There are nearly as much passions as there are people. One collects porcelain, another favours a particular smartphone brand, and yet another swears by male cosmetics of a particular brand. Sneakers have a particular passion. A young start-up called HEAT MVMNT has jumped into this segment and has already established a market leadership position after a short period of time.
Henning Staudt, the company’s founder and CEO, describes HEAT MVMNT in this way: We court shoes, almost like an insurance broker. With us you cannot order the shoes directly, but you can find all the information about the shoes in our application, or on the website. When you click on a shoe with us, you’re redirected to a store where you can then order the shoe.”
HEAT MVMNT does not only provide information on every sneaker, though. The start-up specializes in collecting and providing information exclusively about very rare sneakers in limited edition. If you sign up for the site or application, you have access to all relevant information. This means you don’t have to spend hours searching the web to find out more about your favorite sneakers.
There are now more than 5 million users on the platform and the app. Originally, the two founders Henning Staudt and Anton Gartner were not planning to start a start-up. On the contrary, the two sneaker fans only wanted an Instagram account to share their passion for sneakers with others and show their own favorite pieces.
Henning Staudt and Anton Gartner were so active that through their numerous posts and stories, through feed posts and comments they wrote, a whole community of their own grew up around their account. The question of where to buy certain sneakers came up more and more often, which was due to the fact that up until that point, you couldn’t find such and other information on any major platform. Of course, there were smaller blogs with individual information, but there was no web site where fans of unconditional sneakers could find detailed and complete information. This circumstance woke up the idea in Staudt and Gartner to start online with a news site for sneaker fans.
As part of developing the website, both have encountered the term affiliate. They saw it as a chance to make money out of their passion. At the beginning, the commission was very limited, but over time, not only the number of readers of their website increased, but also the number of people who clicked on the affiliate ads, bought sneakers in the linked store and thus ensured increasing revenues. Both founders were still in college at the time and were also students when they sold trainers in a store in Mannheim.
Both wanted all revenues reinvested back into HEAT MVMNT. For example, monthly fees of 100 to 150 euros funded a WhatsApp newsletter. Through it, they shared up-to-date information about sneaker releases, and other marketing events or promotions with the ever-growing sneaker fan community. Using advertising on their web site and Instagram, they received 500 registrations and more sneakers were sold.
Almost exactly when HEAT MVMNT reached 40,000 recipients of the WhatsApp newsletter, WhatsApp stopped sending promotional messaging. Staudt and Gartner have had exactly 4 months to find an alternative solution and continue to provide their hard-won community with the info. It quickly became clear for both of them that only an application would be an appropriate alternative. With an app like this, they could send push WhatsApp messages to their contacts. The fact that it was the right decision can be seen, inter alia, in the #1 position of the app in the Lifestyle Apps section of the iOS App Store.
Today, HEAT MVMNT counts 13 employees who work in 170 m2 of offices and in a home office. The app is now available in 9 countries. By the end of 2022, there are plans to increase the space by another 150 m2, which will be used, among other things, as a warehouse for HEAT MVMNT’s own products, called Sneaker Essentials.
Eighty percent of the company’s income comes from affiliate commissions, while the other 20 percent is generated by product placements of various well-known brands or in-store placements. In the medium to long term, the start-up aims to increase its customer base to 7.5 million. In 2023, HEAT MVNT plans to roll out its app in the United States.
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