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Matt Heller: The Man Behind the Loudest Train Horns on the Market



Matt Heller

Hornblasters certainly isn’t for those with weak hearts!

There’s a rule in business that if you’re going to be successful, you’ve got to be decisive. If no one feels passionate about what you offer, no one is going to buy. This is certainly a mantra that applies to Horn Blasters.

When you make high-powered air horns for trucks and cars, some people are going to hate them, while others will love them. Of course, those people are using on the receiving end of one of those blasts! (When I say loud, I mean jet-airliner-taking-off loud!)

Back in 2002, Matt Heller was fed up having his lowered “mini” truck constantly cut off on the road. Who hasn’t been in that situation? If you’ve owned a “small” car, at least compared to some of the big trucks out there, you’ll likely know what it’s like to be driven around as though you’re not even there.

Matt Heller had a unique solution to being ignored. “Out of nowhere, I had an idea; what if I take an air-powered horn like a big rig or a train and hook it up to my airbags? Didn’t take long for me to find the horn, make a few trips to the hardware store, and BOOM, it worked,” Matt explained.

18 years later, Matt Heller 38-year-old Floridian entrepreneur is CEO and owner of HornBlaster, Inc., a multi-million operations that sell insanely loud air horns to customers around the world. A niche market? Sure! But globally, more than big enough to support HornBlaster and several competitors. And Heller wants to stay the market leader.

“Horn Blasters, Inc. designs, manufactures and builds the most complete and loudest air horn kits for your vehicle in the world. After creating this industry 18 years ago, we are still the industry leader and ship our product all around the world,” Matt says.

It’s not been an easy road. Horn Blasters is regarded by its customers as a premium brand, so it is open to cheap foreign-made products that undercut Heller’s prices. “Our stuff is top-notch,” he says, “but I’m competing with all of these junk products. It’s just a nightmare.” Horn Blasters’ products are largely built from American-made parts, which means high quality, but high retail costs too.

Heller explains that most of the products’ profit margin is down around 15%, so using cheap, foreign parts would make sense for the balance sheet. But Heller is satisfied that growth is the way to increase profits, not compromising on quality. He says the trick is to educate, show that the products are the best there is.

“Some people will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on aftermarket accessories for their vehicles,” Matt says. “They have huge egos and want a big, lifted truck, you know, the loudest, nastiest thing … they almost want to pay more. They want premium because they’ll get hazed and roasted online if they buy the eBay special for $100.”

So far, he’s been proved right. Business is so good that they needed to expand and relocated 25 miles south to the metro Tampa, Florida, area. “We’re so thrilled to be moving into a bigger warehouse and increasing our presence to serve our customers better, nationwide and locally,” Heller told us. He went on, “We’re also very excited about the ability this move gives us to keep growing and offering more products and services to our customers.”

A major contribution to the company’s success has been adroit social media marketing. “YouTube changed everything for us,” he says. “We hit it so hard. Ours were some of the first videos to get a million views. Instantly, it just took off.” One of the hits is the “scare” videos showing unsuspecting people being shocked by the sheer noise the horns are capable of.

Childish? Perhaps, but addictive and hilarious. It’s the exact combination the internet is thirsty for. Equally important are the videos and pictures demonstrating how to fit the horns. “Continuously posting photos of customers’ products and the final installation setup is key to selling the product,” Heller insists. The results suggest he is absolutely right. Clearly, is making all the right noises!

Arash Derakhshan is a brand marketing and development leader with an exhibited record of working in the brand growth, public relations/communications and market research industry. Skilled in Marketing Development, Competitive Intelligence, and Communication.