David Miller

Talking Points

Alejandro Betancourt Savvy Marketing Helps to Transform the Operations of Hawkers

Two brothers and their close friends established Saldum, a Spanish-based website that operated like Craigslist and was involved in selling goods on the second-hand market. The entrepreneurs behind these ideas were David Moreno, Alejandro Betancourt, and their friends Iñaki Soriano and Pablo Lozano. The business was struggling at the beginning, and they resorted to creating e-commerce websites for other firms.

Iñaki Soriano and Pablo Lozano were studying in the United States. When they came home with Knockaround sunglasses, it became famous thanks to influencer and word-of-mouth marketing. The brothers invested $300 in 27 pairs and resold them at a profit. After realizing its potential in Spain, they decided to be the sunglasses brand official resellers in their hometown.

The founders soon realized that they needed to have high-quality sunglasses that retailed at a lower price (between $20 and $40). When they reached out to Luxottica, a leading Italian manufacturer, they gladly agreed to design their prototype. This was when they decided to launch Hawkers officially.

The Online Marketing Approach

Hawkers focused their attention on online marketing by using Facebook to identify young women with specific personality traits. Their ideal clients attended music concerts, studied at the university, or purchased an iPhone. The firm decided to give free copies of the sunglasses to individuals with these personality traits and requested them to post pictures on Instagram and Facebook.

The company soon faced operational challenges because the demand was more than the supply, leading to delays in orders. The company decided to approach Alejandro Betancourt and other investors who injected $56 million into the firm, and Alejandro Betancourt became the company’s new president.

Alejandro Betancourt soon began to invest in capital improvements, and a few years after taking charge of the company made an additional €20 million. This made him Hawker’s largest shareholder.

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