Hawkers was recently named one of the best sunglass brands for its affordability and worldwide popularity by Australian website news.com.au. The fresh styles and colors in addition to collaborations with brands like the LA Lakers have sparked the interest of young people across the globe.
There are a lot of larger trends being touched on with Hawkers, from environmentalism to practicality. Young people crave choice today to express their individualism, but not for the same costs as most designer accessories today.
This is why Hawkers has gained so much traction over the years, and how it’s managed to come out on top in a very competitive industry. President Alejandro Betancourt weighs in on his story with the company and his long-time mission of upholding the greater good.
Hawkers Sunglasses Consistently Named to ‘Best of’ Lists
Making superlative lists is nothing new to Hawkers, largely because the company has managed to produce quality products without the corresponding high price points. Born and raised in Spain, the brand has brought some of the famous silhouettes back to life and attracted some notable figures to don its shades, including acclaimed F1 driver Lewis Hamilton.
Hawkers managed to become internationally known largely by taking advantage of influencer marketing. Alejandro Betancourt saw an opportunity in budding social media platforms like Instagram back in the mid-2010s, and he was able to take a genuine love of the accessories and translate that into a much larger presence in the retail world. By keeping marketing costs low and targeting people who were already buying from Hawkers without incentives, it catapulted the company’s figures and solidified their presence in the industry.
The Brand of Choice for Young People
One of the reasons why Hawkers has managed to grow is due to its leadership. Alejandro Betancourt recognized from early on that the hip brand connected with young people in a big way. By focusing on the lifestyle aspects, including the outdoor and fashion element, it was easy to organically grow followers.
As he would put it, “I have long been a believer in contributing to the greater good.” Hawkers is more than a sunglass company. It’s promoting a healthy way of living. Getting out into the sunshine is good for the body and soul and something that young people need to appreciate the beauty of nature. Betancourt is helping people protect their eyes and their wallet without having to give up the style selection they crave. This kind of positioning in the market has untold possibilities, particularly when you consider just how internationally beloved the brand is.
The Retail Story of the Sunglasses
Hawkers saw some fluctuation at the beginning. Starting with early success, the company would experience some financial trouble as it attempted to grow. Alejandro Betancourt was brought in early, and his investment would prove to be just what the company needed.
With an additional $56 million (USD) put the company, courtesy of Betancourt and a group of investors, the distribution of Hawkers products was able to stretch to Europe, Asia, and North America.
Betancourt became the majority shareholder in 2018 by contributing an additional $21.7 million USD. Despite some stumbling blocks, the company was able to grow without spending its incoming revenue.
Alejandro Betancourt’s philosophy is not unlike that of many successful entrepreneurs: “You fall down many times. The important thing is to keep getting up.” Social media marketing is notoriously difficult, but the key was to tap into the needs and wants of young people.
From the promotions to the merchandise to the photos, Hawkers focused on authenticity. Influencers who were posting about the sunglasses were already fans of the products. The photos featured real-life moments in beautiful settings. (They encouraged people to check out new locations and to grab some sunglasses before hitting the road.) The products were made by a company that cares about its impact on climate change and its financial footprint on its customers. It all boiled down to an unshakable bond with its target demographic of socially conscious young people.
From a $300 Investment to $100 Million in Revenue
From brand tie-ins to celebrity endorsements, Hawkers is constantly innovating its marketing strategies to stay fresh in the minds of its customers. It’s how the company has grown to new heights and why Alejandro Betancourt has been so successful in helping the companies under his umbrella. Turning a few hundred dollars into millions is no simple feat, but it’s one that Betancourt is used to by this point. It’s his ideas that have laid the financial foundation for Hawkers and the cornerstone of its many retail success stories.