having been in business for as long as they have been, Stanley was confident they knew their target audience. I mean, their sales were pretty impressive to date so why change what isn’t broken, right? They could have enjoyed this sudden spike in sales from an audience that the product was never intended for and wrote it off as a “one-off fad” – something many businesses do. But Stanley’s Global President (who rose from a strong marketing career) made the bold decision to shift their focus (that had been in play for over 100 years) and change their entire strategy to focus on a new market… women.

The product itself stayed exactly the same – they just added some new colours that were more suited to their new audience; which significantly enhanced it’s appeal. For the first time in over 100 years, they were using colour in their brand. They shifted their marketing efforts to collaborate with a number of influencers and key brands, most notably, Starbucks. And within months they were selling out, having thousands on waitlists, and not being able to keep up with demand. Retailers were even having to limit numbers on purchases because people were going crazy for them.

That one shift in focus, changed it all for Stanely.


Stanley’s journey is a testament to the power of embracing change and innovation. By recognising the untapped potential of the female market, the company not only expanded its customer base but also redefined its brand identity. This bold move demonstrates a multi-million dollar lesson on staying adaptable and open-minded in a rapidly evolving market landscape. 

Two black shelves packed with multi colour Stanley Tumbler Quenchers with a sign saying "limit to 20 tumblers can be purchased at a time"

Sometimes you might already have a winning product /service – you just need to get in front of the right audience… who sometimes isn’t who you initially thought it was.

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