Hawkers is a well-liked Spanish sun shades firm identified for its collaborations with celebrities and distinctive designs, such because the One Venm Hybrid fashions with UV400 safety — that provides practically 100% safety from ultraviolet rays — and progressive anti-slip nostril pads. Entrepreneur Alejandro Betancourt Lopez is each a serious investor in Hawkers and the corporate’s president. He’s been instrumental in Hawkers’ enormous success, partly because of his in depth use of on-line media and advertising and marketing to increase the corporate past its home market.
“We’ve been very profitable in a single nation, which is the place the model was born, in Spain. And what we’re doing is increasing that to Europe, which is the neighboring international locations round Spain, and into Spanish language-speaking international locations like Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, and others,” he observes.
“We’ve been very profitable in Mexico. This can be a nation that we’ve been placing plenty of assets into recently, and we need to increase not solely on the digital presence however the bodily presence by opening shops. Within the subsequent two years, we ought to be opening some shops there and a few optical providers in other places in Mexico.”
Hawkers’ Historical past
After beforehand dabbling in different startup enterprise ventures, Alejandro Moreno, David Moreno, Pablo Sánchez, and Iñaki Soriano based Hawkers in December 2013. Every associate had expertise in several areas that may show helpful for the corporate, together with enterprise, graphic design, and programming.
Utilizing an preliminary funding of $300, they determined to start out by promoting Knockaround, an American model of sun shades. They shortly bought all of the items they’d bought and started promoting Miss Hamptons model espadrilles, an informal, rope-soled sandal common in Spain. The trio subsequent pivoted to Hawkers, creating an unique model of sun shades and discovering producers in China, Italy, and Spain to provide the eyewear.
Hawkers snowballed throughout the next years, exceeding 15 million euros in 2014. This determine rose to 40 million the next yr. Hawkers opened its first funding spherical in October 2016, which Betancourt led as an angel investor. This effort was extremely profitable, leading to 50 million euros in funding. Firm founders introduced Betancourt’s appointment to firm president the next month, changing Alejandro Moreno. Hugo Arévalo additionally joined Hawkers’ board because the agency’s vice chairman.
Betancourt has continued to increase the corporate’s model by constructing strategic relationships with companions and creating extra fundraising alternatives.
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Constructing the Model
It’s no secret Alejandro Betancourt Lopez has been instrumental in rising Hawkers model recognition by focused advertising and marketing to a youthful demographic. His secret sauce? “We’ve been benefiting from social media, on-line social media, celebrities,” Betancourt shares.
Different profitable methods embrace maintaining worth factors low whereas providing incentives to influencers in its target market.
It’s additionally retained its recognition by its early progress by persevering with to supply common designs at inexpensive costs. That is an accomplishment that many manufacturers wrestle to realize, nevertheless it’s important for maintaining its merchandise accessible to its younger viewers. And in additional appreciation and acknowledgment of its goal demographic, Hawkers additionally strives to remain environmentally and socially acutely aware. Forbes reviews that these youthful generations “are the most definitely to make buy selections primarily based on values and rules (private, social, and environmental).”
Model ambassadors and sponsorships additionally add to Hawkers’ enchantment, with Mercedes-Benz, the Los Angeles Lakers, Method One star Lewis Hamilton, and Canadian singer Usher amongst its collaborators. Hawkers’ gross sales have been primarily made by Twitter and Fb initially, however most gross sales at the moment are made on to shoppers by its web site.
And as Hawkers spreads its wings throughout the globe, Betancourt credit the agency’s continued use of celebrities and social media for its profitable marketing campaign in Europe and Latin America.
“Once I joined Hawkers, we have been an organization of 40 folks,” Betancourt explains. “In the present day we make use of greater than 500 folks. Now we have about 80 shops alone in Spain. Now we have an enormous division of wholesale. And naturally, the net nature of the corporate, which is the place the corporate was born, employs a couple of hundred folks alone. So we’ve grown, not solely in international locations and presence in several jurisdictions but additionally within the quantity of individuals and households we make use of and we offer providers to.”
Betancourt’s function at Hawkers has modified significantly since he first invested in 2015. “I feel that with that progress, the roles inside, not solely my function however the completely different leaders of the corporate, has advanced right into a extra various function the place we’ve to adapt to the completely different markets we’re coming into,” he muses.
“Now we have to discover ways to not solely apply the completely different instruments and options we had once we have been solely a one-channel firm, however now we’re omnichannel with a retail presence, a wholesale presence, an internet presence. And to maintain benefiting from that, of the instruments we have been utilizing, however on the similar time having the ability to be environment friendly within the different channels that we’re constructing with out affecting each other, however tremendous complimenting them.”
Even on this fast-paced period, Betancourt surfs the waves of latest tech whereas realizing that with out primary buyer satisfaction, even the very best digital presence will fail. That’s why he’ll proceed to innovate and elevate Hawkers.
“We have been born as a web, digital firm, however the principle success was that we have been offering high quality, and good high quality product at an inexpensive worth, which was one thing completely different in a market the place largely the massive manufacturers had a, we are able to name it type of a monopoly,” he says. “Hawkers was in a position to penetrate by offering the identical high quality, and even higher high quality product, at a fraction of what was on the market out there.
“Plus it was cool, it was recent, and we have been doing one thing completely different than anyone else on the time, which is on-line social media advertising and marketing. That strategy completely disrupted the market in the best way we penetrated the market. I feel that innovation has constructed an enormous model that’s right now Hawkers.”
Variations within the markets that Hawkers is coming into require adapting the gross sales instruments and options that the corporate used when social media was its solely advertising and marketing channel — and Betancourt is able to face that courageous new world.