Terence Reilly, Global President, Stanley

Terence joined Stanley as President in 2020 after five years as Chief Marketing Officer for Crocs. He got his start in New Jersey and has had a lengthy career in retail, footwear and financial services, having held leadership positions at Famous Footwear, Footaction and Prudential. Terence is a three-time marathoner, and to say that he’s a Bruce Springsteen aficionado would be putting it mildly – he’s been to dozens of the Boss’ shows (65, to be exact). 

The Stanley brand  has a rich 110 year history. Stanley’s founder, William Stanley, Jr., forever changed the way hot drinks were consumed with his invention of the all-steel vacuum bottle we know and love today. Originally beloved by trade workers, the Stanley brand has transformed into a cultural icon with their coveted food and drinkware becoming sought after by GenZ and millennial consumers. All of Stanley’s products are reusable by nature, creating a more sustainable, less disposable world.

Q: Tell us a little about your approach to marketing.

  • Connection. Marketing is all about connection. At Stanley, our incredible team has made amazing connections with consumers, customers and culture.  We’ve brought many new fans to the brand while retaining the loyalists who’ve been in love with our products long before they went viral.
  • Digital has been key to authentically engage with our consumers across the world. Our digital and social channels allow us to embrace key cultural trends and provide a platform for consumers to share their thoughts and feedback, which helps to drive organic word-of-mouth and brand love.
  • Stanley has been a leader in sustainability for 110 years and we continue to build upon this legacy by committing to use recycled stainless steel in at least 50% of our products by 2025. More and more consumers, especially the younger generation, are seeking out companies that align with their eco-conscious values and we’re proud to purposefully create a more sustainable, less disposable life and world.

Q: How has your marketing changed over the past few years?

  • As more new fans fell in love with our brand, we created content that resonated with them. It was also important that we partner with tastemakers who our fans trust. Certainly “going big” with our TikTok efforts have been instrumental in our growth and connection, too. In fact, #stanleytumbler has 665M+ views on TikTok, with that number continuing to grow by the minute.
  • We constantly lean into cultural trends and pop culture moments to stay top of mind for our consumers. Our Recent Lainey Wilson Quencher collaboration, which sold out in only 11 minutes, is a great example of how Stanley is shaping and influencing today’s cultural zeitgeist.
  • Showing up in-person through our pop-ups has been instrumental in connecting with fans – both new and existing. Through these high-energy and hands-on events spanning NYC to LA, we are providing consumers with experiences they can’t find anywhere else, including aura readings and interactive murals to name a few,  and it provides them an opportunity to explore our latest collections. Consumers ask us to come to their cities so that they can experience the brand in new and unexpected ways. Stay tuned to learn where we’ll be in 2024!

Q: We’ve heard a lot about the rising role of A.I. in marketing in the past year. How much or how little are you using A.I. or automation in your marketing efforts?

  • We are exploring the use of  A.I. today, but I expect that to evolve in 2024 as we find new ways to connect with our consumers. Whether using A.I. on our website to help the search process or introducing new products with A.I. to help inspire, I expect A.I. to become an increasing part of our marketing efforts.

Q: In 2023, marketers have more channels to utilize than ever, from shoppable social to CTV to the traditional. Which channels are you using? Where are you seeing the most success?

  • We’re using each of these channels plus we look to many platforms to feature our brand and our products, across digital and in-person.
  • We pull many different digital levers – from social media and paid media like our partnership with Betches to communicating directly with our consumers through email, we’re making it easier than ever to shop, discover and learn about our products.
  • While social media has certainly been part of our success and led to the virality of “the TikTok famous Stanley” there’s still nothing better than good old-fashioned products on the shelf. And working with some of the best retailers in the world who feature Stanley on their valuable shelf space has been a major part of our success.

Q: What challenges do you anticipate facing in 2024? How do you plan on meeting those challenges?

  • Challenges come in many shapes and sizes, from competitors to dupes. The conversation around “dupe culture” is double-sided. While flattering for us at Stanley, it’s very confusing for consumers. Our goal as a company is to make sure we’re providing them with the best products possible, made and sourced ethically. As dupes of our brand hit the market, consumers are faced with options that do not deliver on the Stanley promise. We meet those by embracing the spirit of our founder which is creating, building and inventing. Continual innovation – from new product launches to exciting collaborations – is the key to our past, current and future success.

Q: What is something you’ve learned in your career that you would like to share with young SMB marketers entering the industry?

  • You’re always auditioning.  Be ready for your moment. Whether you’re new in the industry or a seasoned professional, you never know when it’s going to arrive. Be ready!