Daniel Brunson

TULSA, Okla.—Daniel Brunson, store manager of Hicks Brunson Eyewear here expect two things from all trunk shows. “The first is to raise awareness for our store and the particular brand we are showing. The second is to demonstrate to our customers that we are always on the cutting edge of the latest trends in eyewear. What better way to show that than to host fun events,” he said.

Using a carefully honed system, the optical boutique—which Brunson’s family opened in 1949—hosts yearly trunk shows as part of its overall comprehensive marketing strategy. Brunson believes sales impact depends on the level of promotion put into a show. He feels heavily promoted shows are going to draw larger crowds and thus have a bigger impact. “I have found that shows will create excitement even among shoppers who are just passing by and may spur them to make impulse purchases. Sometimes customers who came to look but didn’t end up buying on the day of the show will be back to buy later—so the impact is positive all around,” he said.

Store manager Daniel Brunson (r) with attendees at a recent
Hicks Brunson trunk show said the optical boutique has been
hosting events for the past 45 years.

To organize the shows, Brunson relies on a “Trunk Show Checklist” he’s put together over the years. “My level of organization and target marketing has become more precise over the past year or two,” he said. Some items on the list include: e-mail local fashion writer; prepare push e-mail blast; prepare mailing list and post cards; prepare newspaper ad. “This year we have not run any newspaper ads for our shows,” Brunson admitted. “But I will likely get back to them over the next year as I have found them to be effective.”

In selecting companies to feature via trunk show, Brunson often chooses brands that are regionally exclusive to his location. “This allows us to promote our store brand within the community as an optical boutique that offers unique eyewear not found anywhere else in Tulsa,” he said. Another influencing factor is whether or not a company can provide their own marketing materials.

Recent showcases include collections from Kazuo Kawasaki and Tom Davies, the latter of which Brunson has collaborated with to create custom pieces for his customers in the past.

Delia Paunescu, Assistant Editor