The US military is there for us; now it’s time for businesses to return the favor. Offering a military discount program is an excellent way to support our troops while increasing your revenue and gathering important consumer-provided data. The best military discount programs make it easy for service members to get the savings they deserve.
Why Personalized Offers to the Military Matter
The military community has 39 million members made up of active duty service members, reservists, the National Guard, retirees, military employees, veterans, and their spouses and dependents. Together they have $1.2 trillion in spending power. Honoring the military with custom discounts is a simple and effective way to demonstrate your business cares about their sacrifices. It’s also a great way to grow brand awareness and win new customers.
Research shows that military members value military discounts. When brands recognize military contributions, 65% of military members feel supported, 66% feel valued, and 94% are left with a positive impression. Ninety percent of the military community have used a military discount, while 74% actively search for businesses that offer them.
Not convinced? Here are four reasons why creating a military discount program will benefit your company:
Create an Emotional Connection with Customers
When surveyed, 85% of the military identify strongly with being in the military community. Over half indicate their role in the military influences how they see the world. You can forge a powerful and emotional connection with the military community with exclusive offers that recognize their identity as service members.
Stand Out in the Crowd
When you go out of your way to express your brand’s values to consumers, you differentiate your company from its competitors. Creating a military discount program shows how much you value military service, and earns your brand the trust and goodwill of the military community and everyone who supports them.
The data is clear: 76% of the military say they learn about military discounts through word of mouth, and 96% would share exclusive offers with others in the military community. Generating more conversation from military members earns the business of additional service members.
Create Lifelong Customers
Just as military members are committed to keeping our country safe, they are also committed to military-supporting brands. Sixty-one percent of the military who receive an exclusive offer will return to that brand more often. And when the average household income of an active duty service member is $74,500, the loyalty of these high-value customers is a boon to any business. Offer exclusive military discounts to gain a new, ongoing revenue stream.
Best Practices for Creating a Military Discount Program
Using SheerID’s military discount verification is easy, but creating effective military discounts can be tricky. Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Explore our infographic and report highlighting the process of implementing a military campaign. Then, read on for proven best practices.
Recognize Your Business’s Military Community
Making the lives of the military community more manageable via discounts is a worthy endeavor, but don’t forget the people who served that are working alongside you. Examine your company culture. How do you recognize your employees who are part of the military community? Actively support your military community by hiring veterans, cultivating inclusive work environments, and recognizing your employees’ military service in public campaigns. Create a genuine, military-friendly message by offering a discount program that is authentic to your company’s practices.
Respond to Military Feedback
Paying special attention to feedback from specific demographics, like the military, allows you to target their needs effectively. Negative military feedback is a chance to improve your product and relationship with the military community. Responding to military feedback also shows that you care about and value their input.
Connect with Military Communities Online
Build awareness for your military discount program by engaging in military communities. Websites like Army Wife 101, Military.com, and Military Discount Central are just a few online forums regularly frequented by military members.
Run Campaigns on Military Holidays
Offering exclusive discounts to military members on military holidays is a fantastic way to improve business and show support. Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day are important-—but don’t forget special occasions like Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Armed Forces Day, Flag Day, and National Military Appreciation Month.
Implement Eligibility Verification
Verification platforms like SheerID prevent fraud and ensure the zero-party data you collect from military customers is accurate. Verifying your offer also underscores its exclusivity, which increases its appeal.
Military Discounts We’re Inspired By
Still not sure how to get started? Use these military discount examples from some of the world’s most popular brands to inspire your own military discount program.
Rollick offers a Military & Veteran Outdoor Vehicle Buying Program that provides service members exclusive and up-front pricing. Within a year of offering this military discount program, Rollick:
- Doubled their number of military leads.
- Increased military verifications by 130%.
- Grew subscription revenue by 70%.
Michaels is a leader in home decor, arts and crafts, scrapbooking, and offers 15% off the military community’s online and in-store orders (including sale items). These exclusive offers provide a rich shopping experience for military members, creating customer loyalty. When it launched its program, Michaels verified 200,000 seniors, teachers, and military members for this program.
American Giant, a clothing retailer, is fiercely proud of its military community, and it shows. With a 20% discount for active duty, reservists, National Guard, veterans, and military family members, their gratitude to our nation’s heroes is abundantly clear.
American Giant’s military email campaigns performed better than other promotions; and when the company replaced its manual verification process with SheerID, it saved 5-10 hours a week in labor and generated higher conversion rates.
Tuft & Needle
Tuft & Needle believes real heroes deserve real savings. To help military members sleep easy at night, the mattress brand gives them a 15% Heroes Discount. The company’s robust support for the military allows it to make a profit and a difference. Tuft & Needle also gives free mattresses to local organizations, which helps it stand out in a competitive mattress market because customers know the company genuinely cares about its communities.
TIDAL is a streaming service that knows the power of identity marketing. Military members can subscribe for 50% off the regular rate. Using highly personalized marketing through exclusive offers, TIDAL builds effective emotional connections. The company’s Senior VP of Customer Engagement, Angelo Sasso, TIDAL’s special offers have higher retention rates than standard plans. As a result, TIDAL has reduced paid ads and relies more heavily on positive word of mouth.
Rob Katz, CEO of Vail Resorts, values the brave men and women who have served our country. As a result, Vail Resorts offers military exclusive discounts for seasonal passes. The Vail Resort’s website makes its vision clear:
“These passes reflect our veteran founders’ service to others, from fighting for our freedom to sharing their love of the mountains with others. Because of their bravery, ambition, and passion, many of the world’s most celebrated ski resorts, including Vail, exist today.”
Huel provides nutritionally dense food items that prioritize health, fitness, and product portability—all traits that resonate with the military community. After a successful US launch in 2018, the company hoped to increase long-term subscribers and create a deeper connection with military members. With a gated offer of 10% off for the military, co-founder Julian Hean knows that customers “will come back and tell a friend.”
In 2018, T-Mobile launched its T-Mobile ONE Military Program, where military and veterans receive 50% off family lines. Immediately after launching this program, T-Mobile experienced increased profits, attributing its success to “the growing success of new customer segments.” Plus, they received numerous accolades from various military organizations lauding them for their military discount program.
Chip Bergh, CEO of Levi’s, knows that consumers want fashion brands that “represent a good value but also have good values.” That’s why Levi’s offers 15% off to all military members. This program showcases Levi’s brand values and acquires loyal customers. Levi’s commitment to implementing values-led initiatives drives the company’s success and highlights its company history of “profits through principles.”
We Love Helping Companies Build Their Own Discount Programs
We specialize in helping companies build their military programs. SheerID’s Identity Marketing Platform ensures your discounts are applied instantly, automatically, and securely.
Our streamlined process is quick and easy. You create a personalized military discount, and then drive consumers to a landing page where SheerID’s military verification service is integrated seamlessly into the purchase process. Customers enter privacy-friendly information into a brief form, are immediately verified, and receive a discount code that is conveniently applied directly to their purchase at checkout. And when the exchange is complete, you have zero-party data you can use to re-engage them.
Reap the benefits of gaining high-value consumers with discounts while also improving the lives of deserving military members. Request a demo today to support the military and improve your bottom line.