Stanley, Similarity, & Scarcity

The Neuromarketing Principles behind the Stanley Brand Cup Craze

If you’ve been up on your trends, you’ve probably heard of the craze over Stanley brand cups, but do you know the secret behind the brand’s explosive growth? More importantly, do you know how you can use the same to grow your biz?

Since 1913, the Stanley brand cups have been favored by roughnecks and male blue collar workers for its ability to keep drinks cold or hot for hours. That hasn’t changed in 110 years. So what has?

Enter neuromarketing. There are two marketing principles Stanley is using to drive demand for their constantly sold-out cups: SIMILARITY & SCARCITY.


SIMILARITY is based on our craving as humans for social conformity – a desire for belonging &, in essence, the need for survival. Humans emulate what they see as attractive out of the desire to assimilate with a group that appears favorable.

This is the reason influencer marketing is so effective! So when a popular mom blogger highlighted the Stanley cups, boom – the mom crowd got behind it and suddenly a 100+ year old brand has a new target audience! The neuropsychology principle of SIMILARITY at work.


Forget the pastel trendy colors of the product – that’s just good packaging based on audience preference. From SIMILARITY, the marketing geniuses at Stanley doubled down on neuromarketing, pairing that initial momentum with SCARCITY.

SCARCITY is as much about economics as it is about human psychology. When in-demand products are low in supply, availability decreases and demand increases. So what has Stanley done? It’s leveraged SCARCITY, limiting the supply of their product nationwide *and* rolling out “limited edition” Stanley cups with big brands like Target and Starbucks. The result – we have teens camping out at Target to get a stainless steel beverage container!! Well done, Stanley.

Wrapping Up

So, how can you use these principles in YOUR business?

SIMILARITY: Create content that resonates with your audience. When they feel aligned with your brand, they’ll be more likely to invest in your products & services.

SCARCITY: Scarcity plays well with the concept of F.O.M.O. or fear of missing out. It drives urgency from the consumer. So, want to get a prospect to convert? Try a S.L.O. (Self-Liquidating Offer). That might sound like “Join now and get our xyz resource for free – don’t delay; just 48 hours remaining for this offer!” Include a countdown clock and watch how urgency and scarcity drive prospects to join, or submit a form, or take an action. Sit back and enjoy your uptick in conversions.

Care to see how Chart Room Creative leverages neuromarketing principles to boost your marketing’s effectiveness?