The Sisterhood of the Stanley Tumbler (Published 2022) (2024)

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The Great Read

All consuming

The Adventure Quencher Travel Tumbler, a social-media-famous water bottle, conquered feeds everywhere, one pale millennial shade at a time.

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The Sisterhood of the Stanley Tumbler (Published 2022) (1)

By Danya Issawi

Though far less consequential than the many climate struggles around water, the debate over what type of vessel it is sipped from can also be intense. In recent years, with more people embracing reusable bottles as a way to avoid plastic, factions have formed over which style is superior.

Nalgene bottles, long favored by a set best described as crunchy, became coveted by hypebeasts after collaborations with brands including Online Ceramics and Supreme. Bottles from Hydro Flask — with their interchangeable lids and promise to keep beverages cold for up to 24 hours — were a must-have for VSCO girls. And a kitschy style of water bottle, emblazoned with hourly reminders of when to drink, emerged as a favorite among creative professionals and celebrities.

Lately, a new vessel has found its way into the hands, and onto the social media feeds, of the well hydrated: the Adventure Quencher Travel Tumbler from Stanley, a 109-year-old brand that specializes in camping gear and outdoor accessories. It has become the model of choice among a lot of millennial and Gen Z women, many of whom are mothers, and the influencers they trust.

The 40-ounce tumbler, which costs $40, comes in 11 colors and occasional limited-edition shades. It features a lid with a removable straw, a handle and an insulated body that is tapered, allowing it to fit in a cup holder.

The Quencher has inundated TikTok, where the hashtag #StanleyTumbler has received more than 10 million views, and Instagram, where influencers share photos of their tumbler collections spilling out of their arms.

But 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.

Krystle Perkins, a 32-year-old content creator in Dallas, has bought eight Quenchers and uses at least two of them every day. “One for water and one for a fun beverage,” Ms. Perkins said. She appreciates the product’s handle, straw and ability to keep her water cold for hours, even in her car.

She bought her first tumbler after seeing a post by Isabelle Baker, a blogger and influencer from Salt Lake City whose content is focused partly on motherhood. “Once you get the Utah mom influencers on board, it spreads like wildfire,” said Ms. Perkins, a mother herself.

“Pretty much everyone that knows me now has one, including my mom, my sisters, my husband, my friends,” added Ms. Perkins, who in March posted a video to TikTok raving about the tumbler that has since been viewed more than 300,000 times. “Every time they release a new color, I’m like, ‘How will I live without that one?’”

Emma Wertner, a 23-year-old part-time data manager and part-time content creator in Eastvale, Calif., was once turned off by the tumbler’s $40 price tag. But after her sister-in-law “just kept talking about” the Quencher, she said, “I thought I might as well try it out, because I do love cups.” Now she owns four.

When she left her first tumbler at her in-laws’ home, Ms. Wertner immediately bought a second, she said. She soon acquired a third and fourth (and retrieved her first). Owning multiple tumblers means she doesn’t have to worry if one is dirty — she’s a mom and has enough to think about — or if she wants to drink different beverages at once. Ms. Wertner also “couldn’t resist” the cute color options, she said.

“It’s one of those products that when you try it, you just don’t really go back to any other version of any other product,” Ms. Wertner added.

Though fans like Ms. Perkins and Ms. Wertner own multiple Quenchers, others have been unable to secure a single one.

“I don’t own a Stanley Tumbler, but I’ve been influenced and want to buy one,” said Rachel Thompson, 26, a stay-at-home mother and registered nurse in Delphi, Ind.

She began coveting it after seeing social media posts by Kristin Johns and Emilie Kiser, both influencers who post about motherhood. But every time Stanley restocks the tumbler, it has sold out, she said.

Released every few months in batches that vary in quantity, the tumbler has been listed for as much as $100 on the resale site Poshmark. About 110,000 people have signed up to be notified by Stanley when it’s back in stock, said Terence Reilly, the global president of Stanley, who added that the product’s sales increased by 275 percent in 2021 compared with 2020.

But a little more than two years ago, in late 2019, Stanley stopped restocking the Quencher on its website. Though still available for purchase elsewhere, “it was not being prioritized from a production and marketing standpoint” by the brand, Mr. Reilly said.

Its return to Stanley’s website in early 2020 is largely owed to three women: Ashlee LeSueur, 42, who lives in Carlsbad, Calif.; Taylor Cannon, 34, who lives in Purchase, N.Y.; and Linley Hutchinson, 36, who lives in Alpine, Utah.

Ms. LeSueur and Ms. Cannon, who are sisters, and Ms. Hutchinson, their cousin, run The Buy Guide, an e-commerce blog and Instagram account, where the Quencher tumbler was among the first products they featured, in November 2017.

“Every time we linked it, it would sell out so quickly,” Ms. LeSueur said. “We got so many pictures from teachers who all have them in their classrooms and from nurses stations with cups overflowing in different colors, and we knew we were onto something.”

When Stanley stopped restocking the tumbler on its website, the women wondered if the Quencher could be reintroduced and marketed to a narrower but more passionate demographic.

In the spring of 2019, Ms. LeSueur and her co-founders connected with Lauren Solomon, a national sales manager at Stanley. She reached out to them after seeing Emily Maynard Johnson, an influencer who has appeared on “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” post on Instagram about a Quencher that she had received from The Buy Guide.

Ms. Solomon also recognized the product’s appeal among many women, Ms. LeSueur said, and with her help The Buy Guide’s founders bought 5,000 Quenchers from Stanley at wholesale cost in mid-2019. The arrangement required them to pay for warehouse space as well as shipping and handling fees when orders were sent to buyers, but allowed them to keep all profits from sales.

The order was fulfilled in November 2019 and, soon after, The Buy Guide started selling the tumblers. They sold out within five days, according to the founders.

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In January 2020, Ms. Solomon invited The Buy Guide’s founders to meet with Bob Keller, the chief executive of Stanley’s parent company, PMI Worldwide, and members of the Stanley leadership team. Some in attendance, Ms. LeSueur said, seemed less than enthusiastic to be sitting down with “blogger girls.”

The women told the group that The Buy Guide and other influencers could use affiliate marketing (promotional links that would earn a commission for each referral) to not only bring the Quencher but also the Stanley “brand to an entirely different market,” Ms. LeSueur said.

“We promise you, it will sell. We will introduce this cup to an army of other influencers on Instagram, and it will blow your mind what women selling to women looks like,” she added. (Anyone who has been to a Tupperware party or met an Avon representative knows how powerful a force they can be.)

The group struck a deal, one that Ms. LeSueur credited to Mr. Keller’s involvement. Stanley would resume selling the Quencher on its website and offer the tumbler in more colors. The Buy Guide would continue to promote the product and would receive a portion of revenue from all sales of the bottles.

Mr. Reilly described the Quencher’s renaissance as a story “about listening to female voices.” Recently, he learned that some fans’ appreciation for it may never die.

“I got a note this week that somebody wanted their ashes placed in their favorite Stanley,” he said.

All Consuming is a column about things we see — and want to buy right now.

Danya Issawi writes about fashion and beauty with an emphasis on the intersection between style and culture. More about Danya Issawi

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About the Adventure Quencher Travel Tumbler

The Adventure Quencher Travel Tumbler from Stanley has gained significant popularity, particularly among millennial and Gen Z women, due to its features and social media presence. The tumbler, which costs $40, comes in 11 colors and features a lid with a removable straw, a handle, and an insulated body that fits in a cup holder. It has inundated platforms like TikTok and Instagram, with the hashtag #StanleyTumbler receiving more than 10 million views on TikTok. The tumbler's popularity has been driven by influencers and bloggers, leading to high demand and limited availability. The tumbler's resurgence on Stanley's website in early 2020 was largely owed to the efforts of three women who run The Buy Guide, an e-commerce blog and Instagram account. They played a crucial role in reintroducing and marketing the tumbler to a passionate demographic, leading to a successful partnership with Stanley.

Concepts Related to the Article

Expertise and Trustworthiness The article discusses the influence of bloggers and influencers in promoting the Adventure Quencher Travel Tumbler, highlighting the impact of their endorsements on consumer behavior. This aligns with the concept of content being presented in a way that makes it trustworthy, as it involves clear sourcing and evidence of expertise from influencers and bloggers who are knowledgeable about the product .

Consumer Behavior and Marketing The article delves into the impact of social media and influencer marketing on consumer behavior, particularly among millennial and Gen Z women. It demonstrates how the tumbler's popularity was driven by social media presence and endorsements from influencers, leading to high demand and limited availability. This aligns with the concept of understanding consumer behavior and the role of marketing strategies in driving product popularity.

Product Resurgence and Partnership The article details the resurgence of the Adventure Quencher Travel Tumbler on Stanley's website and the partnership between The Buy Guide and Stanley. It highlights the role of the three women behind The Buy Guide in reintroducing and marketing the tumbler, leading to a successful partnership with Stanley. This aligns with the concept of successful business decisions and partnerships that contributed to the tumbler's resurgence and popularity .

In conclusion, the concepts related to the article encompass expertise and trustworthiness, consumer behavior and marketing, and product resurgence and partnership, all of which are demonstrated through the success story of the Adventure Quencher Travel Tumbler from Stanley.

If you have any further questions or need more information on these concepts, feel free to ask!

The Sisterhood of the Stanley Tumbler (Published 2022) (2024)
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