The Hocks family has been successfulfor almost 2 decades by offering a professional business model and model customer service.

Mq01.jpg (12390 bytes)The Hocks building is located near Rose City Waterfront in Portland, Ore.

Hocks Hearing Healthcare Products was founded by Dan Hocks, Sr, in 1986. Situated in Portland, Ore, the company manufactures and dispenses everything from counter items and earmold accessories to impression supplies and hearing aid maintenance.

Hocks Hearing Healthcare Products resides within a two-story, 5,000-square-foot facility, located near the beautiful Rose City Waterfront. The facility’s first floor includes customer service, the marketing department, and the impression room, while the second floor contains the earmold laboratory, the purchasing department, shipping, and production areas.

Almost 20 years after the company first started doing business, Hocks employs 12 full-time personnel with duties including production, customer service, telemarketing, and office management. But the company has grown in more ways than one, and family members Kari Hocks, the company’s marketing director, Benjamin Ward III, who is the earmold manager, and Dan Hocks, Jr, who serves as the purchasing agent, are there to oversee its progress.

Hearing Products Report asked Kari Hocks to talk about working with her family’s company, and what the industry can expect from it in the future.

HPR: What was the original vision for Hocks Hearing Healthcare Products?
Kari Hocks: Hocks has a commitment to provide small company service in a big way: To expand into other areas of the hearing industry, without losing focus of our customers’ needs. We provide hearing-related products, hearing protection, and earmolds with a friendly attitude and reliable service, making Hocks not only a great place to deal with, but a fun place to work. Our attitude is reflected on each and every call; when you like your job and the people you deal with, it shows.

Mq02.jpg (19639 bytes)Multicolored molds have become extremely popular. Hocks’ Pikaso Plugs can be used for swimming, sleeping, and hearing protection.

HPR: Has that vision changed over the years?
No, we still believe that the best way to serve our customers is friend to friend.

HPR: What do you enjoy about being a family-run company?
Hocks: Hocks Hearing Healthcare Products has a benefit that the larger companies lack: We try to make it personal. The biggest benefit of calling Hocks is that we like our customers, and try to be friendly. This is the way we like it. We can be personal; when you get to know your customers, you can anticipate their needs, and discover their wants. This way our relationships will benefit us both. When you work for or call the “big guys,” you don’t always deal with the same person—this makes it hard to get to know anybody.

HPRL: How does a family-run company compete with the bigger ones?
Hocks: Service and speed. Most orders go out the same day they are received. We really care more—our name is on it, too. At Hocks, we try to focus on our customers’ needs because many of them are just like us, family companies. We would like to get to know them. We focus on the service aspect of business. By making it personal, we build friendships, not just clients.

Mq03.jpg (13386 bytes)Kari Hocks is the marketing director of Hocks Hearing Healthcare Products.

HPR: Who/what makes up your customer base?
We have customers in all 50 states, and 12 foreign countries. We don’t really have one kind of customer. We provide hearing-related products to audiologists, hearing aid dealers, industry, schools, government organizations. We serve a wide variety of hearing health care needs, and our customer base reflects that.

HPR: Can you tell us about some of your products?
Hocks: Hocks Hearing Healthcare is a complete hearing health care wholesale provider. Many products bear our name, including impression supplies, tubing supplies, and custom-imprinted batteries.

We are best known for the world-famous Hocks Noise Braker®. The Hocks Noise Braker is the original hearing protector, and is used in all areas of life by a wide variety of people, from musicians to construction crews to athletes. We are dedicated to providing the best hearing protection available—the original is always the best. The Hocks Noise Braker works on the “accelerated resonant decay principle”; no sounds over 80 dB will pass through the filter. It is an axiom of physics that we cannot create or destroy energy. We can, however, convert it. The Hocks Noise Braker filter converts sonic energy into thermal energy by means of compression acceleration. The rise in temperature is so minute you will never notice it. You can still hear, but a dangerous level of sound cannot possibly get through the filter.

Hocks is also well known for impression supplies. We have many that carry our name. The silicone 50 X 50 mix, and foam and cotton impression blocks are some of our best. We are well known for providing free custom imprinting. We imprint on Energizer Amplifier spin packs and iCell hearing aid batteries. We believe this is the best marketing and advertising you can do: Put your name on it, it pays. We have recently expanded our printing areas and are now printing on battery cases and testers. Our preformed quilled tubing is marketed all over the world.

Mq04.jpg (15332 bytes)Every earmold or Hocks Noise Braker® is given a final polish and inspection before leaving the earlab.

HPR: How does Hocks go about identifying new products needed in the marketplace?
Hocks: We listen to our customers, and as technology and customer demand increase, we will add products to our line. We have currently added approximately 40 new products to our catalog and Web site ( for this year. Many of these products have been requested by our customers, and we feel that many of them would benefit our customers.

HPR: What are the steps the company takes to put a new product on the market?
Hocks: We either make it, or bring it in, and then market it, and sell it. We like to use our customers as our test. They are the ones who will use the products. If they don’t want it, they won’t carry it.

HPR: What do you feel sets Hocks Hearing Healthcare Products apart from its competitors?
Hocks: We add a family attitude to business. We focus on the service aspect of business. When you call Hocks, you are calling a friend.

Mq05.jpg (14552 bytes)The Hocks Noise Braker® filter is used by people in all walks of life–from professional athletes to construction workers to military personnel. The filter works off the accelerated resonant decay principle.

HPR: Is the company run under a certain business philosophy?
Hocks: Be helpful; make friends—the business will come.

HPR: What are your tips for running a successful hearing health care business?
Think of it as a way of life—not just a job. You will only be successful if you give 110%. When you own a company, it’s like one of your children, you have to take care of it. It is not a 9 to 5 job, it’s 24/7, with unlimited opportunities to either fail or succeed.

HPR: What can the industry expect from Hocks in the future?
The younger Hocks are bringing new and youthful ideas to the company. We have just brought in a variety of new products and personnel to our company. We hope to continue with the traditions, values, and friendship Hocks has always taken pride in.

Danielle Cohen is associate editor of Hearing Products Report.