“We’re committed to crafting digital experiences that parallel the passion and thoughtfulness we put into every one of our products.”David Tyler
Director of Digital Commerce
The Cabot family has been making premium wool socks in the Green Mountain State for three generations. Until the early 2000s, they manufactured socks for other brands. But as business began to leave the country, the family found themselves at a crossroads. “Times were tough,” says Founder and CEO Ric Cabot. “The mill went from two shifts a day to two shifts a week, 401(k)s were cut, and the company was close to insolvency. We had to seriously ask ourselves whether it was still viable to be an American manufacturer of premium socks.” They decided that it was, and in 2004 the family shifted business models and launched their own brand, Darn Tough Vermont. “The world said we didn’t need another sock brand,” Ric recalls. “But we believed in our product so strongly, we chose to unconditionally guarantee our socks for life—a commitment we carry on to this day.”
When the Cabots shifted business models, their digital strategy changed with it. “We now share our story and commitment to quality with consumers around the world,” explains David Tyler, Director of Digital Commerce. Darn Tough Vermont uses AdWords, Google’s advertising program, to reach customers looking for what David describes as “the most comfortable, durable, and best-fitting socks you can own.” They share the mill’s history and values on social media and YouTube. “Video is an ideal medium for bringing customers closer to our brand, and YouTube is a strategic platform for reaching and engaging the modern consumer,” David adds. And with insights from Google Analytics, they can better understand what resonates with their customers and improve their marketing accordingly.
Today some 1,800 retailers in the U.S. carry Darn Tough socks, and the company’s international distribution is growing in Canada, Europe, and Asia. “We've had nearly 30 straight quarters of growth, with double-digit growth in recent years," says David. All of this is good news for Darn Tough’s home in Northfield. To keep up with demand, the company has expanded to a nearby 47,000-square-foot mill and doubled their workforce over the past three years. “We feel very strongly about reinvesting in this community and creating opportunities for the people here,” Ric explains. And they plan to do so for many years to come. “That willingness to never give up, to never be satisfied, to always go for that next peak—that’s what we’re all about.”