How Image Relay Powers Darn Tough’s Digital Asset Management

The Challenge

  • Lacking a unified location for asset storage
  • Ensuring Darn Tough brand assets were being used accurately
  • Sharing curated assets with intended recipients was tedious

The Solution

  • Central storage location
  • Quick and painless sharing; no more long email threads
  • Custom permissions means external users always have access to what is relevant

The Numbers

  • 22,000+ assets
  • 1,200+ users
  • Image Relay customer for 5+ years

Darn Tough's Company Story

Darn Tough is nothing if not dedicated to their product, company, and community. Since 1978 the family-owned mill in Northfield, Vermont has been knitting the best socks around. Fast forward to 2004 and Darn Tough was born from the idea to create an in-house brand that produced socks of unparalleled quality. Their socks are so good that they’re unconditionally guaranteed for life. It’s not every day you see that. Darn Tough is not only the best in the biz for socks, but they also go above and beyond to support members of their community.

In 2017, Darn Tough participated in their first Giving Tuesday by donating 100% of their profits to the Vermont Foodbank, which tallied up to nearly 35,000 meals for hungry Vermonters. Inspired by the response, Darn Tough continued finding ways to support the VTFB. By the end of 2021, they had donated over 1 million meals. In 2022 Darn Tough launched their own initiative, Knit to Give; a new sock, made with overstock yarn, every three months that 100% benefits the food bank. They might be Darn Tough but they’re Darn Good too.

Before Image Relay

Lance Pitcher, Darn Tough’s Creative Marketing Manager, joined the brand in 2017. When he arrived on scene it became immediately clear that Darn Tough’s digital asset management could use some help. Darn Tough creates a ton of visual content with ~20 photo shoots annually and an additional 5 to 10 video projects.

Without a unified storage space, digital assets were running wild. As Lance put it, “some agencies would have this. Some other freelancers would have that. But we just didn’t have a central location for anything.” Darn Tough was also struggling to ensure that assets were being used in the right ways by the right stakeholders. Lance brought on Image Relay, and almost instantly, Darn Tough left those concerns in the rearview.


Ric Cabot in the Darn Tough Mill. Image: The Boston Globe

What Darn Tough Needed


With Image Relay, Darn Tough can easily curate and share assets in just a couple of clicks.

In short, Darn Tough needed a unified storage location that allowed stakeholders to self-serve high-quality assets and features that enabled custom access permissions. Seems simple enough… right?

Darn Tough also needed a platform that was intuitive enough for over 1,200 users to leverage without training, a scalable system that could grow with their brand, and a fool-proof search function. Enter Image Relay.

Darn Tough's Asset Management Power Up

Organizing Darn Tough's Asset Library

Lance put it simply, “If Darn Tough didn’t have Image Relay, it would be absolute digital chaos.” Chaos, of any kind, is bad for productivity, long-term success, and employee happiness. Image Relay helps keep internal chaos to nil. Darn Tough’s Image Relay asset library is searchable, shareable, and safe. Metadata, like tags, means every asset is readily available. Quick share options means that with one-click anything in your library can be sent with a link. And, Image Relay’s Soc 2 Type 2 certification means your brand secrets are always safe with us.

"[Image Relay] is a one-stop shop for any Darn Tough media.”

Consistency is Key

From low quality images to logos that contradict brand guidelines, nothing compromises brand identity like inconsistency. Those issues arise when the people who need access to specific assets don’t have it. Permissions, a feature of Image Relay’s Marketing Delivery, help keep everyone on brand. Lance says that Darn Tough uses permissions to “Guide retailers to the best shot that they should be using.” While those high-quality pics are the only assets the retailers can see, the rest of the Darn Tough team still has access to all the B-roll or the B-shots in the Library.

"We're confident that if retailers share what they can find on Image Relay from Darn Tough, we're going to be represented in our best light, and ultimately in theirs too."

Ensuring Efficiency

With Image Relay, the days of endless email threads chasing assets are over. Image Relay’s quick-share links make sending approved assets as easy as copying and pasting a link, maximizing efficiency and minimizing employee frustration. Plus, the intuitive design of the Image Relay Library means that if someone has access to your brand assets, they can easily find their way without training.

"[Image Relay] became that single source that we could update as needed, and everybody has access to it, from their phone, at home, whatever or wherever."

Continued Success

We challenged Lance to compare the world’s first fully integrated marketing solution to the world’s toughest socks. Lance shared, “If Image Relay was a Darn Tough sock, it’s our light hiker. It’s a sock that I would give someone to try for their first time because it’s going to work for them, and they’re going to love it. Not only is it one of our staple products that does really well, it has also progressed over the years. And that’s how I see Image Relay. They continue to progress, and yet it always feels great when you dive in.”

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Marketing Delivery is purpose-built to streamline workflow and assure brand consistency from one united, secure platform. Explore plans or schedule a demo to see it for yourself.