Dash Hudson has added a new product — which it says is a doozy — to its suite of products to help brands and publishers link with their audience.
The Halifax company -- which is profitable and growing revenues strongly -- so far has been best known for providing Instagram analytics to major companies to help them understand what campaigns are finding an audience. Now it has added a new product, Dash Hudson Vision, which can actually help users choose images that will resonate with the public.
“What the product does is it uses a new technology, Computer Vision, which can tell you everything that’s in a picture,” said CEO Thomas Rankin in an interview. “It can determine what inside an image is driving performance, so what we can do is tell a brand what’s in an image that’s working with an audience.”
Rankin said that as Dash Hudson took on more clients, the company found they often had difficulty understanding what photos work best with an online audience. Dash Hudson’s clients — which include fashion brands like J Brand and Revolve and publications like Condé Nast and Clique Media — have millions of images and often find it difficult to choose just the right image for a campaign.
Dash Hudson Vision simplifies the process. It builds a databank of every picture in the client’s archive and can tell instantly what objects, features and colours are in each shot. It features a search function, so a marketer can instantly find an image of, say, curly black hair.
Then it tells the marketer what works. The technology can understand what photos are resonating with online audiences now and help the marketing team find images that work in the current marketing climate. As public tastes change, Dash Hudson Vision can select images that appeal to the current market.
Rankin said the product can also help to assess competitors’ images to see what’s working for them and assess the segmentation in the market.
He said the company has been working on Vision for more than a year and beta-tested it with a few clients starting in June. The feedback helped to refine the product, which Dash Hudson launched last week.
The company’s main Instagram analytics platform has been doing well, and revenues have tripled already this calendar year. Dash Hudson raised more than $2 million in a round led by Build Ventures last year. When asked if he was raising capital again, Rankin replied that there is no need for new equity capital.
“We’ve been profitable the last two quarters so we have lots of money in the bank,” he said. “We’ve been busy growing.”
Dash Hudson, which has 35 full-time staff, had been planning to launch a product that could analyze SnapChat data, but Rankin said there is not enough open data on SnapChat yet to allow for high-quality analysis. The company has “parked” the product and will launch it once SnapChat is more open.
Meanwhile, the company has a suite of products that can assist brands and publishers in reaching a broader audience. And it believes Dash Hudson Vision will help with further growth.
“For the customers that have been using it, it has been fantastic,” said Rankin. “Brands spend so much time and resources trying to get an edge, and they’re working on increments, gaining bit by bit, whereas this creates a significant performance increase almost instantly, like in just a few weeks. “