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Maverick's Morning Thoughts

Decoding the Stanley Cup Viral Phenomenon

Maverick Steffen  -  1/8/2024

I've seen the Stanley Cup many times while entering Target, usually next to the $5 kids toys and silly household nick-knacks.

They always appeared too large and bulky, and bright, like a camping relic from the past trying to appeal to SUV-driving soccer moms who wish to pour their large Starbucks lattes into something that won't spill.

However, the Stanley Cup became a viral sensation during a Valentine’s Day sale at Target in which a TikTok video showed customers scrambling to get their hands on special edition Stanley cups.

The revival of the Stanley Cup owes much of its success to well-placed influencer marketing.

It all started when Stanley teamed up with The Buy Guide, a women-led blog that managed to introduce the cups to a whole new audience.

The partnership was a hit, with cups flying off the shelves, leading to an ongoing collaboration and more product releases.

The buzz around the cups triggered a surge in demand, and they were even being resold at much higher prices than they were originally sold for.

This whole episode highlights how the cup transformed from a practical item into a hot, must-have accessory.

Capitalizing on such trends can lead to substantial revenue growth and brand exposure.

However, it's also crucial to manage supply chains effectively to meet unexpected surges in demand while maintaining product quality and brand reputation.

Stanley Cup isn't the only product that catapulted sales with strategically-guided influencer marketing.

Getting your company into influencer marketing can be a game-changer. It's not just about riding the latest trend; it's about forming smart partnerships with people your market is already listening to.

In a campaign to promote their Air Vapormax series, Nike teamed up with the YouTube channel "What's Inside?" creating a series of videos that integrated the brand's messaging.

This led to millions of views and likes, significantly boosting the product's visibility and sales​​.

Subaru's "Meet an Owner" campaign involved 20 influencers from various fields creating content centered around their cars.

This campaign led to a 10% sales increase in 2016 alone, demonstrating significant growth attributed to influencer marketing.

The campaign also significantly increased brand awareness and sentiment​.

It's obvious that influencer marketing played a crucial role in boosting the Stanley Cup's popularity; however, the product has now evolved into a trend thanks to the classic marketing tactic of "everyone else is doing it."

The phenomenon of "everybody else is doing it" holds a profound psychological impact on consumer behavior and the popularity of products. It's also why teens smoke cigarettes, why most women today look like a Kardashian, and why everybody watched that horrible true-crime documentary: Tiger King.

Solomon Asch, known for his research on conformity, demonstrated how people often conform to group opinions or behaviors, even when it goes against their own judgment.

It's like we humans have this natural tendency to follow the crowd because deep down, we trust that the group knows better than us.

Nevertheless, getting your company into influencer marketing can be a game-changer. It's not just about riding the latest trend, but rather forming smart partnerships with people your target market is already listening to.

Getting into influencer marketing is pretty straightforward. Begin by conducting a customer survey to identify their favorite online influencers, pinpoint the recurring choices, and then reach out to those individuals or groups for a collaborative brainstorming session that benefits both parties.

For example: do you run a chain of music stores in New Jersey? Invite some famous musicians (i.e. "unknowns" that are immensely popular on YouTube) in for a clinic and have them livestream it.

The Stanley Cup started as a practical thing and turned into this viral sensation, thanks to influencer marketing and social media. The takeaway is keep being adaptable, explore new marketing methods, and always understand and connect with your customers no matter where they congregate.

By doing all that, you won't just ride the wave of a viral moment but you will also build long-lasting loyalty and growth.

To your success!


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