In case you (or your clients) have any lingering doubts about the power of the Stanley Quencher, recent viral videos of shoppers lining up overnight and rushing Target shelves should put those doubts to rest.

Just like the Quencher keeps drinks ice-cold, the folks at Stanley are keeping their brand red-hot. This past November, Stanley collaborated with Starbucks to level up its popular red holiday cup, releasing a limited-edition metallic red Quencher that caused a frenzy.

Enter Target’s new, limited-edition Stanley drinkware collection in January in Cosmo Pink, Cotton Candy and Target Red – plus a separate metallic Winter Pink tumbler released a few days later and sold exclusively at the Starbucks locations inside Target stores.

The brightly colored tumblers and mugs sold out in person and online almost immediately – and they won’t be restocked, so Stanley stans will have to wait for the next drop to quench their thirst for limited-edition products (or pay 10 times the price on eBay and other auction sites).

The latest product release at Target isn’t the only collaboration between the century-old drinkware brand and the big-box retailer. Stanley x Target also launched and quickly sold out of many of the following:

  • A “New Year New You” collection of various drinkware pieces in pastels, including one close to Pantone’s Color of the Year, Peach Fuzz.
  • An “All in Motion” collection of 30-oz. tumblers in six colors, mostly brighter hues.
  • A three-way collab with Joanna Gaines’ Hearth & Hand with Magnolia that features drinkware and food storage in three earthy tones.

How Did We Get Here?

The surging popularity of the brand after more than 100 years in business demonstrates the power of influencers. NBC’s Today show reported that a 2017 post by “a popular mommy blogger” – followed by a swift and savvy response by Stanley to release the product in new colors and appeal to new markets – sparked the current craze.

As Danya Issawi of the New York Times put it, “behind what may seem to many like an organic, word-of-mouth phenomenon was a series of canny business decisions by a century-old brand and a savvy group of bloggers and influencers very much of this century.”

Word spread like wildfire online, spawning countless TikTok videos and billions of views. That’s right – Forbes reports that #stanleycup has more than 6.7 billion views on TikTok alone (although some of those are surely confused hockey fans). And the company’s revenue has increased tenfold in the past four years.

The Promo Perspective

The extreme and enduring popularity of the Stanley Quencher makes it a must-have product for promo, too. Drinkware (mugs, tumblers and bottles) is always in SAGE’s monthly list of top 10 product categories, and this past November, the 30-oz. and 40-oz. Stanley Quenchers took the No. 1 and No. 3 spots, respectively. Several suppliers offer a variety of brandable Stanley drinkware.

Opting for the brand name conveys not only its popularity but also its 100-year legacy of quality and durability. In fact, one woman posted a video of her Quencher that survived a car fire – with ice still inside. (And the savvy folks at Stanley offered to buy her a new car.) It’s also dishwasher safe, unlike many other insulated tumblers.

On the other hand, a lot of people just don’t get why this giant mug is such a big deal, and it’s a pricey option at $45 retail. But promo offers plenty of great dupes that offer a similar silhouette and quality at a lower price point – many of them with more color options and plenty of stock on hand, as well.