Where to Find Military Discounts

Posted on Aug 15, 2012 · 5 min read

I’m about to ask a question that I don’t know the answer to. I’ve seen on Law & Order that if you are the attorney you are never supposed to do that. I don’t think anyone will go to prison for life or lose a big law suit because I’ve done it here.

Why, within industries, do companies see value in the “me too” factor?

If you are a marketing geek like me, you can watch companies within an industry all do the same thing, one right after another. I love pointing out the current “me too” ads in the car insurance industry. Whether you listen to the talking gecko, Flo, or Dennis Haysbert, they are all saying the same thing: “if you switch, we can save you money.” Clearly, the message actually is, “if you switch from any insurance company to any other insurance company you’ll save money” but without a differentiator, the tv ads just get more memorable, or maybe more forgettable.

The other trend and/or lack-of-trend is industries offering or not offering a military discount to customers.

If you Google one retailer within an industry looking for a military discount, then chances are, you already know the answer for their competitors.
Of course with this topic, my favorites are going to be the stand-outs–the companies who have taken a stand and said “we don’t care what our competitors do, we want to support our military.”

Pizza Delivery

If you want twirly-parm-poppers, cinna-sticks, or crazy sauce, any pizza franchise that is right around the corner from you can surely deliver. If you want a consistent military discount and a good experience when you ask for one, it’s not going to happen here.
I get that stores are franchises so can choose what promotions they want to run. But if franchisers can make the employees in all their franchises wear ugly hats, they can offer a military discount through all their stores.
I love this Domino’s website:

This is how a military discount should be offered. Make is simple, make it clear and state it loud because it’s a differentiator! Don’t forget that 92% of military personnel say that a military discount will make them more loyal to a brand and they show loyalty with their dollars.
The other pizza “chain” that is proud of their military discount is John’s Pizza with a dozen locations in California and Oregon.

Cici’s Pizza says on their site that some their stores do. We appreciate that they encourage people to go ahead and inquire.
The other big guys? Not yet. And why not? Think of the campaigns, think of the goodwill, think of the press coverage they would get if they went nation-wide with that kind of discount. Step-up guys! SheerID has got your back. We’ll verify that your customers are actually military personnel in-person or online. We’ll sew the camo-cape and make you the pizza-superhero of the military world.
John’s and Domino’s of New Mexico—you guys rock. CiCi’s, honorable mention—well done.

Cell Phone Service Providers

They all offer a military discount.
That makes a short blog doesn’t it? Here’s the list that I found online:

  • Cingular 19% discount 800-319-6393
  • T-Mobile 22% discount 866-646-4688
  • Sprint 15% discount 888-788-4727
  • Nextel 18% discount 800-639-6111
  • Verizon 23% discount 800-865-1825
  • AT&T 19% discount 800-CALL-ATT

Can they do it better? Oh, come one, you really need to ask? They don’t offer the discounts online and they hide the fact that they offer one. The ONLY one of the companies above that had a “military discount page” that came up when I Googled it was AT&T. The others I found from forum responses on their website or from “military discount” themed websites that track them.
These are typical symptoms of not being able to easily verify that their customer is in fact eligible for a military discount. If they worked with SheerID, well, we all know their process would be much simpler and create an awesome competitive differentiator.
Next time you are shopping for a cell phone, take the time to get a live person on the phone and ask for your discount. It can save you hundreds of dollars per year.

Craft Industry

Michael’s, AC Moore, and Joann’s Fabric all offer military discount, and a couple of them are working towards moving it online.

  • Joann’s military discounts are during certain “appreciation days” that they hold, and they have them often.
  • Michael’s currently offers a 10% military discount in stores every Wednesday (check your local store).
  • AC Moore wins the “military crafting “cage-match with 10% off every day, plus a great loyalty program that will help you save even more.

While each offer is different, this is the perfect example of an industry where someone stepped up and offered a discount and now they all do. See, that wasn’t so hard.

I guess my question at the beginning of the blog was rhetorical. What I’m really trying to say is “step up!” Go get that competitive advantage so you have something to talk about in your next ad instead of just saying “me too.” A military discount, especially if you offer it online is the super easy way to develop immediate loyalty and take those dollars away from your competition.

Marci Hansen by Marci Hansen