How an Investment From Alejandro Has More Than Paid off for Hawkers Sunglasses
Alejandro Betancourt Lopez is more than just a wealthy, educated entrepreneur. The Suffolk University graduate has bachelor’s degrees in both business administration and economics. Betancourt is the founder of O’Hara Administration, an asset management company, and President of Hawkers Company.
Hawkers is a company that produces stylish sunglasses which are fitted with polarized lenses. The business began when four young visionaries from Spain invested $300 into reselling sunglasses they found in California for profit using the internet.
The sunglasses, which sold exclusively online, sold quickly and were in high demand. They were actually selling faster than production could keep up with.
After a time, the young men decided they did not want to just be distributors for another company’s product — they wanted to create their own product. Thus, “Hawkers” was born.
To make Hawkers a success, the founders needed more money. In 2016, through his O’Hara Administration, Alejandro Betancourt invested more than $50 million in the sunglass company. A few months later, Betancourt became the President of Hawkers.
In 2018, O’Hara invested another $20 million in Hawkers, making Betancourt the largest shareholder with more than 50 percent ownership of company assets.
Today, Hawkers is known for selling a high-quality, affordable product with sophisticated polarized lenses. Much of the success is attributed to the investment and management of Betancourt.
Alejandro Betancourt has a personal strategy for his business: “Always surround yourself with good people and build teams that deliver high performance. It’s a relatively straightforward way to honor the people that you work with and give every talented individual their chance to shine.”
Business Marketing Strategies That Led to Success
Betancourt understands no matter how good a marketing plan seems, there must be a quality product that lives up to the hype. Hawkers has exceeded that expectation. The product appeals to all ages. The glasses are made from light yet durable materials.
The sunglasses come in sizes, colors, and lenses that please all age groups. The price is so affordable that many folks buy several pairs to coordinate with the colors in their wardrobe.
With such a quality product, Hawkers, with Betancourt at the helm, has been able to pursue marketing opportunities that other brands may not have available.
Influencer endorsements. Athletes, film stars, musicians, and tech leaders have endorsed Hawkers sunglasses. Many of these endorsements were organic and not paid for advertisements. This gives the product an authenticity that escapes other competitive brands, like Ray-Ban and Oakley.
Others were given incentives to post their photo on social media showing them wearing Hawkers brand sunglasses. The influencers were given free products and a percentage of each sale they generated. Additionally, influencers were able to offer their followers discounts on Hawkers’ products.
Campus Ambassador Program. More than 5,000 college students from campuses across the country were chosen as brand ambassadors. They posted profile photos on their social media pages showing them wearing Hawkers sunglasses. The students represented star athletes, students who had a lot of friends, and the ordinary, average college kid.
The students posted selfies on social media of themselves at concerts, festivals, and other events where they were wearing Hawkers brand sunglasses. Sunglass sales accelerated as ambassadors sold the product to their friends and followers.
Hawkers reaped the benefits of the power of social media and sales skyrocketed. They went from daily sales of about a few hundred pairs of sunglasses a day to more than 10,000 pairs a day.
Facebook, YouTube, and other social media ads instead of brick-and-mortar stores. A major part of Hawkers success is attributable to its use of the internet and social media to promote and sell its product. Approximately 90 percent of Hawkers sunglasses are sold online. Betancourt says, “One of the greatest things about the Internet is the ability to share videos. Though it’s not strictly true that other forms of media are obsolete, with the death of printed books regularly prophesied, one-third of all online activities is spent watching videos.”
Eco-Friendly Sustainable Brands
Betancourt is not just an entrepreneur but a community leader. He is concerned about the environment and doing his part to give back. He says, “I am aware of the responsibility we have in the communities in which we are present. We simply cannot move forward without contributing toward their progress and development.”
In addition to Betancourt’s investment in projects, like a new wing for a school in his home country of Venezuela, he is involved in developing an eco-friendly production process. The sunglasses are made from biodegradable materials and are sent to purchasers in 100 percent sustainable packaging.
The average age of a Hawkers customer is 27. The person wearing the sunglasses accepts the threat of climate change and is proud to represent a company that is treating the planet with the respect it deserves.
What Other Companies Can Learn From Hawkers and Betancourt
In addition to the marketing strategies utilized by Hawkers under Betancourt’s direction, the company’s customer service is another secret to its success. For example:
- When Hawkers learns something is a problem, they immediately set about to fix it. This was evident when the company’s online sales sky-rocketed, it found an e-commerce site that could keep up with the traffic.
- Customers are kept informed about the status of their order, where the product is in the supply chain, and when to expect delivery.
- Anticipate what customers are looking for so the company can meet their expectations.
Hawkers now sells thousands of sunglasses every day and makes more than $100 million a year. It sells its products in more than 140 countries and has opened about 65 brick-and-mortar stores around the country. It has thousands of employees.
As Betancourt says, “Digital marketing is not a trend that will pass, but rather is a part of the marketing strategy that is imperative to the success of your business.”
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Originally published at https://www.latinospost.com on July 15, 2021.