How RJ Living use Dash to organise their visual content

Nathan Oakley, Chief Operating Officer at RJ Living

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"Honestly I can’t see us outgrowing Dash for a long time, if ever."

Furniture fit for the Australian lifestyle

Softly sculpted chairs with woven seats, dining tables fashioned to highlight the grain of the wood they’re made from, side tables created from natural stone. Melbourne-based furniture company RJ Living pride themselves on designing for the Australian lifestyle, and this comes through strongly as you browse their catalogue.

Nathan Oakley (RJ Living’s COO, explains:

“The Australian lifestyle is laidback, relaxed, and our designs reflect that. They’ve got a unique touch you won’t find with our competitors.”

Their contemporary designs, dreamt up by their talented in-house team, are crafted from organic materials and light timbers, bringing a touch of everyday luxury to homes across Australia.

Visual content crafted in-house

While RJ Living have a physical showroom in the trendy Melbourne suburb of Richmond, they’re primarily an ecommerce brand. Eye-catching product and lifestyle imagery is important for any company selling their wares online, and that’s particularly true for a furniture company.

“When buying furniture online it’s really hard to understand how it looks in your space. It’s not enough to just have a product image against a white backdrop - that won’t do much for a lot of people. So for us it’s about inspiring people with the spaces and allowing them to really understand what the product is about and how it’ll look in real life.”

The visual content RJ Living uses tells a story about the brand. They apply the same level of care and detail to their imagery as they do on their furniture designs. It’s all created in-house by Nathan and the team, without a single stock photo in sight.

“A lot of the content, pretty much everything you see across our site, and across our channels, is imagery and video we’ve taken ourselves. That’s a big pride point for our team.”

Leaving Google Photos behind

When you’ve got thousands of photos of your products - both archive and current - and you’re running a website, an Instagram account and social ads, you need a place to store your visual content which works for your business.

Before Dash, RJ Living were using Google Drive and Google Photos to house their content. As RJ Living grew and brought more members of the team onboard, the system was starting to creak at the hinges.

“It was fragmented and became limiting pretty quickly. To keep a mental note of exactly where each image of a product isn’t very scalable, especially as more people have their hands in the system. It became something people were getting lost in.”

That only got worse as RJ Living took on a digital marketing agency to manage their paid advertising across search and social.

“If the agency wanted to do a campaign around dining tables, we’d have to find and cherry-pick the content to give them, rather than them being able to go and search for ‘dining tables’ and find a wide range of great images to use.”

But it’s tricky making the leap of faith to a new system, especially when it can potentially involve an upheaval for your brand. The breaking point for Nathan came when he started doing research as to what else was out there.

“The point we decided to switch was seeing Dash. We realised our current system wasn’t sustainable any more. It wasn’t letting us grow.”

Finding a new home on Dash

Dash’s balance between time-saving functionality and affordable pricing helped get the rest of the business onboard.

“There are some really, really expensive options out there. We’re a growing business but we’re small, too. If we went with one of your competitors, it would be a case of us paying an astronomical price for functionality that wasn’t relevant to our needs. There was no way I could have built a case for that which would have been financially viable to us.”

In short:

“Dash’s functionality is perfect and the price is great.”

Having signed RJ Living up for Dash, Nathan started moving over their existing content from Google Drive and Google Photos. He wanted to create a single source of truth for RJ Living’s visual content, where everyone could find what they want quickly..

“We wanted to centralise our content for the whole team to use. Dash makes it easy for anyone to jump in and find what they want, and get back to what they were doing. It saves downloading a 40MB TIF file from Google Drive which staff members, especially those working from home with slower internet, really appreciate. It’s become a hub for all our images.”

One of the key benefits of Dash is the ability to organise your content in a way that works best for your brand. The best way to do that is think of how you’d typically want to search for your videos and images and create your searchable attributes around that. That’s just what RJ Living have done, and they’re a great example of how to make Dash work best for your brand.

“The lifecycle of our products is around 2-3 years so any product that goes into Dash will be tagged with the product name so we can search for it. That’s the crucial thing, not having to trawl through all the images. I don’t want to have to go through 500 images to find the 10 relevant ones!”
“We tag by product type, distinguish between styled images and pack shots, and usage rights. That last one is especially important for images that come from a photographer or an influencer. We also use things like setting a deadline on Christmas-themed logos for example - nobody wants to see those in January!”

Dash has meant RJ Living now has a system which gives room to breathe. When everyone has access to everything they need, and don’t have to waste hours finding content, it means they’re able to focus on growing the business.

“It’s saved us countless hours. We can grow with Dash, honestly I can’t see us outgrowing this for a long time, if ever. It provides us all the functionality we need it to, and it’s saved us countless hours through various members of the team being able to access it. We found it, we love it, and I can’t see any reason why we won’t keep building on it.”

"It’s saved us countless hours. We can grow with Dash."

Nathan Oakley

RJ Living's COO

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