Stanley Case Study
Remember those trusty green thermoses? A staple on any given camping trip and a fixture of your dad’s center car console. Chances are you’re picturing a Stanley. The century-old brand has a long-standing place in both the hydration marketplace and our kitchen cabinets.
Even as a heritage brand, they’ve evolved, adapted and innovated since its founding in 1913. And, in recent years, they’ve found themselves in a societal sweet spot as their products have been sweeping across social platforms. Products like the Adventure Quencher Travel Tumbler, once on the verge of being discontinued, are suddenly all the rage among online influencers.
With its newfound relevancy among blogger moms and sales climbing on certain products by over 275% — Stanley is focused on harnessing this advocacy and bringing new and innovative products to the space, all without losing sight of their roots.
We’re the heritage brand. We’re still an outdoor brand but shifting to outside. One foot on the trail, and maybe one foot at the tailgate party… or in the minivan.”
As Stanley expands, they’re looking for ways to build on this momentum, galvanize this product advocacy and ensure that it spreads. With a focus on building customer advocates, Stanley aims to get feedback and social proof from the types of people that know and love their products best.
At a glance:
Identify key content creators and recruit product owners to help tell the Stanley story through reviews and UGC.
Use ExpertVoice Community Manager to activate a passionate subset of customers to share their experiences with Stanley products.
Over 40 highly-qualified brand advocates were accepted to join their community. The group engaged in brand education, continued to purchase products at a higher AOV than the average audience and most importantly, each member posted on average 2 product reviews or UGC images.
Building a community from scratch.
Stanley was looking for a way to connect with their biggest advocates and engage them with the brand more deeply. They needed a platform where they could identify, vet and bring this group of people together. Beyond that, they needed a tool that allowed members to share not only user-generated content (UGC) that featured Stanley products out in the wild, but also where they could submit their product feedback and feel heard and celebrated by the brand they hold near and dear to their hearts (and their camping bags).
Stanley set their sights on building out this community of key advocates with the help of ExpertVoice's Community Manager. With a simple setup, a quick application process and a pool of expert-level prospective contributors at their fingertips—they hit the ground running.
Within a matter of just a few weeks, they’d recruited over 40 rockstars who were already owners and advocates of Stanley products.
Our initial plan was to narrow it down to 20-30 members, but we had so many good applicants that we decided to approve more members and ended up with 40. In terms of ROI, even the ability to connect with 5-6 rockstar contributors is worth it.”
Community efforts create an immediate influx of reviews.
The reality is only about 5%–10% of consumers actually take the time to write reviews. Yet that small subset of buyers and their feedback influences around $400 billion of the total e-commerce sales revenue. That’s right, customer reviews can increase conversions by over 270%.
So when Stanley built their community on ExpertVoice, they were thrilled to see the output of its members. They not only engaged in brand education and continued to purchase products at a higher AOV (16% higher) than a typical audience, but 45% of members left an average of 4 reviews.
Beyond the quantity of reviews gathered with the Community Manager, the quality is what really sets these reviewers apart. People on the ExpertVoice platform are industry professionals who have the credentials and experience to back up their buying advice, and that expertise shines through in their product recommendations. These are the types of knowledgeable, first-hand testimonials that truly influence buying decisions. See for yourself.
The storytellers take to social
As we know, Stanley is no stranger to a tribal online fan club. They didn’t want this advocacy group to be any different, so they activated their members to upload their images across their socials from Facebook Stories to Instagram and Vero posts. No extra incentives necessary, just the promise of being “in” with a brand they love.
43% of their storytellers took to their social channels to upload images that featured their favorite products. Considering the fact that over 85% of people find user-generated content images from fellow consumers to be more influential than branded content—that kind of engagement is no small thing.
Connecting to “rockstar” customer advocates.
Although contributions from across the community made a major impact, certain all-star advocates stood out. Take Erin Earl for example, a retail employee and mother of 6 who loves all things outdoors. She enjoys everything from competitive sports to camping, hiking, paddle boarding and hunting. You name it, she does it—and she probably has a Stanley in tow.
How she helped to tell the Stanley story:
I don’t make a purchase online without reading through the reviews. I rely on them a ton, so if my review can help I am more than willing to share. When I love a brand or company, I will promote it in any way I can, and I absolutely love Stanley. My girls joke that I’m the 'Stanley Queen' we have almost everything that Stanley has to offer in at least one color.”
I’d love to open it up and find even more rockstars from different realms. Ski Patrol or Cabellas employee, or whatever it may be—I would love to have a fleet of these advocates in the future.”
Building brand advocacy that’ll last.
Stanley’s experience proves that when advocates are invited to be a closer part of your brand, they engage more deeply than your general consumer base—increasing their long-term advocacy and boosting the amount of UGC and product reviews your team can collect.
With product owners eager to engage and help tell the story, the potential long-term benefits of activating a dedicated customer base are infinite.
A key benefit of using ExpertVoice is staying top of mind with top experts, creating brand awareness, seeing a higher likelihood to recommend and gathering product reviews and insights.”