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The Marketing Retrofit Company For Manufacturers


Would you believe me if I told you a century-old manufacturer could go from $73 million in sales to $750 million in just five short years?


CRAZY, but true!

How many of your kids asked for a Stanley for Christmas? (And, please pay attention to the fact that it’s now used as a noun, like Kleenex.)

I had no idea why these Stanley tumblers had become so popular all of a sudden, so I was compelled to do some research and find out.

And, since all roads lead back to marketing 😉 it should be no surprise that a campaign, a viral TikTok video, and a woman were behind this rebranded sensation and piles of profit.

* * * * *

The re-branded marketing phenomena of this 100-year-old thermos started in 2017, thanks to a group of moms on the website Buy Guide and a new presence with social media influencers, embracing the Gen Z population on TikTok and beyond.

The women from Buy Guide inspired the company of age-old tumblers to change gears from the male-dominated camping and construction population to women.

Company leadership at Stanley took their advice and added pastel colors and deco art designs to recreate the product. Then, through their marketing channels, inspired consumers to continually post their products on social media, resulting in mainstream success and significant financial benefits.

In 2019, the company sparked an interactive marketing campaign for consumers to identify 40 iconic Hollywood films and television shows where Stanley products have appeared in the past 40 years to post online.

In addition, by chance, a woman shared a TikTok video after her car caught on fire with the Stanely cup intact, still holding a cold drink, which went hyper viral.

The video inspired the company to buy the woman a new car, NBC reported, which only led to more interest in the hot and everlasting cold drink product item.

* * * * *

Stanley went on to partner with influencers and then did a major collab with Starbucks this past year that had people standing in line for hours and doing some crazy sh*t to get their hands on one of these red tumblers.

Don’t worry, their Valentine’s collab is coming…


✅ Old-as-dirt company makes drinkware and outdoor gear (targeting men and construction workers) and reaches $73M in sales by 2017

✅ STANLEY listens to their customers and CHANGES the way they’ve always done it, creating new colors, patterns, and appeal for a whole new demographic–WOMEN

✅ STANLEY then launched an integrated marketing campaign, dubbed STANLEY Sightings, challenging consumers to identify 40 (and counting) films and shows where STANLEY products have organically appeared over the past four-plus decades.
-television commercial
-18 social-media videos
-IMDb watchlist
-digital advertising
-Partnered with Telluride Film Festival (honoring the hard-working people in the background of the industry)

✅ STANLEY then partnered with influencers to share their tumblers on social media

✅ A woman’s TikTok video went hyper viral after her car caught fire/tumbler stayed in tact (STANLEY paid attention and bought her a new car)

✅ STANLEY collaborated with Starbucks to created a limited edition red tumbler (people are now selling these online for $250+ each)

✅ STANLEY went from $73 million in 2017 to $750 million in 2023

(fainting goat here)

The most beloved and successful brands aren’t just seen and heard, they’re felt.
Connecting to the heart of your ideal customer.


🔥 TAKEAWAY: If a 100-year-old company can do this, you can too!

After you pick yourself up off the floor, you’re probably asking yourself this:

“How can I, as a small or mid-sized manufacturer do this with my brand and add a couple of zeros to our revenue? After all, we don’t sell anything sexy, like tumblers.” 😂

 1.  Pay attention to what your customers are saying, doing, asking for
 2.  Don’t be afraid to change, try something new, step away from that’s how we’ve always done it
 3.  Partner with another brand in or outside of your industry
 4.  Work with some influencers in your industry (it doesn’t cost a fortune)
 5.  Encourage your customers to share their experience with you/your products on social media
 6.  Create an integrated marketing campaign (Felt can help) and challenge or honor your customers/industry
 7.  Sponsor an event that makes sense; partner with an organization or cause

And, have fun adding that zero to your revenue. It may take a couple of years, but hey, you’ll write to thank me in 2029 and we’ll celebrate your success with some champagne in a Stanley tumbler. 

Here’s to helping customers FEEL a connection with you and your brand. Making sales easier!

For more resources, tools, and tactics to make sales easier and more profitable by becoming seen, heard, and felt, subscribe to WTMFG!

Or shoot us an email (allison@feltmarketing.com) to strike up a conversation and find out how we can help you improve your marketing system and make sales easier.

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