Marketing technology company Hive, which creates smart packaging for major FMCG brands, has secured £2.5m in funds from private equity firm Encore Capital.
Hive enables ‘intelligent promotions’ through its patented technology which allows the printing of unique codes on packaging. Already a trusted partner to major FMCG companies including as PepsiCo, Heineken, Arla Foods and Nestlé, the company’s codes will be appearing on an estimated 6 billion packs this year.
Consumers can use these codes to take part in a range of promotions – for example, entering prize promotions and competitions, claiming gifts and rewards or adding points to a loyalty programme.
From the manufacturer’s point of view, the codes allow them to run promotions that incentivise consumers to interact with their brands, so they can learn more about the users of their products and develop direct relationships with them, while providing a clear link between behavioural activity and sales. Hives says that using its codes can increase sales by as much as 50% year-on-year.
Hive offers a complete end-to-end solution. On the applications side, its codes can assist branded websites and apps with their targeted content and promotional mechanics, linking them directly to purchase, as well as providing the ability to process and analyse the codes entered by the consumers.
The data collected means brands can monitor their promotions in real-time and spot anomalies and trends quickly. By analysing the data, they can deliver the right offer, at the right time, to the right audience and build brand equity by becoming relevant to their consumers.
Hive’s code-printing solution works in conjunction with existing factory printing equipment to print pre-generated alpha-numeric codes on product packaging. The proven technology involves no changes to existing production lines nor does it slow them down.
The investment will allow Hive to transform its business by allowing it to roll out a subscription model of its service.
Jonathan Jackson, CEO at Hive, says: “FMCG brands want to engage directly with their consumers and our Hive code-printing solution is the best way for brands to understand their consumers and link purchase to engagement. The funding will allow us to enter new markets where the capital investment required has been a barrier to growth. A promotion using unique codes will increase sales more than if the promotion is run without a code and we can continue towards our goal of giving every item of packaging an individual, unique identity to allow FMCG brands to build a direct relationship with their consumer.”
Rajesh Shah, a partner at Encore Capital, comments: “We have been actively looking for investments in this space. Hive has developed a market-leading technology that has made it an integral part of the marketing infrastructure for an impressive roster of FMCG clients, and we believe there is exciting potential for growth.”