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From Frustration to Functionality: How Image Relay Streamlined Nalgene's Digital Asset Management

The Challenge

  • Replacing an outdated, time-consuming FTP storage system
  • Time consistently wasted searching and sharing assets
  • Having to help partners find what they’re looking for

The Solution

  • An intuitive DAM platform
  • Easy sharing tools that allow partners and distributors independent access
  • Quick, seamless onboarding and maintenance 

About Nalgene

Originally born in a science lab in Rochester, NY in 1949, and still the go-to for millions of outdoor adventurers, athletes, and hydration enthusiasts around the world, Nalgene is the original reusable water bottle. Known for iconic shapes, vibrant colors, and ultra-durable construction, there’s a Nalgene for everyone. As a brand, Nalgene has been guided by their values from the beginning, and they believe that what goes into making water bottles is just as important as the adventures they inspire. As they look to the future, Nalgene remains committed to doing their part for their customers, community, and planet. 

Before Image Relay

Nalgene’s Director of Marketing Eric Hansen has been with the brand for eighteen years, which means he remembers all too well the challenges of their painfully outdated FTP (file transfer protocol) system for storing photos, design files, and other essential brand assets. “It was clunky. Not easy to use. Not easy to share assets.” 

Most cumbersome of all was how much time Eric and team spent tracking down files for clients and distributors, having to field requests, go hunting for assets, and then send them back through email. As a brand with a wide variety of products and SKUs, the Nalgene team knew that every day, they were giving away huge chunks of their most valuable currency: time. 

Three years ago, they reached a tipping point and knew it was time for a change. 

Not All DAMs Are Created Equal

Nalgene Tagging

With Nalgene's simple yet effective system, it's easy to search for what you need or follow the tags to related images. 

Nalgene started searching for a DAM that was, above all, easy to use. Though they have a deep library of digital assets, their day-to-day usage is fairly simple and built on storing marketing assets in a way that makes them easy to share. So a platform that was intuitive and simple for both internal and external stakeholders was the top priority. 

After an initial search, Nalgene found a DAM provider that seemed to meet their needs. But before long, their excitement turned to frustration as they struggled with their new DAM’s limitations. Eric says the platform just wasn’t as user-friendly as advertised. “It was a disaster. So hard to upload. So hard to create catalogs. It felt like you had to be a coder just to understand their methods. Ease of use is not really their thing.”

When frustration turned to asking around for DAM providers whose platform could provide the easy-breezy experience they craved, a friend recommended Image Relay.

Spoiler alert: Ease of use is totally our thing.

Easy Integration

Partnering with Image Relay was “Such a breath of fresh air.” After a couple of planning sessions with Sophy, one of Image Relay’s experienced digital librarians, Nalgene found the onboarding process, as well as uploading their large portfolio of assets and building their Image Relay library, simple and straightforward. Since then it’s been smooth sailing. 

“Because the platform is so easy to use, we were able to jump in and go.” 

Everything you need, nothing you don't. Nalgene keeps everything they need in easy-to-navigate folders.

Tag, You're Organized

Image Relay’s DAM platform is designed to be an intuitive experience for all users, whether they’re experienced internal partners who use the platform every day, or external distributors simply popping into Image Relay once in a while to download a couple of quick photos. 

Metadata tags help make large quantities of files and assets easy to search, catalog, and share. Since Nalgene carries so many SKUs, all in various colors, shapes, and sizes, it would be easy to get lost in the weeds fast if things weren’t properly categorized. During their onboarding sessions with Sophy, Eric and team learned how to quickly and efficiently tag each asset as it’s uploaded using common search criteria. On Image Relay, Eric says, “I can upload an entire product photography shoot in five minutes. Upload it, tag it. Done.”

“I can upload an entire product photography shoot in five minutes. Upload it, tag it. Done.”

Improved Partnerships

Eric and team quickly found that Image Relay’s user-friendly interface not only made life easier for their internal communication and operations, it made collaboration with partners easier and more efficient.

In the doldrums of their FTP days, distributors would reach out to Eric with requests for assets, which were time-consuming to find and share. Now, those same distributors can independently search through Nalgene’s Image Relay library–boosting efficiency and eliminating headaches. And since every asset is tagged with detailed metadata, external partners can always find exactly what they’re looking for without having to endlessly click through folders or lists of assets. “They can put in ‘16 oz’ or ‘wide mouth,’ then download what they need, and off they go. It just makes their life so much easier.”

Good partnerships are all about good communication, and the Nalgene team loves that Image Relay has helped make their collaborations more fruitful. 

Distributors can independently search through Nalgene’s Image Relay library–boosting efficiency and eliminating headaches. “They can put in ‘16 oz’ or ‘wide mouth,’ then download what they need, and off they go. It just makes their life so much easier.”

Time Saved = Time Re-invested

Every business knows the value of time, and the cost of losing it. Inefficient systems are time-sucks, drawing staff away from the valuable work they could be doing to grow their brand, from creating and promoting new products, to team building, to connecting with customers and growing into new markets. 

Now that their Image Relay library is running smoothly and saving hours every day, Eric and his team have used those hours for product development and sustainable innovation, including breakthroughs in recycled plastic. As of January 2023, all Nalgene water bottles will be made from 50 percent certified recycled material. 
Looking ahead, we’re excited that Nalgene considers Image Relay a partner for the long term. “We’re not going anywhere. Our customers love it. Our distributors love it.”

At Image Relay, customer satisfaction and return on investment is our top priority. Giving our customers value inspires us to keep innovating to make our platforms even better so brands can grow their businesses and tell their stories to the world. 

Eric believes that “The combination of cost-benefit and usability make Image Relay a no-brainer.”

We may be a little biased, but we couldn’t agree more.  

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